This week we sit down and talk to the one and only Ezra Thereaux. If you like comics, and we’re sure you do, you’ll want to take a peek at what Ezra is up to. After you’re done, be sure to check out his work on Instagram @Ezrathereaux.
What was your reason for getting into comics? That is, how did you end up involved in comics?
I was big into comics as a kid, like Middle School era. I think that came from watching the old 90’s X-men show. (sings the theme song) I read a lot of Sojourn, X-men and Marvel stuff, but didn’t get into DC much at that time. Oh, and Shonen Jump was still a thing. Those had a big influence, thanks to my voracious appetite for understanding. If you’re asking about working in comics, I’m on day 20 of a personal challenge: 100 Days to Make Your Comic. It’s my first comic, a story I’ve had in my head and in my heart for a long time. It’s high time to get it out there. I wish I could say I was tireless in my pursuit, but, alas.
Who would you say is your comic book inspiration as a writer/artist?
I think that the kid version of me is still kicking around in here, and I always craved a story that had a deeper meaning than what many of the stories I was reading presented to me. So, if my mind is a computer, then I have a plethora of observation protocols running all the time, always taking in information, always processing what I think about the world around me. That’s my impetus for writing.
Before comics, what did you do? If you’re still doing it, what are you doing?
Is there a before comics? Haha, no, I have a day job. I’ve been a plumber for ten years, the first five, in the military. Now I’m a foreman, running multiple construction sites. But for me, comics are life, and it comes first in my heart, if not in my time.
What was your first work in comics like?
It’s what I’m doing now. I work anywhere from 10 to 12-hour days as a plumber, then go home to write and draw my comic. As I said, I have 80 days left to produce this thing, so I’m working hard at it, still not sleeping more than 4-6 hours a night.
How many years have you been working in comics?
I’ve been drawing, reading and writing since forever. I decided to take drawing more seriously in Middle School, around the same time as the inception of [My comic] God Save the Night. As a freshman in high school, I decided to use the military for the distinct purpose of getting a degree in art, but, on the other side of college, didn’t fully know how I’d make my story or living, apart from what I had been doing. So, while I’m just starting on this as a comic, it’s the fulfillment of a long, purposeful, fourteen-year path, where I’ve gone past the brink of suicide, seen friends and mentors die, been married and divorced, addicted… all as sideshows; background noise to the calling of my story. This has sometimes been the only thing to keep me going.
Tell me a little bit about your work. Where does it draw inspiration from? Where do you come up with your ideas?
They say good artists borrow, great artists steal. I pay attention to everything: people’s emotional reactions and how that correlates to body language and eye movement – I tear apart movies and books and TV shows, all on a quest to understand the human experience. My greatest passion in relation to that is to help the younger, broken version of myself to heal. I want my stories to point/illustrate a way, inspire people to find themselves again.
Who have you worked alongside in the industry?
Do school projects count? XD Nah, I haven’t worked with anyone in comics *as of yet.* I’m hoping to find a good colorist, but, barring that, I’ll practice until my coloring is as good as my line work.
Growing up, who is your favorite character or team? Who is it now?
My favorite team as a kid was probably the Runaways and Cloak & Dagger. I followed X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Avengers and the like, but there was something that just felt more real about the struggles of Cloak & Dagger, and being a depressed, emo kid, kinda, the Runaways really spoke to me. Of course, now Hulu has come out with a live action TV show for it, which was pretty great. There were some things I thought were stupid, but the page to screen adaptations always suck. *shrugs*
Do you have any advice for someone who is just getting into the business?
I’m not entirely sure if I’m qualified to answer this, but, as with any skill, you have to work at your craft. Practice, practice, practice. Drawing, writing, If you’re a writer, you have to read. I read at least 30 minutes a day, which is actually MUCH less than I’d like to, but with work and kids, etc. I have to really budget my time.
Where do you see your work taking you?
I’m not sure. I think my readers are going to resonate with my characters, the story, and everything. I’m definitely going to move away from my day job and make this, indie comic making, my primary profession.
What are you up too next?
Working, man. Work, work, work. Plumbing, drawing, writing, then family and such. I’ve got three kids, a pending divorce, and dozens of carpentry projects that I plan to video and put on YouTube. Busy, busy.
Where do you see the direction of the comic industry heading in 20 years?
I think that we are setting the beginning of the end for the big two, Marvel and DC. Potentially. *shrugs* Their stories have seen about add many reboots and revamps add pop culture can take, and unless they diversify their content, I don’t think it’ll be pretty. I’m not sure though. I also fully support indie artists, and while I want us to be compensated for all the passion, sacrifice and effort we put into our work, I don’t like it when corporate entries get involved in the arts; that’s how Hollywood got to where it is, doing remake after remake, trying to circumvent the long process of building an audience from scratch and make a quick buck off of a long-standing franchise. I think of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies and the new Ninja Turtles. So, I think that indie comics are never going away, but we’re going to have to be on our guard against corporate monetization, in order to maintain the “spirit of indie,” or rather, that infusion of a creator’s soul into a story… But what do I know, huh? XD It’s a balancing act, like most things in life.
How can people get a hold of you?
For the most part, I’m on Instagram, @Ethereaux, but my Twitter feed has the same handle. I’m working on a design for a blog and a YouTube series, and I’ll post updates for that on Instagram and Twitter,
Where can we buy and/or see your work?
Once I publish, I plan to publish first on Comix Central, then we’ll see where we go from there.
Any last words for the industry?
Whatever you do, keep working at your craft. Luck and opportunity come most to those who make themselves available, who put themselves in the right place. I’ll see you guys out there in cyberspace! Much love, and thanks again, Joel!
Hi guys! I’m Ezra Thereaux, happy to be here on Comic Basics. I have to say: thanks, Joel, for having me here!
So, I’m a comic artist, working on my first major story, God Save the Night. It’s a cyberpunk opera about an accused arsonist who escapes police custody for a crime he doesn’t remember, then goes in search of his now missing little brother. In the process, he realizes he can do things with his mind that he had never seen before, except in comics. Also in the works are a sequel, called Skyrivets, and a companion series called Don’t Stop.
Skyrivets showcases the world after GSTN, covered in water. The heroes have all gone, and humanity takes to the sky for its survival.
Don’t Stop is about a famous breakdancer, who, like many of the heroes in GSTN, develops an ability to teleport, but only when he’s dancing. I’m leaning towards animating this one.
About me, I make comics for people who need guidance toward healing. I’m a 27-year-old US Navy veteran who graduated from college about a year ago, having studied media arts and game design. I’ve spent my life drawing, reading, writing, and studying eastern healing philosophies, martial arts, and world religions. I’ve wanted to know what Truth was since I was eight. I currently live in Austin, TX, with my ex-wife, girlfriend, three boys, and puppy, Maddox. It’s complicated.