Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Eric Gordon, the D.C. Creeper - An Artomatic Interview
by Mike Rhode
D.C. Creepers's Eric Gordon's work is usually based on live sketching of unaware subjects. He's sharing a room at Artomatic in Crystal City and agreed to answer our usual questions.
What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
My comics are all over the map. I've done giant robots, abstract collage stories, and dogs gambling. Most of my published work has been in DC's own Magic Bullet and I also self-publish a number of mini-comics and zines which sell at local shops and fests. A few titles: Better Know a Ramen, Thank You For Your Cooperation, Mr. Squibly, Verse Scribble Verse, Vinyl Vagabonds and others.
How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I do as much of my black and white work by hand as possible. I feel the most control of the medium that way, even the mistakes. I prefer brush and ink, but will use various pens as well. I try not to discriminate that much and work to seize the creativity when it happens. I'll do some manipulation and color work in Photoshop after as needed. I've been adding some watercolor to the process lately as well.
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?
Born and raised in Bethesda and have roots in the Silver Spring area which is where I currently roost. I stay here mostly to be near my folks and because I have a good job in the arts with Art Enables, vocational programming for adults with disabilities who are artists.
What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
Background in illustration and further studies in social work and mental health. I interned at Marvel for a while and have worked in animation, graphic design, and gallery management. I also credit my comic and cartooning experience to the local comic shop, Big Planet in Bethesda, as well as Atomic in Baltimore. Lots of good influences there. I also was in a cartooning club at the local JCC for a few years growing up, which was pretty formative.
Who are your influences?
I've always been in deep debt to Bill Sienkiewicz, Stan and Jack, Brian Ralph, Daniel Clowes, Scott McCloud, and Berkeley Breathed. Many others, but these are the first that come to mind.
If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
Wish I could have been at Marvel in the 60s instead of the 90s during the bankruptcy. Also, would have gladly skipped the dot-com boom and bust.
What work are you best-known for?
Probably Mr. Squibly, a gum drop headed every man type. Made at over a dozen mini comics with him. Also DC Creepers, which is a long running action sketching project I've been working on.
What work are you most proud of?
Mega Turg, my giant robot comic that was in Magic Bullet #3 and 12. Those comics are ridiculous, challenging, and mega fun (see what I just did there?).
What would you like to do or work on in the future?
Keep challenging myself to make comics (and art in general) that is honest and full. There have been a few invites to do comics that just didn't make sense for me and my voice. I'm excited about a four-page project for a Cartoonists Draw Blood compilation that is coming together, and a continuing series of paintings inspired by the local music scene.
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
Procrastinate? No, that's bad. Usually I call my brother, a close friend in Queens, or talk to my wife. They always seem to know the answer or give me such a wrong answer that it fires me up. Either way I am very lucky to have them for support.
What do you think will be the future of your field?
Small press publishing/self-publishing. Print is being killed by the internet so it's up to local art scenes, zine fests, comics clubs, art studios, and individuals to make the comics of the future. Online is a part of it, but the power and quality of paper is just impossible to ignore.
What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?
DC Zinefest - one of the best I've ever tabled at - great books and crowd. SPX - been going since it began and tabled for the first time last year. It's crazy, but great. Richmond Zinefest - great people and books.
What's your favorite thing about DC?
The Maryland part... seriously though... it has to be the diversity. The Silver Spring area is insanely diverse culturally. That makes for great art, food, music, and life... so many great subjects to draw from.
Tourists and DC haters. Don't like it here? Please leave.
What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?
National Arboretum, Portrait Gallery, Art Enables galleries, and #1 is Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum.
How about a favorite local restaurant?
Do you have a website or blog?