Just in time for Halloween, this month's artist interview features Robert Hack, the artist behind The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina! We spoke to Robert about his inspirations in re-creating Sabrina Spellman and his advice for aspiring comic book artists. Scroll down to read the interview!
Betty and Veronica: Hi Robert! You've illustrated comics/covers for the Dr. Who, X-Files & Mars Attacks series', as well as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for Archie Comics - have you always been into the sci-fi/horror genre?
Robert Hack: Yeah, I've been that sort of a nerd for a looong time. I started watching Doctor Who when I was 4 or 5. Vintage sci-fi and horror were my favorites. Growing up, I'd stay up way too late to catch whatever old movies were playing on TV. ...a pattern that continues to this day, to be honest.
BV: We love your modern interpretation of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Did you draw inspiration from the original Sabrina comics, drawn by Dan DeCarlo and other artists? What did you change or keep from her original look/styling?
RH: Oh, absolutely. Dan DeCarlo set the standard for Sabrina. I was always a big fan, not just of his Archie work, but of his earlier magazine cartooning, too. And I love those 1960's issues of Sabrina so much, I do take notes on the outfits that DeCarlo and others drew. I even picked up a vintage Sabrina paper doll set to get clothing inspiration. One thing that I intentionally dropped, were Sabrina's freckles. My art is a bit pulpy, a bit messy, and drawn on textured illustration board. Early on, I thought that they would end up being lost or distracting when reduced for printing. I miss the freckles, but for the sake of clear illustration, it was for the best.
BV: What is your favorite part about working on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?
RH: Uniquely, this job has been so many of my favorite things converging to make the best gig ever. The period setting, the horror, the brilliant story, working with Roberto, Jack, & the editors... but the thing that first popped in my mind when you asked-- There is a strong subversive itch in me that Sabrina frequently scratches. It's a book that doesn't pull it's punches and it just gets bolder and more surprising as we go.
BV: Any words of advice for aspiring comic book artists out there?
RH: Keep drawing and never give up. If you need the structure, try for art school. If you know that isn't for you, skip it. But always be drawing, always be learning, always strive to be a little bit better with every drawing. It took me about a decade not to suck, try to beat my time.
BV: Lastly, our signature question - would you consider yourself more of a Betty or a Veronica?
RH: Definitely a Betty (But also fiercely Team Ethel.)
All images via Archie Comics Publications. Artwork by Robert Hack.