Jim Beard: Eric, what's your secret origin as an artist?
Eric Johns: One day my father told me that he didn't care what I did for a career; doctor, lawyer, baseball player, janitor, or thief. (“Thief”? I thought to myself?) He said, just be the best at whatever you choose to be. Be the best. So, I made a definitive choice. Artist! I was going to become an artist! The problem was that my skill level was poor. It's my father that instilled the will to constantly get better. It's a superhero origin, not a villain origin story, you know, for clarity's sake. ;)
Jim: What medium(s) do you prefer to work in and why?
Eric: Pencils are what I'm most practiced in and has the most wow factor. Although I've recently taken to inking my pencils and can't ever seeing going back to just being a penciler.
Jim: What medium did you use for the Janus art and why did you choose it?
Eric: One 2B pencil and an eraser. Truth be told, I'm not certain how this style happened. I simply knew that this is a novel and not comic book art, so the publisher must expect ... something else? So I put pencil to paper and the toned art just happened.
Jim: What were your initial thoughts about the project when you got the gig? How do you feel you did on it, overall?
Eric: My initial thoughts were far different from before I read the script to afterwards. Of course, getting a professional job is always good and there is a happiness in that, but it was an unknown path, I'd never illustrated a prose novel before! After I read the script ... well, I fell in love with the voices in Sgt. Janus, and he maintained his mystery even after I finished the last story. So I went from a little trepidation to attacking these illustrations with the fearlessness of Janus himself. It's my best published work to date.
Jim: Agreed! Do you have a favorite from among the eight illustrations?
Eric: The piece from "Lydia's Lover." There are a lot of nice nuances in that piece. It easily could have been raunchy and harsh, but at first glance it's just a pretty girl, then people look a little further, the sexuality is really understated. I will let the reader find their own images within the image.
Jim: If asked to do the art for a sequel volume, would you do it?
Eric: It's a match made in the spirit-world - of course!
And of course, please check out Eric's work in the book by picking up your own copy of it here: SGT. JANUS on Amazon
All content (c)Jim Beard 2012