I’ve been wanting to interview artist Dan Parent for some time now. From the numerous titles to his credit at Archie Comics, the sweet variant cover artwork he’s produced, and his Die Kitty Die comic series, the graduate of The Kubert School’s commitment to quality, fun comics is unprecendented. Each week when new previews are distributed to press, I am constantly amazed at Dan’s ability to deliver the iconic look for the classic Archie characters, all while giving them a 21st century update, allowing them to continue to carry the wholesome tradition of the beloved comics for current and future generations.
On the convention scene, Parent is definitely in his element. He attends a healthy numbers of cons each year, meeting and spending time with fans of all ages. He’s even met cast members of The CW’s hit series RIVERDALE!
We at PopCultHQ felt Dan Parent is an easy choice to place the spotlight upon for our Creators of the Month feature. Talented, tenacious, and driven, this is one comic book creator who has already left his mark on the industry, with illustrations destined to be enjoyed for years to come.
PopCultHQ Spotlight Interview
Artist of the Month – September 2018:
PopCultHQ: How did comic books influence your childhood? What was the defining moment in your life that you knew, from then on, that you wanted to illustrate comic books for a living?
Dan Parent: I was reading comics since I could hold a comic book in my hands. I basically learned to read from comics. I knew from age 6 or 7 that’s what I wanted to do. My early report card covers were covered with my “comic art.”
PopCultHQ: What amazes me every week when I see previews featuring your work at Archie Comics, is that your drawings of these long-established characters look as they did back when I was about 7 and was first introduced to this world. It’s classic, it’s iconic, and you’ve nailed it! Even still, it has an updated, modern feel to it. What lead you to take on perfecting these characters, bringing that classic Archie feel and make it so relevant?
Dan Parent: Well, I’ve had a lot of time to work on these characters! So, I keep them classic, but I do try to modernize and update them too. Dan Decarlo was good at that. HE took the classic characters, but was so good at keeping them fresh and modern too.
PopCultHQ: What’s it like for you attending conventions, meeting Archie Comics fans, and fans of your work?
Dan Parent: Well, I attend a LOT of conventions, so I guess I really like them!! I do love meeting the fans, because when you’re home behind the drawing table, you’re kind of isolated. So the conventions are fun social events too!
PopCultHQ: Can’t forget to congratulate you on your successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign for DIE KITTY DIE: Heaven & Hell! What can fans expect to see in the months ahead for this project?
Dan Parent: We are really happy about the success of Die Kitty Die! Kickstarters are very exhausting work, but rewarding! So we’ve got the next series coming out this fall, along with specials and the hardcover collection!
PopCultHQ: What has been the most important and/or valuable piece of advice you’ve received as an artist in the comic book industry?
Dan Parent: Work hard, and don’t rest on your laurels. It gets very easy to sit back and not challenge yourself, but keep drawing and creating things you enjoy. I like conventions, because I get commissioned to draw all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally draw, and that’s very good for any artist!
PopCultHQ: On top of all your work at Archie Comics and DIE KITTY DIE, what’s on tap in 2018 for Dan Parent? Any upcoming projects you can discuss? Any conventions and signing appearances lined up?
Dan Parent: I’m all booked for the year! Between my convention schedule, Archie Meets Batman ’66 for Archie and Die Kitty Die, that’s my full plate! I’ve got another 10 or 12 shows left to do this year, and some store signings for Archie Meets Batman ’66, details will be posted on social media!
PopCultHQ: If you had the power or ability to make one change in the comic book community or industry, what would it be?
Dan Parent: I would like to go back to the days where comics could be found on newstands, convenience stores, and coffee shops. I think the newsstand played an important place in comics. where comic shops are great but limit the number of outlets where you can find books.
PopCultHQ: Which artist’s work are you currently following/reading/collecting? From whom or where do you draw inspiration?
Dan Parent: Oh, I like a lot of people. Amanda Conner, Cliff Chaing, and Chris Samnee, to name a few. I just wish I had the time to read all the books I collect!
Special thanks to Dan for making time to speak with PopCultHQ!
To find out more about our September Artist of the Month,
be sure to follow Dan Parent online (links below)!
Artist – Dan Parent
*** images courtesy of Dan Parent