Christopher Eliopoulos : Crazy and Fantasy and Explosions and All Kinds of Crazy Stuff
I’m here with cartoonist Chris Eliopoulos, who has worked on titles like Franklin Richards – Son of a Genius, the Ordinary People Change the World series, his really cool BB-8 back up story in Poe Dameron #1 and a ton of other work. Chris, I’d like to ask you a few questions for my readers.
Mr. Eliopoulos: OK, let’s go.
Carl: Did you want to be a comic book creator when you were a kid?
Mr. Eliopoulos: I wanted to be a cartoonist. I liked Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and I wanted to draw cartoons.
Carl: I like Calvin and Hobbes too!
Mr. Eliopoulos: It’s the best, right?
Mr. Eliopoulos: I like it! So, that’s what I wanted to be – I was 5 years old I wanted to be a cartoonist.
Mr. Eliopoulos: And my dad didn’t kill me!
Carl: What comics did you read when you were a kid?
Mr. Eliopoulos: I read a lot of Richie Rich, Casper, sometimes the Flash, but a lot of comic strips. I like ones like Peanuts, Bloom County, did you ever hear of the Wizard of Id?
Mr. Eliopoulos: Beetle Baily?
Carl: A little.
Mr. Eliopoulos: Hagar the Horrible?
Mr. Eliopoulos: Garfield?
Mr. Eliopoulos: OK. Those I read. Those were the big ones.
Mr. Eliopoulos: OK?
Carl: Yep! What comic books do you read now?
Mr. Eliopoulos: I read I Hate Fairyland, what else do I like? Anything that Skottie Young does. I’m reading these wonderful books called Hilo by Judd Winick . They’re really fun and exciting kids’ books. So, you should give them a try if you haven’t. (Carl’s note: You really should! They’re fun for the whole family!)
Carl: You’ve said in other interviews that your style is inspired by Bill Waterson of Calvin and Hobbes. What is it about his work that inspires you?
Mr. Eliopoulos: I love the energy of his drawings and how crazy they can be. Like I love Peanuts because they’re very quiet and subdued. And I love Calvin and Hobbes because it’s crazy and fantasy and explosions and all kinds of crazy stuff that I love. So, that’s how it makes it fun for me.
Carl: Interesting! Your graphic novel, Cosmic Commandos , came out in July. How did you get the idea for the story?
Mr. Eliopoulos: It’s actually based on my sons. I have identical twin boys who didn’t get along very well. Do you have a brother or sister?
Mr. Eliopoulos: You’re very lucky! Because they would fight all the time – especially about video games. And Jeremy liked his video games, but didn’t really like his brother very much. But, Justin loved his brother and wanted to be a part of the video games, but, Jeremy didn’t go for it. So, I wrote them a book where they become friends at the end. That’s how I told them that they should be friends.
Carl: I like that.
Carl: I read on your site that you’re already working on a sequel for it. What can you tell me about it?
Mr. Eliopoulos: OK. So, the ring transfers to somebody else at the end of Cosmic Commandos. So, this time a little girl gets the ring who loves to build robots and loves kaiju, which are like monsters like Godzilla. So, when she puts the ring on, the monsters come to life and come to the city to attack the city. So, she has to make friends with one to save the city.
Mr.Eliopoulos: So, it’s a love story!
Carl: You’re known for writing smart stories for kids. What do you think makes a good kids’ comic?
Mr. Eliopoulos: Boy. Things that have a little moral at the end and are a lot of fun along the way. I think that anything that’s full of explosions is a lot of fun and that kids learn a lesson at the end it’s even better.
Carl: Thanks for answering my questions, it was really nice to meet you.
Mr.Eliopoulos: Thanks, brother!