Interview: Evan Quiring
Dwight Frye: Welcome to the Basement!
Evan Quiring: Thanks Dwight. Nice place ya got here… kind of reminds me of Wayne’s World.
DF: So what’s your deal and your story?
EQ: All right, since you asked…here’s “Secret Origin” of Evan Quiring:
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and started reading comics at an early age. Books like Spider-Man, Little Hotstuff and Mad Magazine. I also was a big fan of the cartoons Sunbow Productions made at the time, like G.I. Joe, Transformers, Inhumanoids, Visionaries and er…um…Jem. (cough) At the same time, I also developed a fondness for B-Films, wrestling, and the old Universal Monster Movies.
When I was fourteen, I took a basic animation course and learned a great deal about storytelling.
After high school, I took a course in advertising art at the local community college but I dropped out after one term. At the time, I was more interested in starting up a punk band than taking classes. Plus the instructors kept telling us that pursuing a career in comics was stupid and that all comic book artists are ignorant and worthless.
In 1997, I attempted my first foray into the world of self-publishing by writing a drawing a mini-book called Midnight Comics. I sold copies at a local record store. Around this time I also started drawing posters for bands and various live music venues around town
I went to the San Diego Comic Con in 2001 and showed my portfolio to everyone and anyone. It was there that my work caught the attention of comics writer, A. David Lewis. He emailed me a few days after the con and asked if I’d be interested in drawing some stories for a new comic book he was releasing called “Mortal Coils”.
After drawing for Coils, I worked on various other projects, most of which will never see the light of day. I also drew story boards for a few local film productions as well as some commercial art.
Around 2002, I wrote and drew an issue of “Los Luchadores Mysteriosos”. I wanted to write and draw a book that amalgamated Lucha Libre and B-Horror movies. So I got a job at a local printer’s, in hopes of getting some kind of employee discount to print up some books. Unfortunately, plans fell through and LLM was shelved.
Fast forward to 2009, resources for self-publishers have greatly improved. Ka-Blam (and their other sites, indyplanet.com and comicsmonkey.com) seemed to be really good places to deal with (And they ARE!) so I decided to rewrite and redraw Los Luchadores Mysteriosos #1. I asked Victoria Free if she’d had the interest and time to be the colorist on the book and luckily for me, she accepted the job. She’s such a freakin’ talented artist and really, I wouldn’t be able to do Los Luchadores Mysteriosos without her. Her colors really make the book.
While we were working on the first issue, I contacted Diana Greenhalgh at Ronin Studios and pitched the LLM series to her. She got back to me within a few hours and liked what she saw. So with that, Los Luchadores Mysteriosos had a home at Ronin.
So now we’re working on issue #2 and that should be out sometime in late September/early October of this year
DF: Why comic books? Clearly there are better ways to make a living.
EQ: Too true. There’s so many better ways to make a living, but for me, there’s nothing else I rather be doing. I’ve been a fan of comics since I was a kid. It just seemed like a natural path for me to take.
I thought being a professional musician would be a really good gig but comics just seems more rewarding – you don’t have to leave your home for weeks on end or even get fully dressed! Plus I don’t think I’d make a great stand-up comedian, either. One of the many rewarding things about working in comics is that I can do some acting and comedy when writing and/ or drawing characters
DF: What are your career highs so far?
EQ: Hmmm… That’s a good question. I’d have to say probably getting picked up by Ronin Studios and basically just getting the ball rolling on Los Luchadores Mysteriosos. Ask me this question again in a year.
DF: What are your artistic influences?
EQ: For comic book artists, I’d say the Dodsons, Arthur Adams, Dave Stevens, Jamie Hernandez, Todd McFarlane, Matt Wagner, Adam Hughes, Steve Rude, Sergio Aragones, Igor Kordey, Jack Davis, “Ghastly” Graham Ingels, Frank Cho, Eric Drooker, Kevin Nowlan, Mike Allred, Wally Wood, Eric Powell, William Grapes and Scott Godlewski.
Writing wise, that would be Karl Kesel, Flint Dille, Matt Wagner, Beau Smith, Dave Stevens, Keith Giffen, Alan Moore, Lovern Kindzierski, Christa Faust, Dan Clowes, Brian Michael Bendis, Jamie Hernandez, Harvey Pekar, and J.M. DeMatteis
Non-comics artistic influences: The ’80′s cartoons by Sunbow Productions, Gil Elgren, Drew Struzan, Alfred Hitchcock, old movie lobby cards, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Russ Meyer, and for some reason, Ed Wood.
DF: Now, naturally you’re a fan of masked Mexican wrestlers. How did you get into that?
EQ: Well, I was a huge wrestling fan when I was a kid and I still am to this day. You see, back when I was growing up in that exciting, tumultuous decade known as “the eighties” there were two things I wanted to be: either a wrestler or a ninja. I figured if I was gonna be a wrestler, I’d wear a mask and be all mysterious. Instead I end up being a cartoonist writing and drawing about wrestlers. Maybe eventually I’ll write and draw a book about ninjas.
Anyway, I also really liked watching B-Movies and Godzilla movies when I was a kid. When I was a teenager/ young adult, my friends and I would go to the video store and rent the dumbest, crappiest movies we could find. We’d rent stuff like Russ Meyer films, K. Gordon Murray films, Ed Wood films, Charlton Heston films, and everything else ranging from “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” to “Brother From Another Planet”. One night in 1999, I rented “Doctor of Doom” (aka Las Luchadoras Contra el Medico Asesino) and with that I started really getting into lucha cinema. Los Luchadores Mysteriosos is sort of like an El Santo film directed by Ed Wood.
DF: Tell us about your comic.
EQ: The series is set in 1964 San Diego. It starts off with a flying saucer being shot down by the U.S. Army. The saucer, however, is shot down over a small town. More specifically, it explodes over an outdoor arena during a wrestling event where the luchadores are partaking in a battle royal. The luchadores (and some members of the audience) are bathed in the mysterious fallout.
The series pretty much shows how the luchadores will deal with the aftermath of this event. The main character, Rey Diablo, encounters everything from evil space queens, zombies, serial killers, werewolves, sasquatch, homicidal little people, jerk co-workers, vampire chicks, shifty bosses, hot women and government conspiracies. There’s gonna parts of the series that are utterly ridiculous (and hopefully that readers find really funny) and some parts are gonna be as serious as a heart attack.
Issue #2 has a serial killer targeting the luchadores and taking their masks. So some characters introduced in the first issue may not make it out alive in this one. I had an actual, real masked wrestler called Super Tramp contact me via Facebook. He was active from the seventies to the early eighties and even tagged with Andre the Giant on a few occasions. He asked if he could have a cameo in the book and I eventually turned him into a full-fledged supporting character. Anyway, he’ll be in issues #2 and #3 for sure.
DF: What can we expect from the story line?
EQ: Issue #3 has Satanic Sea-Monkeys…and that’s all I’m gonna say about that
The following issues will not only deal with unusual, super-powered villains but also the politics of what goes on in a wrestling company. Readers will learn more about Rey’s past and where he’s originally from. Unfortunately, he’s also gonna get dragged through the mud a bit, so to speak. We’ll be seeing some of the luchadores go bad and form Los Rengados Mysteriosos. A character shown and mentioned briefly in issue #1, The Halloween Queen, will be back and not in the best of moods. Rockdora will eventually return as well
DF: Where can we order this fine product?
EQ: Los Luchadores Mysteriosos is available on indyplanet.com
If you’re a retailer and would like to order copies, you can do so by going to comicsmonkey.com
LLM #1 is also available in digital form and can be downloaded a for a measly 99 cents off of myebook.com
I’m also gonna be coming out with an all-Spanish version of LLM #1 very soon
Oh yes and be sure to check out zazzle.com for Los Luchadores Mysteriosos merchandise.
DF: With such a bloated market right now, do you think it’s tougher for the small publisher to get noticed?
EQ: I think so. Presentation can really make or break you, so if you have a strong pitch and some really eye catching art that would catch even a non-comic reader’s attention, you’ll stand out above the rest.
DF: What are the advantages to print on demand?
EQ: Print on demand is probably the best thing to happen to self-publishing
Now you’re only spending a few hundred dollars (or even less) as opposed to a few thousand dollars.
When I first started in comics, print on demand wasn’t around yet. Most printers would only allow a minimum print run of a thousand copies. Plus a lot of books had to be in black and white because color was so expensive.
Thankfully, Ka-Blam and other P.O.D. places had made self-publishing a feasible reality.
DF: How about the disadvantages?
EQ: Right now, I’d have to say distribution. Although Ka-Blam has its distribution site, comicsmonkey.com exclusively for retailers, I’ve found a lotta retailers, especially here in Winnipeg, seem a little apprehensive to order books. So I’m just gonna have to pay ‘em a visit in person and implore them to carry my book.
It’s understandable though, since a retailer is just used to going through Diamond. It’ll take some time, but I’m sure retailers will find distributors like comicsmonkey are a good thing
There’s one store in San Diego called Galactic Comics that carries Los Luchadores Mysteriosos and it’s selling pretty good.