INTERVIEW WEB COMIC WEEK 5

SUSANA RAMÍREZ

 

1.-When and how did you start to read comics?

I guess in high school. I’ve been watching anime since I was a child, but I think I started with comics when I was a teenager.

 

2.-When did you decide that you want to be illustrator?

At 16, or 17 I knew I want to work in this kind of work, but it was something general. I think I really knew it when I was at the college, when I was studying Fine Arts.

 

3.-Tell us about your training and your influences.

Well, I started to draw when I was I child, since I can remember. About studies I learned a lot at college, but most of all, because of practice and drawing a lot every day. While I was living in Dublin, I improved a lot, but you learn from everything and averyone.

 

About my influences, it’s difficul to say, cause everything can influence you even if you wasn’t looking for it. A comic, a book, a film or maybe just someone you see at the bus stop. But if I have to say something I think I should mention Dragon Ball at first, and later on, the next big influence in my own style was Bleach and Priest.

 

4.- Which parts of the illustrator job do you like and dislike?

What I like the most is that I really enjoy what I am doing, and even if you are tired it’s ok to do it. And, at the end, even if you are not happy with what you did, you know at least it was practice.

 

What I don’t like about this kind of job, is that it’s usually not well paid, it’s hard to live just working as a drawer, not impossible, but difficult. I think this job requires a lot of time and effort, and that it’s not recognised.

 

5.- Why did you decide join to the webcomic project of Twist Comics?

I think it’s an opportunity of promotion and made a name, and at the same time, you are working on improve your skills.

 

6.- What attracted you to the story that you illustrated?

I have always been attracted at action and superpowers stories, as well as I want to prove something new, like drawing aliens.

 

7.- Could you explain your decisions in the design of the main character?

The base idea was Angelina Jolie, provided by Fernando, so I took the general aspect from her, thick lips, squared face, etc. From there I though that I didn’t want a sweet woman, cause the character wasn’t like that, and personally, I don’t like that kind of characters. So I tried some scars and hairs and colours to find what suit the character better. And about the armor the first thing was that I didn’t want the classic armor, I wanted something more original, so I did it asymmetrical and started to build it up from there.

 

8.-And the alien?

I searched for aliens references, a lot of them, with warrior looks above all. In spite of being a warrior, he wasn’t someone rude or bad, and because he had some kind of relationship with the main character they had to match in some way, so I made him in a stylish style too, and because I’m not familiar with big characters, do it like that it could have been a bad idea.

 

9.-How much time did you spend per page? What’s been your process for drawing it and communicating with the scriptwriter?

It’s hard to say how much time per page because I was working on all pages at the same time, but I think about 20 hours per page, or even more.

 

 

10.- Which vignette are you proudest of? If there are spoilers please warn us.

If I have to choose I’ll go with the second vignette from page 4, where Ania is flying and the quarkmor starts to desactivate. There isn’t an especific reason about this, but I like Ania’s expression and seeing Ania from the bottom while flying it’s interesting.

 

 

11.- What is your next project? What are you working now?

I’m working in another comic for Twist Comics, and on my own project I‘ve been working for some months.

 

12.- Which illustration are you proudest of?

I guess the last one I made, and elf fighting in the snow, it’s a character from my comic project. It has a lot of mistakes which can be improved, but it was a goal to achieve cause of the perspective, as well as the lighting.

 

13.- Returning to the subject of hobbies, which comic are you reading now? With Blacksad I’m waiting for the next volume, as well as Vagabond and Priest. Righ now I’m going to start to read Superman: Red Son and Astonishing X-Men.

 

14.- If you knew tomorrow was going to be the start of the apocalypse… What would you do today?

I guess I will buy The Last of Us, I’m not gonna die without playing that game.

 

15.- What words of greeting would you like to hear at heaven’s gates or in hell?

Stay calm, we have computers and videogames.

 

16.- What advice can you give us?

Enjoy the little things in your live but never give up on your dreams.

 

17.- If you could eliminate one thing on this planet, what would it be?

Too many things… I can’t choose.

 

18.- What good things do you hope will happen for you in the coming months?

Find a good and a well paid job. Yes, I know it’s just a fantasy

INTERVIEW WEBCOMIC WEEK FOUR

Maria Aurora Rodriguez
1.-When and how did you start to read comics?
I read them before I knew that’s what they were called. When I was I child I used to read some old comics lost in my grandmother’s house: Spiderman, Mortadelo y Filemón, Tin tin, Astrix and Oblix… the usual, but I was very young (5 or 6) and although I could read it I couldn’t understand the story, I preferred to look at the images. I learnt more about comics around 12 years old when I started to read Dibus (a magazine about cartoons, comics, films, manga, etc.) and the first comic I start to collect was W.I.T.C.H.
2.-When did you decide that you want to be illustrator?
Actually I didn’t “decide” it, it’s like the result of my training, I realized that my favorite subject was drawing.
3.-Tell us about your training and your influences.
I studied Fine Arts in Malaga, Spain and after that a Higher National Diploma in traditional and computer animation in Dublin. I think my influences are changing all the time, although I guess the most important are traditional animation and manga, which is the reason why my style is a mixture of both.
4.- Which parts of the illustrator job do you like and dislike?
The thing I like most are those little inspirational moments that sometimes happen; maybe you are listening music and you start to draw without stopping and then you realize the playlist stopped half hour ago.
And the thing I dislike is when someone I respect disregards a project which I worked very hard on, or that had a special meaning to me.
5.- Why did you decide join to the webcomic project of Twist comics?
I was familiar with the project through one of my friends, who is also an illustrator, and when I contacted with the scriptwriter he convinced me. I actually really liked the variety of stories I could choose to illustrate and the good deal with him.
6.- What attracted you to the story that you illustrated?
I really liked that the story was very humorous, but I like it especially because it’s about a group of geeks.
7.- Could you explain your decisions in the design of the main character?
I started by following the scriptwriter’s guide about their personalities and appearance. I imagined them as a very comedic duo, like Laurel and Hardy.
Pedro is an attractive geek guy; I had to think along the lines of a kind of young Kurt Cobain. Hence the blonde hair and the grunge touch in their clothes. All his body and face is long but curve. As for the nose? I know looks like Escaflowne, I wanted his face to be a little imperfect, so that he wouldn’t be the typical good-looking boy, but still cute; I liked him with that pointy nose (also, with a flat nose he looked like a girl XD)
Now Jordi, he is a master geek, metal lover and misogynist; and inspiration behind my design for him was José María from El día de la bestia but younger and a geek. Actually I had no mercy with this character because he was misogynist XD. Nobody told me but I wanted him to be plump and short but very expressive and exaggerated in his speaking. Anyway I ended up loving this character, I enjoy it very much when he causes his own bad luck owing to his big mouth XD.
8.- Do you think that geeks can’t find relationships?
No way, I know a lot of geeks with partners, even some of them are dating “non-geek” people. I think everyone has to be themselves; the mistake is looking for your love in the wrong place or acting different to try to attract the wrong person.
9.-How much time did you spend per page? What’s been your process for drawing it and communicating with the scriptwriter?
I spent around fifteen days per page (because I had my time divided amongst other projects) and the process was:
1- Read the script and solve doubts with the scriptwriter.
2- Sketch.
3- Digital inking.
4- Color.
5- Speech balloons and dialogues.
We always checked every step and changing things before continuing on.
10.- Which vignette are you proudest of? If there are spoilers please warn us.
I love the last vignette of the last page. This is because we could understand it even without dialogue, and also Jordi’s face is very very funny XD.
11.- What is your next project? What are you working now?
I’m going to continue working for Twist Comics, and I’m also contributing in a blog with my own gag comics.
12.- Which illustration are you proudest of?
An illustration I made for a module of the course I did in animation. It’s a landscape where I try to show a story using a sequence of images. I used a digital watercolor effect for first time, and although it may not be my best illustration it has a special meaning for me.
13.- Returning to the subject of hobbies, which comic are you reading now?
Actually, I guess I’m a heretic in this matter, because I’ve liked more animation than comics so I’m a bit out of date. I read some manga series, the last one I started to follow is Fairy Tale. Also this I’m reading again Astrix and Oblix, BlackSad and Jazz Maynard.
14.- If you knew tomorrow was going to be the start of the apocalypse… What would you do today?
I would go to eat all the stuff my diet doesn’t allow me to eat until I was sated.
15.- What words of greeting would you like to hear at heaven’s gates or in hell?
What are you doing here?! Go back home!
16.- What advice can you give us?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “If you are going to go out in a pair of heels, keep a pair of pumps in your purse!”
17.- If you could eliminate one thing on this planet, what would it be?
The virus… ALL OF THEM.
18.- What good things do you hope will happen for you in the coming months?
I hope to find a good job.

QUESTIONS FROM ANDRÉS R. TO FERNANDO VERNIERE

From a visual perspective which strengths and weaknesses do you find in the comic “There’s no accidental shooting”?

I think one of the best compliments I can say to Andres R.´s “There’s no accidental shooting” is that reads very fluently.

I love that being the first comic from Andrés, he got away with it on all shapes and angles in his pictures. He makes equally interesting an extreme close-up or a full shot.

At first, I was sort of against the main character having blue hair and I told him that Andrés a couple of times, but he was completely sure about that decision, then  I said to myself that I didn’t remember any lead character being freckly and blue haired, so at least we would havet a main character very recognizable.

And as time goes on, the more I see it the more I think Andrés was right on keeping him with that peculiar hair color.

The only bit I would have changed is that I´d had preferred a statue of justice “more classic-looking” with the scale and the blindfold so it would be more obvious.

What about the script? Will you change anything?

I have to say that I rewrite dialogs on the 90% of all my short comics when I see the final pages, but with “There’s no accidental shooting” I did not do it.

So many people have told me that with this subject matter I could have write a longer story but one of the things I like most is how short and concise turned out.

Maybe a weakness in my writing is how evil is the general but sadly there is people like that. And the world sometimes it is black and white.

INTERVIEW WEBCOMIC WEEK TWO

ANDRÉS R.

 

1. – How and when did you start reading comic books?

 

I can’t recall at what age, but I remember reading “El Jueves” magazines that my father used to buy and “Totem” magazines that my uncle kept on his shelf. I also remember some “Mort and Phil” volumes we had back home and seeing some “Tintin”books in the bookcase. I say seeing because I used to look at the pictures, not to read them. Anyway, I was never much of a reader. One of the few comic books that I used to follow is “SPAWN”. I was hooked on that one for a while.

 

2. – When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator?

 

I have never decided it. I was good at drawing (I guess), but I wanted to be a paleontologist. I ended up in arts because it seemed easier and funnier than science. Now I want to be a biologist.

 

3. – Tell us about your training process and your major influences.

 

I started copying the doodles my uncle drew when he was bored, later I copied (not traced) Dragon Ball drawings and it was then when I made my first original creations, for instance, combining Goku’s body with an ork’s head. Pure art. I also used to draw Arale turds and shoddy cocks on my classmates’ books. I spent a lot of time drawing on the English books changing the photos of the learning and listening sections of each lesson. We may say that it was then when started with the comic strips, since I added ballons coarse and vulgar phrases to the pictures. I used to flip book in almost every book, especially in Valencian. In my teens I used to copy images from video games, such as “Soul Calibur” or “Final Fantasy” and I drew my first hentai. My classmates used to say that I was good at drawing so when I finished secondary school, I started to draw monsters and I also started studying arts in highschool. I’ve never finished it, though I enjoyed every part of it. At that time I used to work for a local newspaper processing images on the computer. In my spare time I used to draw other worlds, monsters and animals, especially snails. At that time, thanks to art history, I got to know the works of DaVinci, Rembrandt, Goya, and other great masters of painting, and I was amazed by the quality of some pieces and the atmosphere they managed to create through the use of color. That’s something that I’ve tried to integrate to my own style. Then I studied an Associate Degree in Illustration which expanded my artistic and realistic vision of the world, and I began to really appreciate the art of other illustrators, of my classmates and everything that them or their ideas could contribute to mine

 

4. – What do you like most about your work as an illustrator? What is it that you like the least about it?

 

What I like the most is getting payed, and what I hate about it is working too much without getting paid. Besides that, the most rewarding thing is to start a new piece of work knowing where you have to add or remove colour. The worst thing is that the more you go on with that piece of work the more information you have, and it gets more and more difficult to make the right decisions when creating the light or shapes you want. I don’t want to get too philosophical about it.

 

5. – Why did you decide to join this webcomics project?

 

To keep on drawing, to experiment and to improve. It’s also a good excuse to thicken my portfolio  and to improve my artistic résumé.

 

6. – What appealed to you about the history you drew?

 

Nothing in particular… I don’t know… I find curious the ellipsis of the history and the timeless coincidences. Another advantage is that this story shows how certain important events can be manipulated and justified to create deep changes in society, regardless the life and freedom of individuals.

 

7. – Could you explain us a little bit your decisions when designing the main character of your story?

 

I’ve created a dark-haired clear-eyed character because it is more appealing than a clear-eyed blonde. Apart from that, it had to have some special features, so that our main character could be recognizable in each vignette. That’s why I drew him a scar on his left cheek and freckles, tips that the writer had suggested me.

 

8. – Why did you use blue for the main character’s hair? (I couldn’t help asking you that).

 

Maybe because of the manga reminiscence of my youth, and because blue is cool.

 

9. – How much time did you spend on average per page and what was your process when drawing and communicating with the writer?

 

I spent 5 days sketching, with intensive 10 hours sessions each day (more or less) helped by beer (or unhelped) and many cigarettes. Before scanning the pages in pencil, I accomplished the painting process using photoshop. It took me about 5 to 6 hours to paint each page. Overall, about 15 hours or so per page.

 

Note that the writer is an alien and I belong to another dimensional plane so, and despite our differences, we managed to have a pretty optimal communication.

 

10.- Which comic strip pleases you the most? Explain it and if there are any spoilers we will let our readers know about them.

 

I think the second strip on page two is one of the most spectacular. Although, in my opinion, it can always get better.

 

10b. – Which cause is worth fighting for?

 

Everything that is good for you, for everybody and for the people around us.

 

 11. – What are your next projects and what are you working on right now?

 

I run my own business. I design T-shirts with original decorations. I teach photoshop and drawing  at an affordable price and I also run a blinds painting and interior decorations for stores company. I’m also working on a new comic, a science fiction project called “First Hunt” written, again, by Fernando Verniere.

 

12. – What is the work / illustration you feel most proud of?

 

None of them, they all can be improved … although I am painting on computer a fantastic turtle which is turning out very nice.

 

13.-When you were in class, who did you learn more from, your teachers or your classmates?

 

I learnt from all of them. I was lucky, I had good teachers, (except for my English teacher in secondary school) and strange, as well as creative, classmates. I enjoyed and learnt a lot from them. In addition, even though some teachers did not teach me their subject very well, they taught me other aspects of the human condition. I love them all, (except for the English teacher, I don’t like her).

 

14.-Back on the likings and hobbies. Which comic book series you follow regularly?

 

I’ve bought the Walking Dead and Watchmen recently, but I haven’t read them yet…

 

15.-If you knew that tomorrow an apocalypse would start, what would you do today?

 

I would play the ocarina of “Zelda” to go back in time and avoid it.

 

16. – If somebody would receive you at heaven’s or hell’s gates, what would you like him to tell you

 

That I can leave whenever I want.

 

17. – What is the best advice you can give?

 

Say no, even if that means you won’t make a good impression.

 

18. – If you could erase one thing in the world what would it be?

 

Complicated questions and simple answers.

 

19. – What good things do you expect to happen in the next few months?

 

An alien invasion, running out of oil and free phone calls.

FERNANDO VERNIERE TALKS ABOUT “I WON´T SURRENDER”

1 – How did emerge the idea for the script “I won’t surrender”?

The germ of the idea came from an illustration of a cartoonist named Albert Ausias Bartorell, which shows a group of tiny bugs walking on a completely white space where the only reference ground where they are walking is the projection of their own shadows.

Seeing it, gave me a kind of existential “horror”, since these bugs moved through a seemingly infinite space where there is no spatial reference and probably they would never get anywhere because it was a whiteness without end.

From there, my imagination flew and made me think about writing a short story where I could play with space conventions, the limits of the comic page.

That approach changed somehow when Bruno Garcia Valencia decided to draw this story, we moved away a bit from making the whole world to be a “white” space and humanize the main character.

Now we certainly have a greater sense of progression and advancement in this trip that our lead character takes, as there are different kinds of spaces until she arrives to the “white space” .

Once there, to escape this existencial trap, the lead character can only have one actitude.

Which one?

Read the comic. 🙂

INTERVIEW WEEK ONE

BRUNO GARCIA VALENCIA

 

1 – How did you start reading comic books?

When I was in primary school, I remember they had the Asterix comics at the library. I guess that’s when my hobby started.

 

2 – When did you decide you wanted to be an illustrator?

Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an illustrator, but it was not until I turned 18 that I started to put all my effort into it.

 

3 – Tell us about your academic training and your major influences.

I am still educating myself, I always try to. I think it’s a process that will never end. I think it is essential to have new concerns and to try to improve every day. I have a lot of artistic influences, from impressionistic painters like Claude Monet or Giovanni Boldini, from current renowned artists like Miguelanxo Prado, from others not so well known and from Tom Waits’ music, among others.

 

4 – What do you like most about your work as an illustrator? What is it that you like the least about it?

What I like the most is to experiment with colors and to draw strangers without them knowing that I’m drawing them. What I least like is knowing that tomorrow I will dislike what I draw yesterday.

 

5 – Why did you decide to join this webcomics project?

With this project I had the chance to start again with the comic strips. Comic books are a good way to express myself artistically and in this webcomic there are a lot of great artists. I guess that’s what made me take the decision.

 

6 – What appealed to you about the story you drew?

What attracted me the most was the main character. She’s very brave, a fighter, but with a lot of insecurities.

 

7 – Could you explain us a little bit your decisions when designing the main character of your story?

She didn’t have to be a human being, but we should be able to sympathize with her. I managed that by giving her features and facial expressions similar to ours. Besides, I had to design a leader, striking but not overloaded. At the same time, she shouldn’t be conceited nor arrogant.

 

8 – How do you achieve those amazing colors in your illustrations? Have you got any philosophy or way of searching colors?

No, I just attempt to like my own colors. To me, the color is a very important element in an illustration and I try to indulge that part.

 

9 – How much time did you spend on average per page and how was your process when drawing?

I could tell you in days, maybe about 3 or 4 days per page, without counting the previous days, when I plan the comic strip.

 

10 – Which comic strip pleases you the most? Explain it and if there are any spoilers we will inform about them.

The page that I like the most is the fourth one, I don’t want to explain too much. I like the serenity it tries to transmit.

 

11 – When was the last time you went against the grain, like the main character in the story?

Sometimes you have to go against the grain when it comes to illustration, especially at the beginning. It seems like it’s not a job everybody is willing to accept.

 

12 – What are your next projects and what are you working on right now?

Right now I’m preparing an exhibition for the Enokojima  Art, Culture And Creative Center in Osaka.

 

13 – What is the work / illustration you feel most proud of?

I honestly do not know.

 

14 – Back on the likings and hobbies subject: which series or tomes do you regularly follow?

 

Right now I don’t follow any comic books, not much at least. I am rediscovering Bill Murray’s films, an actor who I love and lately I enjoy watching his movies.

 

15 – If you knew that tomorrow an apocalypse would start, what would you do today?

Sleep all day. No, seriously, I would break dance naked at the front door of a convent and at the last minute I would fight a Bengal tiger.

 

16 – If somebody would receive you at the heaven’s or hell’s gates, what would you like him to tell you?

I would like him to offer me a good Belgian beer.

 

17 – What is the best advice you can give?

The best advice you can give it yourself, by accepting things the way they are and not as you want them to be.

 

18 – If you could erase one thing in the world, what would that be?

Political corruption. Only by eradicating this problem, we would solve a lot more.

 

19 – What good things do you expect to happen in the next few months?

Winning the lottery.