Erik John Reichenbach (born November 25, 1985) is an American lowbrow comic artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and founder of Dabu Doodles. He first gained global prominence after appearing on CBS’ hit reality show Survivor in 2008 (Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites) where he lost the $1 million prize during the final five tribal council after being tricked into giving up his immunity necklace by the Black Widow Brigade.
Following his first appearance on Survivor in 2008, Reichenbach was invited back to play again in 2013 (Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2) where he placed fifth overall after being medically evacuated from the game. Inspired by his experiences on reality television, Erik illustrated a comic titled Starving for Attention: A Completely Legal Parody (2013) which highlights the absurd and toxic culture of reality television.
His comic illustrations have been featured in several publications such as People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. He has made appearances at conventions such as New York Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and Motor City Comic-Con.
Erik is known for using bold colors and humorous imagery embedded with intricate details.
Reichenbach showed an interest in art at an early age, drawing comics and short stories in elementary school (c. early 1990’s). He was offered a full scholarship as a high school sophomore in 2002 to the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, which he subsequently turned down in favor of a scholarship at Eastern Michigan University in 2004 with placement on the college track and field team. In 2009, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a concentration in watercolor.
In 1997, Erik entered into the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation Kid’s Automotive Art Contest in which he won the grand prize. He painted a plaster carnival horse in 2004 for the Livingston County Habitat for Humanity. The horse was purchased by the Hamburg, Michigan, library where is resides today as an art installation in front of the building. The horse was most recently restored in 2016. In 2004, while Erik was in his senior year of high school, his first full length comic book The Town of Tymes: Teddy Attack was featured in the Livingston County Art Symposium where he placed second overall in the graphic design category. Erik worked in Hell, Michigan, between 2006-2010.
During his time in Hell, he worked at Screams Ice Cream Parlor where he scooped ice cream and created several installation art pieces on the property. During his formative creative years in college, Erik began studying graphic design but ended up switching majors during his sophomore year to pursue illustration through watercolor. In that time, he entered many small exhibitions, created experimental comics, and continued working on his graphic novel The Town of Tymes. Several prominent artists inspired the formation of Erik’s signature style, including R. Crumb, Goya, and Gustave Doré.
Erik ran on the Pinckney Community High School team from 2000 to 2004, participating in middistance races including the 200m-, 400m-, and 4×400 Relay. He ran with his brother on the high school team for two of the four years. During his time on the team, he set the school record for the 400m- dash at the River Rat Invitational in 2004 (49.94 seconds) and was invited to run in the Nike Outdoor Nationals (aka Nike Cross Nationals) in North Carolina during his senior year. After high school he went on to join the Eastern Michigan track and field team where he ran the 4x400m- Relay, the 800m-, and the 4x800m- Relay. The team, coached by John Goodridge, won the Mid-American Conference (MAC), a division of NCAA, six years in a row. Reichenbach participated in three of those years.
Erik competed on season 16 of Survivor: Micronesia in 2008. He placed 5th overall before being voted out by the Black Widow Brigade. His time in Micronesia is best summarized on the fandom Survivor Wiki:
“Erik entered the game in Micronesia as a longtime Survivor superfan, often finding himself in awe of playing with castaways he had previously watched on the show. He eventually became the last man standing after all the others had been eliminated by the cutthroat Black Widow Brigade, seemingly set on making it to the final four after winning individual immunity. However, he was goaded into handing his Immunity Necklace to Natalie Bolton by the Black Widow Brigade, who then promptly voted him out. This is widely considered to be one of the dumbest moves in Survivor history.“
Erik competed on season 26 of Survivor: Caramoan in 2013. He placed 5th overall after being medically evacuated due to complications from an infected leg wound.
As detailed by Survivor Wiki:“In Caramoan, Erik returned to the Fans vs. Favorites format as a Favorite. He again made it deep into the game due to his low-profile strategy allowing him to hide behind the more bombastic personalities in the Stealth R Us alliance, finding himself the swing vote at several crucial Tribal Councils. However, he was medically evacuated from the game at the final five due to low blood pressure, ending his game prematurely.”
Erik’s art has been published and featured in People Magazine alongside Stephen Fishbach’s weekly Survivor recap blogs, in Entertainment Weekly, and as tribe art in several episodes of Survivor where Reichenbach competed.
Erik has been an active participant with Give Kids The World: Hearts of Reality since 2008.
Erik has been active in the Angioma Alliance community since meeting his wife in 2011. In 2012, he and his wife planned a fundraising and awareness event in Brighton, Michigan, that included a 5k zombie themed fun-run.