In Part 1 of our 2-part interview with illustrator and writer Corey “Roc Bottom” Davis, we talked about the acclaimed creator of ‘Shadow Club Karma’ and ‘Jet Boy’ being the first to publish a fully digital desktop comic book. Here in Part 2 he talks sincerity, giving and receiving criticism, and being an inspiration to other artists. Enjoy!
LiquidAE.com: Corey, your work takes you to workshops, speaking engagements, panel discussions, fairs and festivals all across the country. How freely do you pay compliments and offer criticism to your peers?
Roc Bottom: I’m wide open as far as offering criticism. Outside of my own studio and working with Truthful Comics, I started a collective called FITE KLUB. We’re all old friends and artists who have put our creative talents together as a unit and part of our job is to keep each other on our toes creatively. So we critique and pick apart each other’s pieces constantly.
LiquidAE.com: When you meet a fan who is also an artist inspired by your work, are 100% sincere with them when they ask your opinion?
Roc Bottom: As far as fans go I do the same with them. It always feels good to have someone say they have been inspired by anything I’ve done. That’s the whole point of doing it for me. To reach people – from children to seniors. As long as my work has the ability to inspire and reach people, my day is made!
LiquidAE.com: Why is sincerity such a detrimental trait for a successful artist?
Roc Bottom: That’s a tough one. Because when people see how sincere you are about the work you do as an artist, they either embrace you or condemn you. I can do my work with no apologies for the work I’ve done, because, let’s face it, if you’re not willing to stand behind your final product 100% what’s the point of doing it? But you do it with the mindset that you are not going to reach everyone. Some won’t like your choice of characters, how you draw them, how your represent them. That rubs them the wrong way. So now you are faced with the task of coming up with something that actually grabs their attention – which is cool, but… Some folks take it a bit overboard.
LiquidAE.com: In what ways?
Roc Bottom: Some don’t like the fact that I draw women that may be half-dressed. My advice to them would be “don’t fucking look at it!” I cover the spectrum. I got stuff for kids, to perverts, to video game heads, to superhero junkies. But some take your sincerity as arrogance or cockiness, and it offends them. And your work gets lost in the process! People are just afraid of that which they don’t understand. So as an artist sometimes if your dedication to your work doesn’t click with the people who aren’t feeling your work, it could be a bit damaging in the long run. But you as the artist have to stick to your guns.
LiquidAE.com: What is the most consistent response you get from your industry peers after they’ve viewed one of your comics?
Roc Bottom: The one I hear the most is how my work grows after every new thing I do. For a while I was at a standstill, so my work wasn’t flowing and progressing as much as I would want it to. Now I’m in the groove of things. People are able to see the progress. My peers are able to pick apart the good and the bad of what I do and are vocal about my work. It’s evolving.
LiquidAE.com: Do you think they’re being sincere 100% of the time?
Roc Bottom: I think certain ones are and certain ones may not be. I have my go-to guys that I can always count on to give constructive criticism on anything I do. And others will just look at something and say, “Hey, that’s cool!” If I get that response sometimes I know whoever I’m talking to about my work really isn’t paying much attention to detail and such. They just see what’s on the surface.
LiquidAE.com: Comic artists are so much more than what is on the surface. They’re entertainers. As an entertainer, Corey, how do you show your showmanship?
Roc Bottom: I am the Quentin Tarantino of comic books! I show my showmanship by basically taking what everyone else is doing and turning it on its ear. With ‘Lion’s Den Revolution’ for example, I didn’t want to make another Street Fighter II or a Mortal Kombat. All those stories were cool and pretty influential of LDR but the story had been done so many times under so many different names it was getting stale. So I kinda took that initial formula and made it my own without recycling the same shit! When you are able to give the public something new and fresh based on something they are familiar with, they respect your work more. They’ll keep coming back as long as they know they can get something different as opposed to the same old crap they get spoon-fed over and over again. |
CREDITS Written by Mr. Joe Walker | Photos – Search Engine Exploration | Corey “Roc Bottom” Davis – as Himself | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine
Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Corey “Roc Bottom” Davis.
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