Drew Pocza | comics
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I have worked digitally for so long I have almost forgotten the charm of pen, ink and markers. I was doing them only at cons but this morning something was itching inside. I have been “coming down” from a little PTSD. Last week my computer died and since I work digitally, that meant no work. I had to suffer through a project on an old mac mini and it was time consuming. But thanks to a rather generous benefactor, I was able to procure a new iMac. WOW.

But I was really stressed out like an emo artist would be. So I took a couple days “off”. Playing with the dogs, watching LOTS of tv and seeing a friends jazz band. But this morning I was trying to think of something creative to do. I still didn’t want to sit in front of the computer for the better part of the day. Then it hit me. MARKERS. I noticed them in the kitchen and thought I would play with some water colors at first, but I realized quickly that I don’t like water colors. As soon as I grabbed a marker it felt right. It’s nice to hold something that makes marks, good or bad and deal with problems like smudges with no Command -Z. Make do with what ever hits the paper.

I thought about it and decided on HellBoy. I really like the character. I am sure I have mentioned this before, but the biggest influence on my work is Vaughn Bode and his son Mark. They have a signature style, and Vaughn was THE MOST BRILLIANT marker guy to walk the Earth. Don’t bother looking him up as his stuff is rather ambiguous and simply dirty. But I grew up reading his work and couldn’t get enough of it. My friends were all into X-men while I read Cheech Wizard and Junkwaffle. I would frequent dark ally way head shops for the underground comics. ANYWAY, Vaughn impacted me as well as countless graffiti artists in the NYC art scene back in the 80’s. If you know his work, you will see it right away in my version of Hellboy.



It’s pretty clear by my work that I love comics. Comic books, strips, and animation has all had a big impact on me. I grew up in the 70/80’s with lots of options for Saturday morning cartoons. Yes, they actually had a morning devoted to cartoons. We didn’t have the luxury of several cartoon channels. Then I discovered the newspaper comics and was in complete awe that people made them. Of course Peanuts, Bloom County,  and Calvin and Hobbs were favs. I started reading Heavy Metal magazine for exposure to all kinds of wild artists. And then there was Epic Illustrated. Epic introduced me to Vaughn Bode. I’m a massive fan of anything Bode. Mark, his son carries on the style like no other. Tons of imperfect lines that mesmerized me. I was on a scavenger hunt for Bode stuff, it wasn’t as easy as searching online. Ya had to know people who knew people who had this crazy underground stuff. I would go to dark ally way head shops looking for this stuff. And it was hard. Ok, I ‘m going off on a tangent. Gotta focus.

I love comics. I have tried to make a few strips over the years. When I was laid off from a gaming publisher, I found myself on unemployment, looking for work. What better time to try a strip. I wanted to do a strip to help me keep the creativity flowing while lout of work. So I took all the strips I had done and mashed them into one. It was like finding my own comics jeet kun do, taking the best from each strip and making one. And Pokeweed was made. I try to put into the strip all the crazy stuff that I like. From fart jokes to conspiracy theories and more. I have been doing the strip for a few years now and gained decent exposure to new fans and even clients now. I continue to do the strip “as I can” while on the constant hustle to find work. And when I get busy, the strip sadly sits on the back burner. Why do I still do it? I like to. Simple as that. I love the little world I created and when I am actually making the strip, I find it to be my “happy place”. Are the numbers where they should be or where I would like them to be? No. But I still believe in the strip. Even if it’s for a temporary escape. More and more cartoonists are reaching out to their fan base for $$ help to keep their dream alive. I’m no different and am considering a kickstarted or patreon campaign. My thinking is this: If I can get enough backers to help me alleviate the work load, that will free up time for more comics. It never hurts to try.

Not only am I designer/illustrator, but proud cartoonist. The cartoons and illustration have been working hand in hand. If you haven’t read Pokeweed I hope you will. My love for old bw, newspaper style comics will be noticeable.