Women in Comics Spotlight: Camilla d’Errico

One of the things I love about this Women in Comics list is the number of people I’m discovering.  Like Chantaal, I have no prior knowledge of a great number of the of those on our lists, and I am looking forward to learning more about so many of them.

Camilla d’Errico is someone I already knew.  However, I knew her as an artist, and had no idea she was in any way involved in comics until I saw her at NYCC this past October.  To me she was the creator of slightly surreal art featuring women and the most amazing things.  There were birds, women, feminity, cages and so many elements combined.  I fell in love, it was destined, honestly.  When I met her at NYCC and realised that she was also illustrating comics?  Oh my.  Sky Pirates alone was something that I knew I needed to own.

As such, I’m delighted to feature Camilla as part of this series.  She was lovely enough to answer a few questions for us.

How did you get into comics

I’ve always really loved cartoons and drawing, so comics were never really far away from my beginnings watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. I’ve always been captivated by the fantasy and adventure in watching and reading cartoons and comics- it fired me up creatively, as early as being in highschool.  I was drawing characters and imaging stories years before my first big projects.  It was when I first went to San Diego Comic Con in 1998 that I realized that comics was my true calling.  It was like an epiphany. I was home. And I haven’t looked back since.  The process was a little long and contorted, and I began to spread my wings with my first professional work being with Quenton Shaw for Committed Comics.

* Tell us a bit about the projects you’ve worked on

I’ve been really lucky to work with some absolutely amazing people.  I’ve had a lot of fun working together with Joshua Dysart on projects like the Make Five Wishes series we published with Del Ray Manga and Random House. It was a really neat project because there was way more to the story than it first appeared; the story involves a cameo role by female singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne, but there’s so much more to it than that. I can’t wait to work with Joshua again, we have some pretty exciting ideas.

Very recently I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the collective for Renae De Liz’s Womanthology comic anthology- a collection of 70 female artists that contribute to the comic industry. The project launched for fundraising on Kickstarter, and within days has collected double the amount of funding from excited supporters that they were hoping for, in order to fund their first run of publication. This is a really special project for me; being an all-female collective, and being as influenced by female artists and authors as I am, I’m so proud to be a part of something so empowering.

My creator-owned series, BURN is now a graphic novel published by Simon & Shuster, and I self-publish my literature-inspired series, Tanpopo through d’Errico Studios Ltd. 

I’ve also worked on Sky Pirates of Neo Terra, published through Image, and I was nominated for the Joe Shuster Award for my work on that, and for an Eisner for Best Short story for another Image title, the anthology, Fractured Fables.  Sky Pirates is a fun adventure story for all ages, but geared mainly to kids about a bunch of kids who are out to save Neo Terra from the clutches of the Pirate King.  My story for Fractured Fables was “Red Riding Hood” and it was 5 pages, written by Bryan Talbot. It was quite an honor to work with him on that and apparently it was well loved by the community!

* What is your favourite work that you’ve done so far

Oh I have way too many favourites to be able to pick just one! So I’ll give you two for the price of one;

I’m so pleased to have gotten the opportunity to work on Sky Pirates of Neo Terra with Josh Wagner and Sean Megaw, which is published by Image Comics in single chapters and trade paperback. It’s a project that all of us really brought our A-Game to. I just couldn’t put down my pencils- I must have designed the main protagonist, Billy Boom Boom, 50 different ways while we developed the project.

Another project that’s really special to me is my self-published series, Tanpopo. There are 3 volumes out so far, but it’s not going to stop there! My sister, AdaPia, played a big role in helping me edit and shape where Tanpopo was going to go as a series, but for me to be developing this myself is really different from other projects I’ve done. I’m really close to the characters and the process of the storytelling- adapting classic works of literature and illustrating them. Tanpopo’s always going to be a special favourite piece because of this.

* Did you ever get advice about the field that you’d like to pass on

When I’m talking to people that are interested and passionate about getting into the field of comic making I tell them to go for it- keep trying, put your heart into it! When you’re trying to do something you love, and share an idea or a message with other people, that’s so much more important than the obstacles that set you back or try and keep you down. The comics world is full of both challenges and opportunities; and for people, especially young women, that strive to overcome those obstacles and find those opportunities, the rewards are even sweeter.

* What is your favourite thing to write or draw.  From situations to character to themes, anything goes

One of my favourite things to draw has got to be my characters, the Helmetgirls- girls with mechanical helmets and contraptions on their heads. It was weird how it started- it came to me in a dream (no, really it did), about these girls with monsters or helmets on their heads. I like that aesthetic combination of beautiful, elegant or sassy girl characters with these industrial, or non-feminine components. That they can be beautiful, and in a way rough or unconventional and unique, at the same time.

* In an ideal world, in what direction would you like to see your projecte evolve

My goals are definitely to see my projects evolve outwards and upwards. I have so many exciting things and facets to my work going on; from collaborative participation in group anthologies and shows, to collaborating with other writers and publishers, to developing my own projects and series. I’ve got really high goals and a lot of excitement for my new project that we’re gearing up for. In addition to continuing with my self-published Tanpopo series, we’re gearing up for a Helmetgirls graphic novel! This has been a long time in coming while we looked for just the right team and platform, and it’s going to be phenomenal.

* Links to your work:

Official Site ||  http://www.camilladerrico.com
Newsletter  || http://eepurl.com/bIEzb
Helmetgirls || http://www.helmetgirls.com
Tanpopo || http://www.tanpopoandkuro.com
Store  ||  http://www.camilla.bigcartel.com
Twitter ||  http://www.twitter.com/helmetgirl
Facebook  ||  http://www.facebook.com/camilladerricoart
Portfolio  ||  http://behance.net/camilla/frame
Vimeo  ||  http://www.vimeo.com/camilladerrico
Youtube  || http://www.youtube.com/camilladerrico
Flickr  ||   http://www.flickr.com/camilladerrico
Deviantart  ||  http://www.deviantart.com/camilladerrico

* And finally your last thought.  Draw it, write it, bake it in a pie (though hard to communicate to blog readers, I hear its tasty.)  You get to have the last thought this post.

Bake it in a Pie is my answer. Because it’s the most challenging thing out of the three choices! I love to cook, I adore food. But baking is a huge challenge and I always like to expand my horizons and challenge myself creatively.  Plus I just finished a painting where a pie is involved ….

About Chantaal

A book reading, nail polish hoarding, makeup loving, TV marathoning, comic book talking Philosophy major. I want to be Rashida Jones when I grow up.
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