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From Hellmouthcentral.com

Eric Powell (Buffy & Angel Comic Books Artist) Interview

By SevenofTN

Thursday 29 April 2004, by cally

HMC EXCLUSIVE: Eric Powell Interview

conducted by SevenofTN

EP = Eric Powell 7 = SevenofTN

On April 17, 2004 at the Atlanta Comicon, I sat down with Eric Powell, who has done work on Dark Horse’s Buffy, Angel and Tales of the Vampires comic series. We were able to chat for a few minutes about the work he has done on those series and got insight into the process that goes into creating the books as well as a great story about Charisma Carpenter. We also discussed Eric’s own work, The Goon, and how Buffy fans would enjoy his series.

7: Eric, on behalf of Hellmouthcentral.com, we’d like to thank you for taking a few minutes to talk with us here a little bit about the work you’ve done both on Buffy, Angel and talk about your other works as well, including the Goon. We know that you’ve done work for Dark Horse on Buffy, Angel and Tales of the Vampires. Are there any particular favorite runs or issues that you did with them?

EP: The Giles one-shot is really my favorite one.

7: The Giles one-shot?

EP: Yeah. I think that was definitely the most fun I had with the whole series of Buffy material.

7: You’ve done both interiors and covers. Do you prefer one over the other?

EP: Actually I like painting more than anything, so I would like to do more covers.

7: You think you’d like to do...

EP: Yeah. I really think I like to ...I find more enjoyment out of painting than I do the sequential stuff so I would really like to start doing more cover work.

7: More cover work? That kind of leads right into my next question. One of my favorite covers that you’ve done is the recent Tales of the Vampires #3. That I take it is a painted cover?

EP: Yeah.

7: And do you prefer doing painting over the sketching?

EP: Yeah.

7: Yeah. You do? What’s the process? If you could give us a little bit of insight into [the process] for creating the characters in terms of the established ones. Do you get headshots or...?

EP: When I have to work with the Buffy material, I am pretty bad at doing likenesses. It’s really hard to paint something when you...it has to look like a specific person but you have a pose or idea or something in mind that you can’t find a photo...for the angle they should be in.

7: Yeah, right, exactly (laughs).

EP: So Dark Horse sent me a bunch of Buffy magazines and things and I would just go through them and try to find, like with the last cover, it was supposed to be Sarah Michelle Gellar laid out on the table, so I tried my hardest to find Sarah Michelle Gellar in that kind of angle. I found one that was OK but not exactly what I needed, but I guess it came out OK.

7: I think it’s an awesome cover, man. I...really...the two skeletons on the side playing the fiddle, that was a great touch.

EP: Thanks!

7: Do you watch the shows at all?

EP: I watch them when I can. I don’t get a chance to watch too much TV.

7: Oh yeah...

EP: I watch them when I get a chance. Dark Horse has sent me a few videotapes for reference and stuff when I would need it. I don’t get to watch it as much as I’d like to.

7: Right. Do you..when you...what is the collaborative process like with the writers of the books, because I know you do the artwork with them?

EP: It’s pretty good, especially since all the...I’ve worked with Tom Sniegoski and Chris Golden and before I even started doing this stuff, they were really good friends of mine...

7: Oh, really!

EP: ...so it’s kind of like I’m just getting to work my buddies again. So it’s really easy...to call them up and say hey, what should this art or how do you know or just discuss the story with them and how to do it and stuff like that.

7: So, they give you a little bit of direction on...

EP: Yeah, yeah. They can also play to my strong points. Because they know me and they know what I draw well so...they can give me in the script...stuff that they knew I could do well.

7: Have you ever gotten feedback from any of the actors or the creators of the show itself on the artwork you’ve done?

EP: Only once. It was...I was trying to get to do the first few issues of Angel that I was trying out for and I had to do sketches of the characters to show to the actors so that they could approve...you know.

7: Right...

EP: And Cordelia didn’t like my version of her. I didn’t...endow her enough with...

7: (laughing) Charisma?

EP: Yeah, Charisma. I didn’t endow her enough in the chest area she felt, so it wasn’t sexy enough. So I had to do it again and made her a little more sexy, and she liked it.

7: That’s good. That is an awesome story. Well, I know from your website that you said that you didn’t have any formal training, so do you have any artists that have influenced your style?

EP: Oh yeah. Too many to name.

7: Too many to name?

EP: Yeah, it’s just tons of people. With the painted stuff it’s really...I mean the biggest two influences are Rockwell and Frazetta. You know...

7: Hmm, that’s a great combination. (laughing)

EP: (laughing) Two ends of the spectrum there but yeah it’s kind of like those are the two guys that influenced my painting the most.

7: You’ve also created The Goon. I know that’s your artist-created...you actually own that character?

EP: Yeah.

7: It seems like a Buffy or Angel fan would really dig this book.

EP: I hope so.

7: What can you tell us about it?

EP: Well, like Buffy and things like that, it’s very...what’s the word...it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You know, it’s very...

7: Kind of a little bit tongue-in-cheek there...?

EP: Yeah. It’s very kind of goofy. It’s one of those things you have to read too. It’s a little too bizarre to try to put into words.

7: And you had to self-publish that at first, right?

EP: Yeah. I self-published, and then Dark Horse picked it up.

7: And there’s anthologies that are coming out and you’ve got a figurine I see on the table as well.

EP: Yeah. One of the collections is already out from Dark Horse called Nothin’ But Misery and then I have two more coming out like within the next few weeks.

7: And Nothin But Misery, is that original tales of The Goon?

EP: Yeah, that’s like the...that collects the stuff that I self-published, the second series. And, it’s the middle material that leads into the Dark Horse material.

7: Got ya!

EP: And then Dark Horse is reprinting the very first stuff as a trade and then they have the ...newest material coming out in a trade. So you have two trades - like the beginning and the end - coming out in the next few weeks.

7: So we find that at pretty much any comic shop?

EP: Yeah.

7: Is there anything else you would like to add or any stories for us or anything like that?

EP: I’d like to plug The Goon/Hellboy crossover - Goon #7 in June if they want to look at that. It ought to be pretty fun. Mike Mignola and I are both writing and drawing it - collaborating on it so it’s going to be really fun and hope everybody will go looking for that.

7: Hey, we really do appreciate you taking the time to sit and chat with us. We certainly wish you the best and hopefully we can pick up some new readers for you too while we’re at it.

EP: Thanks!

7: Appreciate it.

EP: No problem.

A final note - I wanted to again express appreciation to Mr Powell for taking the time to chat with me on the busy convention floor. It was very gracious of him to take the time to give us another peek into the Buffy universe. To find out more about his work, including The Goon, visit his website at http://www.thegoon.com. I purchased a copy of Nothin’ But Misery while I was there, and, like Eric said, it is a fun book that you just have to read.