Artist Joe Eisma went from being a relative unknown to becoming a virtual household name among comic book fans with the success of Morning Glories. His dynamic storytelling and clean lines add fluidity to Nick Spencer's tale of a group of high school kids stuck in what seems to be a Prep School of Doom. Joe took a few moments away from attending conventions and slaving over his art desk to answer some questions for Shadowline Online.
1) Are you surprised at the success of Morning Glories and the accolades and award nominations it has received?
I was very surprised. This was the first book I've worked on that got any attention, so it kind of threw me for a loop! I mean, I knew we had a great comic on our hands, but I did not anticipate that it would catch on like it did.
2) What was your high school experience like?
I was definitely a geek--very much like Hunter. I used to wear t-shirts with comic book characters on them and I was always drawing in notebooks in class (but I got good grades!). I was pretty shy too, and kind of invisible to the ladies. But I had a lot of really great friends--a fair amount that I still talk to to this day.
3) How did you come about working on Morning Glories with Nick Spencer?
Nick bailed me out of jail. Okay, not really. We met on Brian Michael Bendis' message board, Jinxworld, after he saw some my art posted there. He sent me a message asking if he could pitch a book he thought I'd be right for. The rest is history!
4) You and Nick have made quite a few references to LOST in Morning Glories. Were you a big fan of the show?
Lost is probably one of my all time favorite series. I was a fan from day one. I remember trying to convince my skeptical wife that it would be worth watching back when it premiered, and we both ended up huge fans of the show. I rewatch it often on Netflix as well.
5) What has been the most difficult part of creating Morning Glories?
The most difficult part would probably be making sure each character has their own look and personality. Outside of the main cast, we've got a huge supporting cast and other incidental characters that come into the story, and it's challenging to make them all unique and not cookie cutter. It's almost like a super-ensemble book!
6) What superpower would you like to have?
As an artist, I should probably say super-speed! I think I'd rather have the power to teleport, though, so I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of airports and travel to get to conventions.
7) What is your favorite part about being a professional comic book artist?
Definitely the fact that I can sit at home and draw all day. It was something I'd dreamt of doing since I was a kid, and now that I've pretty much achieved that--I have to pinch myself sometimes.
8) What is your guilty pleasure snack food?
Wasabi Peas. I'm a big fan of spicy food!
9) You also work as a freelance video game artist. What's your favorite old-school video game?
Hmm..so many to choose from! I'd probably say Chrono Trigger, for the Super Nintendo. That game was the biggest influence on me pursuing work in the game industry, and it even influences my approach to storytelling in comics.
10)Which of the six stars of Morning Glories do you most identify with?
Like I said earlier, Hunter, for the most part. I think a lot of comic readers can identify with him. There are many times in my life where I've felt awkward around girls like he does, or quoting Star Wars at weird times. Sometimes I feel I can identify with Jade--mostly when I wake up in the morning with severe bed head!
Morning Glories #11 will be released on Wednesday, August 10th. The series was nominated for Best New Series and Best Continuing series in the 2011 Eisner Awards.