Okay, so, if you’ve been following my reviews here then you know my oldest daughter Juliette has been helping and doing some comic reviews of her favorite things, Animal Jam and Yo-Kai Watch. Well, as she reviews we, as a site, share the reviews on Twitter and this caught the attention of the writer, one very cool dude, Eric Esquivel. I cannot, as a mom or a reviewer, say enough nice things about this guy. He has helped my daughter with her confidence levels just by gushing over her reviews. I mean, I’m sure he didn’t set out to do that, but that’s what happened.
So I thought why not do an interview, questions from me and from Juliette, and because he is such a cool dude, Eric was totally down. I emailed off some questions, and now we’re here. So what follows, is our email interview process. So just pretend that this all happened over coffee and comic books in a little store littered in old school comic covers. That’s what I did 🙂
*first will be Juliette’s questions
Hey, Juliette! Thank you SO MUCH for asking me to chat! I’ve read all your reviews of my work, and I am very impressed with your reading comprehension, your writing skills, and your excellent taste in comics! It makes me immensely proud knowing that someone as smart and as discerning as yourself is one of my fans!
How long does it take you to write the comics?
Excellent question! All in all, it takes me about three hours per page to write my stories. But that includes the planning stage, and one rewrite (Usually, after I turn in my story, my editor has some good ideas that I’m happy to add).
What inspired you to write them?
When I was your age (like, a bazillion years ago) comic books helped me decide what kind of person I wanted to become when I grew up: Superman taught me the point of strength was to serve the weak. Sonic The Hedgehog taught me to respect and defend the environment. Batman taught me that life was hard, so it was a good idea to try to make things easier for other people. Stuff like that.
So, when I write, I try to think about what values are important to me as a person, and then I figure out how to have a conversation about those ideas in the world I’ve been assigned to write.
Why is there two in each issue?
There are two stories in each issue of ANIMAL JAM because we want to cram as much exciting awesomeness as we can into each issue, and that’s the best way to do it! Plus, that means more people get to tell their stories– including the incredible Fernando Ruiz!
(And here are the questions I came up with –)
With all the kids properties out there to choose from, Why Animal Jam and Yo-Kai Watch?
I’m trying to avoid the trap that a lot of all-ages writers fall into, which is obsessing about writing the characters that I personally loved when I was a kid. I want to connect with today’s youth, and the best way to do that is to write the characters that are of interest to THEM, and not me and my other dorky 30 year old friends.
What other kids comics have you written? What would you love to write?
I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working on a bunch of rad all-ages stuff! I’ve written for Adventure Time, Boo: The World’s Cutest Dog, Bravest Warriors, Breadwinners, Lego Batman, Mega Man, Nickelodeon Magazine, Pig Goat Banana Cricket, Sanjay and Craig, Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, and even Superman!
I’d kill to write Spider-Man, or DC’s Captain Marvel someday. I’m in love with the idea of empowering people who are too young to vote with the ability to shatter mountains and call down lightning.
How did you get into writing comics?
Comic books are the only thing that ever made any sense to me. I’ve been a fan of them since the day I was born, I started forming little art gangs and publishing my own when I was 15, and I just refused to stop when all of my friends grew up and got jobs, spouses, and health insurance. I have no formal education or common sense– but luckily neither of those are prerequisites to work in The Comics Industry!
Who is your favorite super villain and why?
I remember physically shaking the first time I read a comic book with Doctor Doom in it, because the idea that you could be a terrible person– but CONVINCED you were on the side of the angels– was horrifying to my young brain. It taught me to be wary of anyone who was “sure” about anything, and to always be open to criticism of my own behavior. Heavy stuff.
A little bit about Eric Esquivel —
Eric M. Esquivel is a Los-Angeles-based author who has worked for Archie, Boom, DC, Dynamite, IDW, Papercutz, Super Genius, Vertigo, Zenescope, and more. He is also the Writing For Comics instructor at Meltdown University, in Hollywood California. You can find him on twitter on at @ericMesquivel