THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight, Ed! How did you get into writing and art and why did you want to become a writer and artist?
Ed Laroche: I got into reading comics and creating art through my cousin and his friend who were doing their own superhero book set in Rosedale, NY. I grew up as an only child and it helped to have something like art to occupy my time.
TCC: What was the first work you completed, where you stepped back and thought, “Yes, y’know what, I can do this for a living!”?
Ed: I didn’t know that you could make a living doing comics until I was introduced to Steven Seagle at a comic book store we both frequented. I showed my work to the owner of the store and he thought it would be a great idea for us to meet which we did. Steve gave me some pointers and over the course of several years I pestered him to evaluate my progress. This was right before Image was formed and the comic book market was doing very well because of speculators investing in comics. Sadly, it all came crashing down before I got good enough to do work regularly on anything worth mentioning. from there I segued into Animation and really that’s where my art education began.
TCC: Which artists and writers inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…
Ed: I’m inspired by John Carpenter, Prince, Sonic Youth and the standard comic guys that were doing their thing while growing up, Byrne, Miller, Moore, Claremont, Adams. The list is long but I would say I learned the most about being an artist by the musicians I mentioned and John Carpenter.
TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?
Ed: I remember one of the first comic book guys I ever met was Marv Wolfman he came into this computer store I was working at in the valley called Egghead Software. He was wearing a crew jacket with his name on it I think he was doing writing for animation at the time. I got super excited to help him because I was a huge fan of his run on Teen Titans with George Perez.
TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?
TCC: Outside of the ones you create for a living, what characters/stories do you like drawing the most in your spare time?
Ed: I don’t draw characters that aren’t mine anymore or I should say hardly ever. Most characters have been done by amazing artist and I don’t really have anything to add also one of the rules is “never follow greatness.” So, If it’s been done before by someone better than me, I lose interest.
TCC: What’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?
Ed: Well, I’m not a morning person because I work late into the night but other than that I’m always working whether it’s the day job doing Storyboards for Animation, TV/Movies or my own comic book work. I do this every day 7 days a week. I’ve curated my life to be able to do just that, so I don’t have too many obligations beyond that. even when I’m not actively drawing, I’m doing things that feed the muse.
TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some creators use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?
Ed: It depends on what stage of creation I’m in, I can’t have music with lyrics on if I’m writing so I tend to listen to dark ambient music on as the soundtrack. This is a good question because I feel It’s important for an artist to be able to control the conditions in which art is being made. So for me that means the setting has to be right in order for me to have the possibility of creating something cool.
TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?
Ed: It was a comic book convention my grandmother took me to I don’t remember the year but I was very young and the last was San Diego Comic-Con when I was promoting my last book The Warning from Image Comics which was in 2019. (Editor’s note, check out the interview we did with Ed during SDCC 2019 here)
TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?
Ed: I guess I like the travel part of it. The break in routine is pretty cool. As far as what I could leave behind from the experience I don’t know that list can be pretty long depending on my mood at the moment.
TCC: At a convention, when you’re not behind your table or doing the things you have to do at a con, which corner of the show would we find you in?
Ed: I like to go to Artist Alley and see if anyone I might know is set up there. I like to swing by and say hello.
TCC: With the lack of conventions, a lot of artists are taking commissions online and mailing them out to people – is this something you’re doing?
Ed: I’m not a commissions kind of guy I don’t like parting with original art work also my day job makes it impossible to do anything like that.
TCC: A lot of creatives are also taking to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that?
Ed: Not sure. It seems like a lot of extra work on top of the effort to make something good, I haven’t really explored that world yet so I don’t have an informed opinion about it.
TCC: What projects have you recently finished? What are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about?
Ed: Nothing finished. In 2020 I started a reimaging of a previous book I had self-published and got about 70 pages into when I realized the world had changed and I needed to do something else that was more informed by the times So I’m doing that currently.
TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?
TCC: Where can people see an example of your art online and find out about your rates?
Ed: I’m on Instagram at Ed_Laroche
TCC: Thanks, Ed, for your time!
Ed: Thank you, Dan, always a pleasure.