Eric Battle is on top, but he’ll never be ready for his closeup
by Ginger Rudolf
“Graphic artist Eric Battle and I have been acquainted for two days now, and he still seems in a state of confusion that I’ve been sent to interview him for this profile. He’s asked twice why anyone would want to read about his life.
Battle is a very well-known comic book artist—we’re talking major leagues, here. But if you ask him about illustrating for a geek’s haven of comic book and fantasy genre giants, he will politely shrug the question off, steering the conversation to his current passion projects, pausing incrementally to repeatedly mention the brilliance of other artists.
On his third ask about my assignment, my puzzled pause hangs in the air while I take in my surroundings.
We’re at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, sitting across from one another, our drinks perspiring onto our ThunderCats themed tabletop, surrounded by spinning racks and shelving full of comics, engaged in a friendly debate over which Godzilla reboot is the most purist. Battle is gently teasing at my earlier adamance about being a reliable predictor of box office numbers. “The new Godzilla incarnation,” I told him, “will be a flop.”
Battle’s eyes light up—his shoulders relax, and for the first time in nearly 20 minutes, he seems comfortable.
I’m baiting him, of course, the way any fellow geek would, trying to coax out a cool story about his time working for Legendary Comics—the graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening helped pave the way for the creature’s return to the big screen in 2014, furthering Battle’s cult status.
He caves, pulling several publications out of his bookbag, some I haven’t ever seen.
A mutual understanding between Battle and I seems to be evolving—I am partial to his world. We are speaking the same language.“
For full text and images, consider reading RQ in print, on a Sunday afternoon, sun streaming through your window, coffee in hand, and nary a phone alert within sight or in earshot… just fine words, fine design, and the opportunity to make a stitch in time. // Print is dead. Long live print. //