1.Tell me a little about yourself:
“I immigrated to the USA from Canada at the age of 12, back in 2003. I was basically born inside a Neil Young song, in a small town in North Ontario. I have an MFA in creative writing from Northern Arizona University and I love to write (obviously), play music (on Spotify under Eric Dovigi!), and do visual art.”
2. .What made you interested in doing a daily comic strip?
“I quit a job teaching Middle School English a few months ago and found myself with lots of time on my hands. Basically, I coped with this by listening to the news way too much and was starting to get really depressed. I spent a lot of time on Instagram and developed a passionate dislike for inspirational and motivational viral posts. I’m interested in language and semiotics and found the text in these posts to be largely inscrutable, comprised mostly of generalities. I can’t understand how anyone can make sense of a phrase like “live your best life.” Maybe my brain is broken, but what does “live your best life” mean to me and the day I’m having? So I decided to try my hand at creating the opposite. I wanted to create expressions of experiences or thoughts I have had that other people might also have, without advice, normative judgment, or stance. Drawing was my first love. So a comic strip seemed like it would be a good outlet. And it has been so fun!”
3. Do you have any personal favorite comic strips? If so, what are your top 2 and why?
“I love comic strips for sure. Tintin was an influence on me as a child growing up in Canada.
I love the directness and vividness of Herge’s “ligne claire” style.
Another big influence is Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller. For Bushmiller, economy, directness, and authenticity are virtues. If “Anti-Peptalk” could be half as relatable as Nancy, I’d be extremely happy.”
4. Can you talk a little bit about your process in creating your comic strip?
“Here’s an example of how I do a panel. Last week I was in a public restroom. I’d been feeling a little anxious in the coffee shop and went to the bathroom more to escape than to do anything else. Sitting in the single-staller, I thought, “I can’t be the only one who uses bathrooms for this reason.” A picture popped into my head of someone sitting on the toilet fully clothed, with a mischievous expression. And I ended up pairing that image with the caption, “I feel safe here in the single-stall public restroom.”
I have 12″x12″ cardstock paper, a cat-mug full of colored pencils (or “pencil crayons” as we call them in Canada), and some archival ink pens. I measure out a 6″6″ box, sketch the composition out in pencil, then ink over the lines. Next, I fill in the colored parts with colored pencil. Earlier I was coloring the whole panel, but I found that too time-consuming. So I’ve recently just been coloring the central character and leaving the rest b&w, which kind of has a nice effect. Finally, I carefully write the caption (if there is one) at the bottom.”
5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?
“I have no events lined up yet! I’d love to get a gallery showing of my panels in the Tucson area someday. “
If you like more info on Eric. The following contact information is below:
Thank you so much for the interview!!!