Smash Pages Q&A: Eva Cabrera

The artist of ‘Kim & Kim’ discusses most of her recent comics work, Boudika Comics and much more.

Kim & Kim artist Eva Cabrera has been on a lot of people’s radar since 2016 for her skill at drawing body language and emotion; conveying complex emotions in a loose, cartoony style; and the ways that she manages to dynamically draw action sequences. Her action sequences are all the more impressive because often there aren’t many major fights or moments of violence. Her skill is at how she’s able to capture those moments before and after, at suggesting so much and depicting the buildup and the aftermath that it feels as though the reader has experienced it alongside the characters.

Besides all three Kim & Kim series, Cabrera drew most of the series Betty and Veronica: Vixens; drew the Oni/Limerence graphic novel Open Earth, a much quieter book with sex scenes instead of fight scenes; filled in on Oh Joy, Sex Toy; had a story in the anthology Dead Beats; and worked on #Guardian, the first issue which was released in January. She’s one half of Boudika Comics, a studio consisting of her and artist Claudia Aguirre (Morning in America, Hotel Dare).

I’ve been reading Cabrera for years ,and her artwork and design work are always excellent and always a joy, so I reached out to see if she would answer a few questions about her work.

As a first question, how did you come to comics?

Since childhood I have always liked to draw comics and dreamed of doing them. I began to meet people who were dedicated to this and it is thanks to them that I discovered that one could live from this. In my country, it is very difficult and that is why I had to look for opportunities outside, however, I try to inspire new creators – especially women – to publish in Spanish and make our work known.

Like a lot of people, I first came across your name reading Kim & Kim.

I have worked with Kim & Kim for about four years, when I talked with Mags Visaggio about the story I liked it a lot, the characters have a lot of spirit and represent a great force of friendship, although they are comic characters, they are like my best friends and I love drawing comics, when the story becomes part of you.

What is it about the book and about Magdalene Visaggio that keeps you two working together?

I think it’s a great story, there is still much to tell and Mags is an excellent person and writer, I would not hesitate to work with her on other projects – and of course on Kim & Kim.

So how did you end up drawing Betty and Veronica: Vixens?

When I was a child I read Archie comics and I liked them a lot, from that I started drawing my own stories inspired by Archie and friends, once I told Mags that she recommended me to the editor, I sent them some proofs and the writer and editor Jamie Rotante liked my work and included me in the project of Betty and Veronica: Vixens.

How much freedom did you have to play with the art and the style, because they look recognizably like the Archie characters, it looks like your style, but it is a little different.

They gave me a lot of creative freedom. Since the reinvention of Riverdale with the beautiful drawings of Fiona Staples, the publishing house has invited many artists to draw many of their series and the styles vary a lot from the classic, that seems great to me. Being part of this made me very proud.

Open Earth was a different kind of book for you and I was curious how and why you ended up working on it

Ari Yarwood was an Oni press editor and invited me to draw this story, the whole team of girls I worked with were wonderful and working with them was great, Sara Mirk’s characters and story is fantastic, that made me fall in love with Rigo and their friends.

What was the biggest challenge on Open Earth for you?

I really liked to draw it. Although the comic has many sexual scenes, the love that the characters have is very beautiful, Rigo’s conflict of being a person of the Earth and sharing a polyamorous relationship is very interesting as Sara wrote. Maybe my challenge it was the deadline for delivery? [laughs] I had already drawn erotic comics with Erika Moen, so it wasn’t difficult.

How did you end up working on Guardian?

Erika Lewis is a great woman. I admire her a lot. She has known my work for a long time and she asked me for some sketches for Sera’s character. I liked working with them. The character looks a lot like Sarah Connor. I love drawing women powerful.

How do you typically work? Walk us through what you do after getting a script.

I sketch the characters and make some sketches of the pages before marking them for changes. I look for references if I need them. I work the digital files, including sketches, and send them in to authorize. I ink the pages digitally, then I prepare the final files to send to the colorist. It depends on the work. Sometimes I draw and I color the covers, sometimes I don’t. Or I just do the pencils. It varies a lot depending on who I work with. 

Of course, it all starts in a sketch.

Has a lot of your comics work has been made and published in Spanish that those of us who don’t read it haven’t seen?

I have done many. I began my career as a comicbook artist for more than fifteen years. The first ones were published in Spanish, it was not until I started working with international publishers where the language changed, so that my work reach all parts of the world. There are projects that will come out in Spanish this year such as the “La Roja” Drag comic written by Yael Ochoa that will be published this summer.

Do you want to write more comics?

I’m currently writing personal stories. I just have to organize my agenda and my time.

For people who don’t know, what is Boudika Comics?

Boudika Comics is a Mexican studio that I share with my best friend Claudia Aguirre, where we publish our own stories, also to inspire more women in our country to dedicate themselves to comics, supporting them by giving them advice through our experience, how to start within the industry, etc. Boudika is our symbol as women comic book artists.

As a curious fact, Boudica was a queen of the British Celtic who faced the Roman Empire, was a strong and powerful woman who defended her land until death, so we use her name and her image to represent us.

Boudika Comics is you and Claudia Aguirre, as you said, and you two have worked before in the past. Do you have more work together planned?

Yes, it’s just the two of us. For social networks we have people who update them when we are traveling or at events, there is a person in charge of the online store, marketing, etc., but for the development of comics, only Claudia and I. With Boudika, each of us has published our own comics. We’ve only collaborated with the graphic novel Mavi, that was a success. It’s one of my original stories where Claudia did an excellent job as a co-writer and drew the beautiful cover. We both plan to release new books in Boudika this year. 

So what are you working on now? Or next?

I have many projects that I’m cooking, both personal and editorial. There are currently published pages that work with Brenden Fletcher in Robotech Remix of Titan Comics and the Dead Beats anthology in a story by Joe Corallo.

As an extra, I’m more active in my instagram and twitter and I’m starting my Patreon where you can see many about my work and other things. I thank my readers and friends for their unconditional support.

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