Erik Hendrix wears many hats for Arcana, he is in charge of marketing and created one of their new graphic novels, Sideshows, with artist Michael David Nelsen. The story is set during the heyday of Las Vegas where the mob employ circus performers but they are unaware that these people actually possess the powers the pretend to have on stage. He took a break from his busy schedule to talk about his new project.
Q) What made you decide to start a career in comics, were there any titles you read growing up that inspired you?
I’ve been reading comics since I was around six, while also devouring a ton of science fiction and fantasy novels, a bizarre mixture of films my mother spoon-fed me, as well as some other things. It wasn’t until later, though, that comics became a real obsession for me. In 1986, I was exposed to my first issue of Uncanny X-Men (issue 203) and Chris Claremont. While he may not have been the only influence in pushing me towards comics, his work on the book helped me fall in love with the “flawed heroes” of Marvel
Comics. I never looked back… My big push to actually break into comics came at a time when I was trying to finish my first novel and had a bunch of ideas gnawing at the back of my head. Some of them just seemed like a perfect fit for comics, so I started dabbling in writing scripts, honed my craft, and started looking for artists.
Q) Could you give us a quick summary of Sideshows?
SideShows is a group of former circus attractions who are enlisted by the mob in Vegas as their enforcers. It’s a mixture of the old
Vegas “slick” from movies in the era with a more modern sensibility of how abilities could be exploited in the real world.
Q) What inspired you to create Sideshows?
I was driving with my wife and her grandparents to Vegas late one night and in the middle of trying to keep myself from nodding off on the road, the first nuggets of the story popped in my head. I go to Vegas quite a bit and primarily haunt the old strip, Fremont Street, with the older casinos, plenty of old photos, slot machines, etc… It’s hard not to be inspired!
Q) What made you decide to set it in Vegas in the 1950’s, what part of that time period appealed to you?
There’s just something about the time that really appealed to me. It’s the era of the Rat Pack and, although it’s not really the case, I
just imagined all of these people wandering the casinos in suits. Like the original Oceans Eleven, but with superpowers.
Q) I saw that other Arcana projects are being made into films or television shows are there any plans to move Sideshows into other mediums?
Who knows? I think the uniqueness of the story could easily translate to other mediums. Ideally, I’d love to see it as a show on a more mature network, which could handle a bit of stronger language and some of the violence. With a living, breathing world of characters, it’s hard not to imagine it moving between mediums.
Q) Is there any other projects that you have coming down pipe?
Of course! I’m working on a ton of books with Arcana at the moment… Champions of the Wild Weird West is likely the closest, something I co-created with Michael David Nelsen, which is being drawn by George Kambadais. It’s a supernatural Western with a fun ensemble cast. Besides that, I have a sci-fi book in the works, a detective book, and a couple of horror books. One
of those is The Evil Tree, and being drawn by Daniel Thollin, who worked with Stephen Lindsay on some of the Jesus Hates Zombies books.
Q)If people want more info about Sideshows or other Arcana projects where can they go?
Go over to Arcana.com and click on Titles… SideShows and Champions of the Wild Weird West are both in there and you can check out preview pages.
Final Four (questions we ask everyone)
When the zombies take over the world where will you be?
Probably locked in my office, trying to finish a script… Assuming power would be out, just hoping I have enough light and enough
batteries to pop into some kind of stereo… No music, no writing…
Jedi, Ninja, vampire, were-wolf, pirate, fairy or Spartan?
In a fight? If we’re talking Episode IV – VI, The Jedi would lose out without much of a fight… If we’re talking the prequels and some of the games, Jedi all the way!
What one piece of art, be it music, book, film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?
Army of Darkness all the way… But to really experience it, you have to watch it at least five times. It grows on you!
Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?
Depends on who you’re talking to… Most people who see everything I do related to comics assume it’s my only job… In fact, I have a 50-60 hour per week day job and work on comics in my spare time. When do I sleep? That’s the real question.