Phil Cho Does Comic Art with an Animated Flair!

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

In our Creator Spotlight we have an many artists that comes with art styles that are pretty unique in their influences. As we view many creators here in this section we like to highlight those that stand out and that are up and coming in the industry.

Our spotlight falls on Phil Cho who is the artist of a very unique project called Earth-27. His style is clean and slick with great character definitions. Earth-27 is a dynamic reinvention of the DC-Comics Universe, created by Roy Westerman. Combining the best elements of various timelines and continuities together, it is intended to be a more simple and user friendly version. Created in memory of Joshua Westerman, Roy's stillborn son, it began simply as the villains of Arkham Asylum and expanded into the rest of Gotham and beyond. Within it you will find classic characters reinvigorated, original characters bursting upon the scene, and composite characters made by combining the best elements of others. All drawn with the magnificence by Phil Cho, and then used by Roy to create files summarizing said character's history within Earth-27, mostly told from the viewpoint of Oracle, Barbara Gordon. Earth-27 is for all readers mixing various elements of shows and comics like: CW's the Flash, Judas Contract and more.

We interviewed Phil to learn more about his style, inspirations and influences.

How long have you been drawing? As long as I can remember. I've always liked drawing ever since I was a kid, and never gave it up. If you're asking about drawing professionally, I would say about 6 years or so. I was fortunate enough to land drawing gigs right after I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013. I know, Virginia Tech is an odd school to study art at, but I had a blast there. My instructors were kind enough to let me explore my love of comic book art and superhero animation. What were some of your earliest inspirations to draw that you can remember? Definitely Batman: the Animated Series and Dragon Ball Z. I absolutely loved those shows as a kid.

What are your inspirations to draw now? Apart from the previous mentions, I would say Jim Lee and Phil Bourassa. Those guys are so good at what they do. How do you describe your style and how do you think it’s unique compared to other artists? I would say my style is somewhere in between American comic books and anime, but that isn't necessarily anything new. I'd like to think I have a unique style, but it can be mistaken for others I'm sure.

Does your style have a story? It definitely had a progression. I first started out emulating other artists, especially the ones I've referenced before. I tried to draw just like Bruce Timm, Akira Toriyama, Jim Lee, and Phil Bourassa - but now I'd like to think I landed on my own style. Such is the case for most artists I'd like to believe. What is the Earth-27 project?  How did you become a part of it? The Earth-27 project is a fan-made, fan-funded DC universe created by Roy Westerman in the memory of his stillborn son Joshua Dean Westerman. When Roy first approached me, I treated his commissions just like any other commission, and worked on Batman villain portraits along with their mugshots. I didn't know this at the time, but Roy was spending his money on these commissions to cope with his loss. The more portraits he commissioned, the more popular it became - and now it has a healthy community that supports the project with donations through Roy's GoFundMe and Patreon pages. I's truly an honor to be a part of a project that celebrates the DC universe, but more importantly to help preserve the memory of a lost son. The project itself has become far bigger than Roy and I had anticipated. Besides Earth-27 what else are you working on? Currently I'm just working on commissions for several clients, but I did recently finish up work for an indie board game called "Sidekick Saga" that was successfully funded on Kickstarter. Check it out if you're into table-top gaming!

I see you post a lot of comic book superhero character work on your instagram.  Do you do work in any other mediums?(charcaol, portrait art, etc) or genre’s?(fantasy, dramatic works, non-superhero, etc) I primarily work digitally with a Cintiq tablet and Photoshop these days, and hardly ever use traditional materials. If I do, it's probably only with good ole' pencil and paper. I should really start getting back into it, but the convenience of drawing on a computer is just too comfortable! As far as other genres go, other than superhero stuff, I do dabble in fantasy stuff. Generally I'm at the mercy of my commissioners.

Is there anything out there that you are working on that you want to promote? As of now, nope, not really! The best way to support me as an artist is to commission me to draw something for you! As much as I'd like to work on something that's completely my own, I've yet to find a way to monetize my own work. I could possibly do that now since I've gained a bigger following...but I just need to set aside a time and plan. Ugh, I need to get on that ASAP, but I admittedly drown myself in commissioned work. Thank you for giving us the chance to put creators such as yourself in our spotlight.  Any last shout outs?

You're welcome and thank you for having me! Last shout out will go to my Lord Jesus Christ for saving my soul with the forgiveness of my sins, filling me with the Holy Spirit, that I may have eternal life in knowing the Father God, and being known by Him. 

Check out Phil Cho's website here and check out the Earth-27 by Roy Westerman project right here.

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