11 Questions with Patrick McEvoy

It is time again for another 11 Questions interview. This time I have had the chance to interview Patrick McEvoy who been an artist on various RPG properties along the lines of Call of the Cthulhu, to reach the comic world with Marvel and his new project coming out from Archaia, Starkweather: Immortal.

Also Patrick produces and hosts on the Ninja Mountain Scrolls Podcast which has been described as a group of professional artists have fun talking about the art and business of fantasy, SF, horror and comics illustration. Useful info and opinions for illustrators and aspiring artists of all kinds!

  • What initiated your interest in being an Artist?

I’ve always liked to tell stories, and drawing was a part of that from a young age. I had a Captain America poster on my wall by Steranko, and at some point (probably 4th grade or so) it dawned on me that there was something about the way HE drew that was more intense and interesting than the way other artists drew. And that little mini-revelation really got my brain working: making art can be really cool! So I’ll blame it on Cap and Steranko.

  • Were comics the first thing you wanted to break into or was there another art field that you wanted to do first?

As a kid I wanted to do comics, but I developed an interest in illustration and commercial art in High School. I’ve always had a problem with focus!

  • Who do you look up to as influences?

Certainly Steranko, more for his creative philosophy than any specific approach or technique. Others would include illustrators such as N.C. Wyeth, Frazetta, and Roger Dean. The Illustrators (and I’d include Steranko as one since most of his work as been illustration for the last 35 years) have influenced me quite a bit more in technique than comics artists.

However, lot’s of comic book creators make my list of influences as well. In comics work, I’d certainly have to include Kirby, P. Craig Russell, Will Eisner, Alex Ross, Barry Windsor-Smith, Gene Colan and Dave McKean (wow, that’s an eclectic group!) Also Toth, by way of Mazzucchelli, and Williamson, by way of Wrightson.

  • What projects are you working on at the moment?

Well, I’m finishing up the Graphic Novel of Starkweather: Immortal, published by Archaia, which is coming out in a couple of months and is available for preorder RIGHT NOW! The previews order code is: AUG09 0641

Also on the drawing board this month I have some World of Warcraft cards for Blizzard, Game of Thrones cards for Fantasy Flight, and some Everquest cards for Sony. Busy times!

  • What has been your favourite project that you have worked on to date?

Probably Starkweather: Immortal, because we’re getting to tell a complete story, and my partner on the book, writer Dave Rodriguez, has been just kick-ass to work with.

Also, I was on contract with Marvel for about 18 months (and should be picking up with that again at the end of the year) and that was an incredible experience. I do work for their marketing department, doing Photoshop-painted versions of all sorts of their characters from the very famous to the extremely obscure. Plus fun little side projects like movie-still touchups and in-store advertising.

But really, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on many, many great illustration projects for some very awesome companies, so I have very little to complain about!

  • If you had your pick of any property within the comic book medium to work on what would it be?

Pre-existing character? Silver Surfer. I did a couple of Surfer pictures for Marvel last year and I really loved rendering him. Plus, the challenge of doing a theoretically A-list character that has a hard time sustaining a series is quite tantalizing. And I’ve got some strong story ideas for him in the back of my head. Oh well, maybe some day…!

  • How did you start in the art world and how did it get you to your current profession?

I had the misfortune to take a fine-arts program in college when I really should have taken illustration. At the time I had no idea there was a difference, believe it or not. I became so disgusted with the “fine arts” attitude that I quite the program after two years and actually became a music major.

Well, I ended up leaving college to become a programmer (I know, I’m flighty!) and IS manager, and for several years I literally did not draw a line. Not even doodles! I was that disgusted with art. Though I did make money playing a lot of music at nights and weekends, so college wasn’t totally wasted.

After programming for a while, I began to itch to do art again. By that time I knew that I had really wanted to be an illustrator, and simply bought lots of books and practiced. My idea was to get into art as quickly as possible, so I concentrated on 2D computer animation and production art, since there was LOTS of it at the time in the mid-1990s, and I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, which was a hotbed of such things.

I was able to get into the industry pretty quickly, and after a year or so as an animator I combined my knowledge of programming and management with art knowledge and became an Art Director. I did that for several years until I got to thinking: wait a minute! I wanted to be an illustrator, didn’t I?

So after doing part-time illustration work for a while, and my first comic book (The Gatesville Company, for the late Speakeasy comics)I made the leap, quit the Multimedia world, and went full-time into illustration about four years ago. And I’m VERY glad I did, and also VERY regretful that I waited so long. I’m a lot older than most of my “contemporaries”, which is quite weird. But fun too.

  • How have you found the reaction to your work?

Those who notice it seem to like it! It’s really getting that breakthrough that’s difficult. Hopefully the Starkweather hardback GN will be at least somewhat successful in getting my name out there. I’m reasonably popular amongst a very small group. “My popularity is selective” as Spinal Tap might say.

You have a new book coming out from Archaia called Starkweather: Immortal. How much license do you have with the art or is it scripted to be more to David Rodriguez’ (the writers) vision?

I like working the way I’m working with Dave: it’s a full script which he lets me screw with pretty much any way I like. Of course I tell him first! 🙂 But it’s been an ideal team so far I think. In movie terms, I guess he writes, I’m the cinematographer, and we co-direct.

  • What genre that you haven’t worked on before would you like to try your hands at?

I did a lot of work on Fantasy Flight Games “Call of Cthulhu” card game a few years back, and became VERY enamored of the 1920’s/30’s pulp world they used. I really think I did a lot to make that era and the Lovecraft monsters work as well together as I thought they should. So I’ve let people know that I REALLY want to do a comic book based in that era, with trench coats, fedoras, tommy guns, and lots of slime and tentacles. That would be my dream job right now.

  • Who would be the one person you would want to work with if you had the chance and why?

That is a tough one! Leaving out time travel (an apprentice in Rembrandt’s studio), I’d go with Warren Ellis. I think I’d just like to see what he would come up with.

Once again I’d like to thank Patrick for taking part in this and if you want to see his work you can see it over on his website, Deviantart and hear him on the Ninja Mountain Scrolls Podcast to hear artists talking their trade.

Also remember to check out the Starkweather: Immortal trade in this months previews with order code AUG09 0641

One Response to “11 Questions with Patrick McEvoy”

  1. Coty says:

    Wonderful interview! Very interesting questions and even more interesting answers!