Derek and Nikki Davis are one of those pairs who were truly made for each other. Derek was an unmotivated reader until he discovered the myriad worlds and variety of stories offered in comics. Nikki is an art teacher who finds expression through the visual. Both are people of faith. Both have had to deal with cancer in their lives and it was, ironically, the thing that first brought them together. But they can tell that story so much better than I can, so when you see them at the mini-con, or at any of their other scheduled appearances, ask them about how they met!
The Ered Adventures, or T.E.A., is their on-going online comic strip. T.E.A. has been compiled into several books which feature many strips never seen online. Some of these collections include Winter Madness, Life of an Ordinary Idiot, Blurred Reality and Ultimate TEA. They have also crafted an anthology horror graphic novel called Tales of the Dead Ringer, and have done two children’s books featuring their after-life character, Skinny Skelly.Here is the interview with two of Union West Cartooning Club's favorite people!
1) What are the Ered Adventures? How many people take part in creating the stories?
The Ered Adventures ( T.E.A.) is the daily life of Ered, Nik, their friends, family, cat, dog,a young skeleton, and a ghost. The characters just seem to write themselves because they are based on real life people and also fantasy characters. This allows the story to sometimes be based on reality and fantasy. The two main people that write T.E.A. are my husband (Derek) and I (Nikki) but we get lots of ideas from our family and friends who know we do a comic strip. There have been several comic strips that are based solely on others’ stories. Because of this it makes the universe of T.E.A. ,The Ered Adventures, have more depth.
2) Why did you choose to do an online format?
We wanted to get the story out to people to read, not just sit in our portfolio at home gathering dust. These characters demanded to be let out! They have a story to tell and it is barely contained. It also allows us to reach a much wider audience. I update twitter, facebook, and have a newsletter to let my subscribers know when there is an update.
3) Your best convention experience/moment? Worst? Weirdest?
4) What other appearances will you be making this year?
We are appearing at Charlotte Comic Con (3times- March 21, August 1 and December 19), Wilkes County Library (July 31), and Richard’s Comics and Collectibles (Free Comic Book Day!). Also at the Con-Carolinas June 5-6, a convention for gamers, cosplay, and artists.
5) You visit a lot of libraries- why?
Well, we believe there are many ways to learn to read. Not only are there novels, magazines, but also comics. Comics are a great tool to introduce reading to a child that has been bored with just words on a page. What better place to introduce children to comics than at a library? We enjoy sharing our art!
6) Favorite cartoon show and comic as a kid? Now?
Nikki- My favorite cartoon as a kid was Jem. It came right after G.I Joe, I think. I like the bright colors and, well- it was the 80’s. Now my favorite cartoon is Naruto. I really like the action in it. I did not read comics as a kid but my favorite comic right now is the Green Lantern Blackest Night series. The story has been so good.
Derek- I have always loved Superman. Superman is my favorite comic from my youth and also right now.
7) Who in comics has been the biggest help to you?
There have been so many people it’s hard to name just one so I won’t. I will name several. John Aston from Olde Town Comix, Troy Hansbrouck from Jester Press, Jim McGee from Area 51 Studios, Chrissie Zullo from Art by Chrissie Zullo. All these people have been very helpful in us creating something that we enjoy.
The Ered Adventures, along with all the comics activities and events Derek & Nikki are involved in can be found at their website. You can also find a link to purchase copies of The Ered Adventures! http://www.bitterteastudios.com/