Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interview. Show all posts

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thom Zahler – An Interview with a BCC mainstay

Zahler at BCC in 2014

by Mike Rhode

Thom Zahler has been one of my favorites working long-term in a  ‘cartoony’ style in comic books. His Love and Capes series in particular used a series of Justice League analogues to tell a long romance story. He’s a regular at Baltimore Comic Con (BCC) and recently answered our usual interview questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I write and draw comics. I letter and color most of my own work, too. Basically, I do it all. (I did have a colorist on my recent Time and Vine series, though.)

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

These days, I’m mostly digital, in Clip Studio Paint, coloring in Photoshop and lettering in Illustrator. I still draw by hand when I can, especially commissions at conventions. And when I work on the right project, like My Little Pony, I do work traditionally so I have art for the resale market.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born? 

Early Seventies.

 What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I took all the drawing classes I could in high school, as well as creative writing and working on the newspaper comic strip. After that, I went to and graduated from the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, New Jersey.

Who are your influences?

Curt Swan was the first artist I ever recognized. I wanted to be George Pérez like most people reading in the eighties. But Kurt Schaffenberger and Ty Templeton were big influences as I started finding my wheelhouse. And these days, it’s the late Darwyn Cooke.

You've got a very 'cartoony' style (which I love), but has it worked for or against you in getting jobs? Do you have a more "realistic" style?

I used my realistic style on my Raider book, which went nowhere. I think I can pull it off, but it’s like going uphill. And my realistic style isn’t as magnetic as my cartoon style. I’m a decent serviceable realistic artist but a good cartoon artist. So I’m going with my strengths.

The cartoony stuff has worked fine, but I’m also pitching it where I think it works. I’ve drawn Strawberry Shortcake covers, pitched on other cartoony stuff. I know I’m not the artist to draw monthly Superman books, so I’m not aiming for those.

The only difference it really makes is in the stories I choose to tell. I have a spy book I’d love to do, but I’m not the artist for it. But Warning Label, Love and Capes and even Time and Vine, I’m good for. I mentioned Darwyn Cooke before, and he’s who I follow. His stuff works on almost everything, but he also told very Darwyn Cooke stories.

Warning Label is partly about a woman board game designer - are you a gamer?

I play games, and wish I had the time and opportunity to play more, but I’m not hard core. Also, I don’t really play console games at all. It’s how I get things done.

 If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I would take some art history classes. I wish that I had the opportunity to learn more about classic artists. I might have tried moving out to LA to pursue more writing opportunities.

 What work are you best-known for?

It's a toss-up. Love and Capes is what most comic readers know me from, but my work on My Little Pony is by far the biggest title I’ve had the privilege to work on.

Which came first, the Capes webcomic or the comic book?

The LNC print comic always came first. The four-panel beat thing was done for two reasons. One, back then everyone thought half-pages were the secret to webcomics, so being able to have a format that embraced that meant I could repurpose as a web strip if I liked doing the book but couldn’t afford to publish print editions. And two, four-panel beats is a natural comedic metronome to a guy like me who learned so much of his comedy from Bloom County.
 
How did you get involved with My Little Pony?

I was trying to impress my girlfriend at the time. She was a fan, and IDW was already publishing Love and Capes. So I asked if I could do a cover, because I knew they’d do a few. Bobby, the editor, knew my work and asked if I wanted to pitch the book. Not being an idiot, I said “Absolutely” and went home and mainlined the show to research it.

 What work are you most proud of?

I'm still very proud of the last arc of Love and Capes. It’s heartfelt and really sticks the landing, and part of why I haven’t ever come back to that. But, I feel like every new project is stretching my artistic muscles in new ways. I’m very happy with Warning Label.

Your new book, Time and Vine, is currently being published by IDW. What's it about? How long is it planned to run? 

It’s about a magical time traveling winery, where when you go into the right tasting room and you drink the right bottle of wine from 1912, you go back to 1912 until you sober up. It’s a four issue miniseries, each issue double-sized so it’s like eight issues total, and the last issue just came out. It’s built to do more when I’m ready, and when I have time.

My copies of #2 and 3 from my comics store had the same cover - I assume there was a mix-up in production?

Yeah, pretty much. Mistakes were made, they won’t happen again. The alternate covers, the 1980’s cover on #2 and the 1860’s cover on #3 did print correctly. So only half the issues of #3 are misprinted.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I'd like to write more animation. I’d like to work on some mainstream superhero book at some point. But past that, I am very happy with my personal, creator-owned work.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I take a lot of walks get over story points. And I’ll try to draw something fun to clear out the cobwebs as well.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

I think that I’m in a good place, but it should never be comfortable. Things have changed so much just in my short time in the field. There’s no way that I could have done Love and Capes ten years earlier. Computer coloring made things possible that I wouldn’t have been able to afford. And now, webcomics are getting my stories known in ways that I never expected.

My feeling is that the game is always changing. The only constant is that I have to learn to adapt to it.

How was your BCC experience? How often have you attended it?

I’ve been going to BCC for over ten years. It’s one of my favorite shows. I just adore it, and I love the fans and the pros and everything about it. My favorite thing about the show is that it’s still a comic book show. They’re surgical about bringing in media guests, and keep the focus on comics.
 
What's your favorite thing about Baltimore? Least favorite?

As far as Baltimore itself, I do love the inner harbor. The humidity.

What monument or museum do you like?

The Cleveland Art Museum and the Jefferson Memorial.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

My favorite place here in town, Taco Local, just closed. Right now it’s a place called Brim. And when I’m in Baltimore, Miss Shirley’s.

Where is "here in town?"

I live just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, birthplace of Superman.

 Do you have a website or blog?

Warning Label webcomic
 My website is www.thomz.com. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram @thomzahler

updated 10/24/2017 with gaming question

Monday, October 16, 2017

Shannon Gallant talks about leaving G.I. Joe for… G.I. Joe



By Mike Rhode
 
Shannon “S.L.” Gallant spoke recently on a panel on graphic novels at George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival. I last interviewed him in 2010 so it was about time to check in again. After the panel (which will be transcribed here in the future), we sat down for a quick talk.

You have just come off of what is supposed to be the longest run of an artist on the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic book. How many issues did you draw?

I didn’t even count. I think the IDW guys said something like 70 or 75. I started on #161, which had a cover-date of November 2010, so that means I started before then timewise, and I just did my last issue three months ago, and that was issue #245. There were some fill-ins of various issues along the way.

You were mainly the penciler and didn’t ink yourself on the book?

Gallant inked by Earskine
The only thing I inked were covers. My first few covers were done by whoever the inker was on the book. Some were by Gary Erskine, and a couple were by Brian Shearer, but the last twenty or thirty or so that I did were inked by myself. That was the only inking that I did.

Larry Hama wrote the entire run that you worked on?

He did.

How did he give you the scripts? Was it thumbnails, or typescript? 

Larry works in the old Marvel style which is a springboard style – a synopsis of the page, rather than broken down on the page into panel-by-panel descriptions. He very rarely included any kind of dialogue, because he would script that later. It was basically just a synopsis of the page and he would say things like, “If I have more than one paragraph, consider the paragraph to be a panel,” but it wasn’t a hard rule. That’s generally how he worked.

So you’re leaving the main G.I. Joe title to do… another G.I. Joe title?
 
I am. It’s G.I.Joe versus the Six Million Dollar Man [jointly published by IDW and Dynamite]. It’s a period piece and I’m setting it in my head in 1981 so it’ll be between the end of the Six Million Dollar Man tv show and the beginning of the G.I. Joe cartoon. I’m modelling G.I. Joe more on the cartoon characters than on the comic book version. So the costumes are pretty much the same, but the characters backgrounds are slightly different.

Who’s writing it?

Ryan Ferrier. He’s done comics for a lot of companies, IDW and Dynamite included.

What kind of script is he giving you?

It’s more of a full script, panel-by-panel breakdowns with dialogue.

Who made the decision about when this was set it time?

It evolved out of everyone talking and deciding with Steve Austin being so set in the ‘70s because of the tv show and the fashions, and Dynamite has gone back from updating the character, to making it more like the classic character in most of their books. I wanted to do it [that way], and feel those books need to be period pieces. A lot of the G.I. Joe fans had issues when we started at IDW with the updating of characters and making everyone have cell phones, and computers, and laptops and iPads and so forth… so this is my way of doing a period piece. The research is one of the biggest hurdles for me on it.

Plus he’d be a Six Trillion Dollar Man now… You’ve said you do a lot of research. Since you’re setting this 35 years ago, are you doing a lot of research to see what buildings and cars looked like at the time?

I’m trying to. I trying to make sure that it at least feels like it’s set in 1981, as opposed to having people with iPods. You don’t want to make those kinds of mistakes. When I got the first script, there were references to an office building with computers on the tables, so I had a discussion with the editor, saying “Well, people didn’t have computers on their desk in 1981. There was a room you had to go to and use a computer.”

How many issues is it?

From what I understand it’s supposed to be four, depending on sales they may expand it.

You’ve also done work for American Mythology in Baltimore lately?

They do a lot of licensed properties. They do have some creator-owned stuff, but the work I’ve been doing for them is on their cartoon properties. They have the rights to Bullwinkle, Casper, Underdog… they started out with a license for Pink Panther and I did the Free Comic Book Day Pink Panther comic where he turns into Thor. Most of what I’ve done for them has been on their cartoon side, but they also do a Three Stooges comic and a Stargate comic.

Do you find it easy to switch styles between G.I. Joe and Pink Panther?

It’s something I’ve always had to do when I was working in advertising. I had to switch styles up a lot. That’s how I ended up as a staff illustrator which is pretty rare.  If they wanted a New Yorker-type comic style or something more realistic, or traditional advertising – that was something I was used to doing and I still enjoy. It keeps the batteries fresh.

Are you hoping to continue on the Six Million Dollar Man after this miniseries?

I enjoy the character. I wonder if it’s one of those things though. I read an interview with Adam Hughes once, about Star Trek, after he did the big Debt of Honor Star Trek graphic novel. He said, “No, I got that out of my system. I’m done with it.” So we’ll see if at the end of this if I’m over the Six Million Dollar Man.

Is there anything you would like to work on?

Dynamite has announced that they’re going to redo Swords of the Swashbucklers, and that’s a series I would love to get on. It was when I fell in love with Jackson “Butch” Guice’s artwork. I would love to do that because I love those characters. It was steampunky before steampunk was a thing. I was never into pirates until that but it’s got enough of a Star Wars feel to it. It’s a fun book.

Who’s writing that?

Marc Guggenheim, the producer of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow tv show.

Over the years at HeroesCon, you’ve become friendly with Butch?

Shadows drawn and inked by Gallant
He was introduced to me by our mutual friend Chris Sparks, who was friends with Butch for years and years. We email back and forth and are friendly acquaintances. I think he’s phenomenal. One of the things I really enjoy about his work – when I fell in love with it, back he was working on Swords of the Swashbucklers, and the work he’s doing now… if you look at his work then, and his work now, you wouldn’t guess it was the same person. Stylistically he has grown, but a lot of artists, when they hit a certain level, they plateau and they stay at that level and they don’t change. He’s still experimenting and trying different techniques. He’s gotten very obsessed with shadow work. To see his penciled pages and then to see what the final looks like… I still don’t know he makes that leap. I’ve asked him multiple times, “how do you approach your shadows, because what you’re penciling, and what I’m seeing in the final product, makes it almost seem like two different people did the book.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kata Kane's NBM double debut

by Mike Rhode

At  the Small Press Expo, Kata Kane had her own table as usual, but she was also signing books at NBM's table. They have published the first book in a new series Ana and the Cosmic Race by Amy Chu with art by Kata. We caught up to ask how her career was changing.. 

After our first interview, you published Altar Girl vol. 2. Did that wrap up the series, or do you have plans to continue it?

Altar Girl is ongoing, and you can read up to Book 4 online at my website altar-girl.com. I've also started releasing the series on webcomic sites like WEBTOON and Tapastic. I'm hoping to do a print version of Altar Girl Book 3 soon, but for now it's still going strong online! 

You've done the art for two new series coming out this fall from NBM's Papercutz imprint. How did that come about?


Papercutz reached out to me when they started the launch for their new Charmz romance book line. They saw that my art style and stories were all-ages/tween/YA and asked me to pitch. My first pitch was for GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever with Monica Gallagher [also of Baltimore]. Then they asked if I'd be interested in doing the art for Ana and the Cosmic Race, a story already in production with Amy Chu. I'm so glad I've gotten to work on both series! 

What kind of script do you get? Do you work directly with the writer at all?

I do work closely with the writers when it comes to collaborating and world-building, especially with the characters. As for the script, it varies from writer to writer the level of detail, but I do try to give suggestions if I see a spot where we could do something fun with the art, or if there's a chance to insert some great reactions from the characters. I'm lucky that I've gotten to work with wonderful writers who have given me a lot of freedom and great feedback too. I think pacing is one of my strong points, so in cases where I've been given either a lot or just a little to work with script-wise, I always aim to get a good flow going with the dialog and art.


Will there be more books in the two new series?

I'm currently working on Book 2 for both Ana and the Cosmic Race as well as GFFs! There's still much more to discover, so I think readers of Book 1 for both of these series will be eager to see what's in store.

My online/social media info: kata-kane.com | @kata_kane


Friday, September 22, 2017

An SPX Interview with UK's Avery Hill Publishing


by Mike Rhode

Tillie Walden was a guest at SPX this year for her autobiography Spinning out now from First Second. I was surprised to be told that she had already published three works with a British publisher and that Avery Hill Publishing was at the con. On their website, they have a very clever mission statement: "Avery Hill is a publishing company based in South London that helps aspiring creators reach their potential and is a home to the geniuses that the mainstream has yet to recognise. Our canon includes psychogeographical mappings, drunk 19th century scientists,time-travelling beagles, minimalist musings, kids running amok in dance tents, a giant cat called Nemo and much more." I went over and met owners Ricky Miller and David White, and they agreed to an email interview.

How long has Avery Hill been publishing?

We started self-publishing our own zines about six years ago. They were mainly filled with our own work and contributions by friends. Then we realised that everyone else we were publishing were far better than us and so we decided just to put out work by them. It kind of escalated from there, but some of the people from the early days, such as Tim Bird who does the Grey Area series for us, are still with us now.

Where are you based?

We’re based in London in the UK. We tend to get a bit provincial and narrow it down to South London as there’s a faux rivalry between north and south London, in the same way you get in a lot of cities. We both grew up around this area, we’ve know each other since we were eleven and Avery Hill is an actual place quite nearby that we used to go to when we were young. The Avery Hill logo is actually based on a photo of Ricky climbing over the fence into Avery Hill when we were 18.

How many artists do you publish? Just cartoonists?

Over the years we’ve published roughly 25 creators, some multiple times. We mainly do comics, but we’ve also put out a couple of books of illustrations, including Internal Wilderness by Claire Scully, which is a series of images of imagined landscapes and A Is For Amos by Ukranian illustrator Daria Hlazatova, which is an A to Z of illustrations of her favourite musicians. In the UK a lot of the comics creators we work with come form an illustration background rather than a comics/cartooning background, so it’s quite a fluid thing to move from comics to also illustrating things like children’s books and magazine editorial work.

What are your individual backgrounds?

We both grew up within about a mile of each other in the deep, dark, working class suburbs of South East London. We went to school together and are still very close friends with some other people from that time. We shared a common interest in music, mainly Britpop at the time and comics. After university we briefly formed a band, called The Do-Nothing Kings with some other friends and then when we realized we weren’t very good we started doing podcasts and music reviews. Dave then decided to put out a zine, which Ricky contributed a comic to called Metroland (which we still put out and that brings you up to date.

Favorite cartoonists, or influences, living or dead?

One of the first books that we both got into was Cerebus by Dave Sim. Whilst we find his politics and social attitudes problematic to say the least - Google him if you don’t know the story - the level of artistry in those books by him and his background artist, Gerhard, plus his self-publishing ethos were massively influential. We’d also both consider From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell to be one of the greatest works of art in any form. In recent times anything by Darwyn Cooke or the Morrison & Quietly partnership are essential. More modern creators from around our scene would be people like Jillian Tamaki, Jason, Eleanor Davis and Isabel Greenberg.

Was this your first American con?

Yes, this was our first con in the US. We’ve mainly only done shows in the UK, apart from going to the Toronto Comics Art Festival a couple of times and one in Denmark. We’d definitely like to do more of them and are seriously considering shows in Boston and New York next year.

Why SPX?

We met the Executive Director of SPX, Warren Bernard, at the Toronto Comics Art Festival last year when we were there with our creator Tillie Walden. Warren took a lot of interest in our work and said that he’d love for us to go to SPX this year and that he’d help us out with some of our expenses. We were blown away by the generosity of that and of course accepted. We’d tried to get in to SPX in the lottery prior to that and we also had a couple of Tillie’s books nominated in the Ignatz awards last year (which she won) so we were desperate to make it there. We’d heard such great things about SPX, it’s pretty famous in the UK.

What did you think of it?

We absolutely loved it. The quality of the exhibitors was incredibly high and there were lots of great talks and guests. The overall vibe was just lovely as well, such a great feeling of community and diversity. Little touches, like having free coffee in the morning really make a difference as well. When you do a lot of shows you definitely notice that kind of thing. Having all of the exhibitors in the same room is another great thing as often if people are in different rooms then it can inevitably lead to some feeling they are in an area with less footfall.

How were your sales?

Sales were great, it was busy all weekend. We sold nearly everything that we shipped over, which meant that we didn’t have too much to have to carry back! It definitely stands comparison with some of our best ever events in that regard.

How do you decide what or whom to publish?

Essentially we just publish books that we like. Which doesn’t really tell you very much but it’s how it is. When we started Avery Hill we had no greater aspiration than to end up with a shelf of books that wouldn’t exist had it not been for us. We run this company in our spare time, we both have day jobs, so we have to keep it interesting for us and that means basing what we want to publish more on our personal choice than it does on a commercial decision. One of us will find a creator and then we’ll both discuss whether or not to approach them. If we do then we ask the creator what they’d like to do and more often than not we agree to do whatever it is they’re most interested in doing. Our only real limitation is time, so that dictates how many projects we can take on, but beyond that it really is just a case of trying to find books and creators that we’re passionate about. Luckily, it also often pays off.

How did you become Tillie Walden's first publisher given that she's an American educated in Texas and Vermont?

We first discovered Tillie’s work on Twitter when she posted a couple of images that someone retweeted. We got in touch with her to see if she’d be interested in doing a book and got a reply back from her saying she was too busy with school as she was only 17. This stunned us as the level of her work was already very high and we’d assumed she was much older. We gave it another six months and then got back in touch with her when she had finished school and had enrolled in the Center For Cartoon Studies in Vermont. This time she agreed to put a pitch together for us, which turned out to be her first graphic novel, The End of Summer. We loved working together and so quickly moved on to do another two books with her, all before she turned 19! She’s a great friend of ours and often comes to shows with us. The UK has a long tradition of discovering great US creators before their own country does, so we refer to Tillie as being our Jimi Hendrix.

Does your company have an overall aesthetic?

People often say to us that although we have a very wide range of different kinds of books, they can still see an Avery Hill aesthetic unifying them into a cohesive line. If there is one then it’s probably the midpoint between both of our tastes, plus the strong emphasis that we both put on quality writing. But really, an Avery Hill book could be anything, as long as we both like it.

Did you get to spend any time in Washington?

Yes we got out here early in order to do some sightseeing. It’s such a lovely city! We did the usual touristy things of the Lincoln Memorial/Washington Monument and the National Gallery of Art, of which the Impressionist section was a big highlight! Then on Friday evening we went to see The Nationals vs The Dodgers, which was great fun. We definitely hope to come back some day soon!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An SPX Chat with French Cartoonist Anais Depommier


by Mike Rhode

Anais Depommier is a young woman illustrator who has just had Sartre, her first graphic novel (really a graphic biography) come out in English from NBM Publsihing. She attended the 2017 Small Press Expo and I got the opportunity to interview her there.

Her NBM biography is charmingly translated rather literally (and a little outdated as you'll see later in the interview): Anaïs Depommier was born in the late 1980s in a small village in the Southeast of France. Growing up a close friend of Mathilde Ramadier, they can't do enough sleepovers from one's house to the other. Inseparable at school, they spend their weekends building huts in the bush, watching the gendarmes go by, playing "Mouse Stampede" on a Macintosh Classic, and reading many comics. When it becomes time to prepare for the entrance exam to art school, they meet later in the evenings at the painter Jean-Michel Pétrissans' workshop in Valence.

Anaïs studied drawing for four years, then co-created the OneShot workshop where regular life drawing classes and other exhibitions are held. She now lives in Paris and works in comics, graphics and animation design. 


For those not familiar with the French philospher Sartre, NBM's blurb for the book reads: For some he was the philosopher of existentialism, for others the constant provocateur, the politically engaged author, the uncertain militant, the repenting bourgeois, the life companion of Simone de Beauvoir… From his first readings in the Luxembourg Garden to his refusal of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Jean-Paul Sartre was all of this at the same time.

Mike Rhode: So SPX is your first American show... is it a little overwhelming?

Anais Depommier: Absolutely.

MR: And Sartre is your first book in English?

AD: Yes, and also my first graphic novel. And also for the writer Mathilde Ramadier, actually. It was our first book.

MR: Did you propose the book together to the publisher?

AD: We've known each other for a long time, so we created the project together and then asked some editors [if they would be interested in it].

MR: Biographical comics are fairy popular in France?

AD: Yes, that is true.

MR: You didn't serialize this in a newspaper first; this is an original graphic novel.

AD: Absolutely, we started everything through a contract with our French editor. Dargaud is our publisher; it's one of the main and oldest ones in France.

MR: Did you have the book already put together, or was it just a proposal when you approached them?

AD: It was just a proposal. Works like this in France are usually [done this way now].

MR: So they gave you an advance?

AD: Absolutely.

MR: Moving on from the business side to the subject, so why did you pick Sartre?

AD: At the beginning, it was the writer's idea. She got her masters degree in philosophy, writing about Sartre, and she's passionate about comics (like I am). She thought it would be a good idea to depict him in comics, so she asked the artist that she knew - me - and I totally agreed with her. We started like this.

MR: Did she give you a script that you then broke down?

AD: Absolutely. In the beginning, she explained to me in conversation what she wanted to say about him, and then she wrote all the script. I made my own layout. She didn't really criticize the scenes - I decided the layout myself.

MR: Right, so she didn't give you thumbnails or sketches?

AD: That's true.

MR: This is a fairly substantial book... how long did it take you?

AD: Oh, a little time. Two and a half years, more or less. 135 drawn pages, and [an appendix] at the end to explain who is who in the book, for 160 pages in total.

MR: Did you have a hard time illustrating any action in a philosopher's life? I saw in the early pages that he was a rough-and-tumble school boy.

AD: Absolutely. It was kind of fun actually to draw that part. [laughs] It was interesting to show this man not just as an intellectual philosopher, a serious guy, because he had a lot of humor. I liked the pages where there was more action, and all his travels, all the trips he made. It was interesting to read the documentation and get the atmosphere.

MR: Did you work from photo references?

AD: A lot. And also from videos. We still have some interview videos of him. He died in 1980. In his last fifteen years, he was not that active outside his house. He was really sick.

MR: Who is the audience for this in France? Is this an all-ages book in France?
AD: Yes, and that's interesting. In festivals, we meet a lot of professors who don't really read comics, but they are curious about it, so that's great for us. Also, the opposite - comics lovers who know Sartre by name but don't know his books and they buy our book because they are curious.

MR: Were you influenced by any of the other biographies that came out? Anne Simon was here last year [at the Alliance Francais] to talk about her books that had been published in English.

AD: Yes, Einstein and Freud... I met her because we have the same French publisher. I think her first book, Freud, was published during the time we were doing the first pages of our book. So she's not really an influence because she has a totally different point of view. I really like her work - it's totally another thing, another approach.

MR: So what's next?

AD: Right now, I'm just starting to work on another story. It's still really, really beginning. It's fiction, and kind of dark.

MR: Your own characters?

AD: Yes. I will work with another writer, an Italian one, and we'll see how it goes.

MR: Is this your first time in America?

AD: Yes it is, and it's really exciting.

MR: Where are you going next?

AD: Before I was in Baltimore at MICA and I met some students, and it was really interesting. Tomorrow I will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and then next week I will be in Miami in an art school and then a book store.* The counrty is really different already even between Bethesda and Baltimore so I cannot imagine New York and Miami.


MR: I'm sorry you don't have the time to see Washington while you're here since it was influenced by Paris. Any thoughts about the Small Press Expo? Have you been able to walk around?

AD: Just a little bit this morning, and I will go again now. It seems to have really cool work; so many different comics and illustratioins. It's full of variety and I love it. It's a little underground and I really like that.

SPX floor by Bruce Guthrie
MR: SPX isn't a normal American superhero convention. In France, do you usually attend Angouleme or other festivals?

AD: I've been there twice, but always just to visit. It's a huge festival, and editors send their author with a new book, but Sartre was published in March, and the festival is in January, so it didn't match. Still, it's a crazy festival and a really interesting place to go.

MR: Have you done other French shows then?

AD: Yes, in France - a lot. In Paris, a lot, in Lyon, a lot and so many in little cities.

MR: Do you see a difference about a show in France and one in America?

AD: Here in America everything is bigger. Also the buildings too. It's impressive. I can find the same family atmosphere, a relaxed and fun atmosphere is a common point, for sure.

MR: I should ask you about your background before we end...

AD: What I did before my book? I was in university, in École Émile Cohl, a traditional school with an academic program, and I studied comics and illustration there. After that, I created a studio with friends, and did exhibitions and drawing classes, still in Lyon. Then I went to Paris and I started this book. I've made a lot of little works for newspapers, and been a graphic designer for lawyers,. This book took me so much time. I'm also doing work in Lyon Capitale, a French newspaper that has several pages a month about the history of the city. It's not really serious. There's always a historical background, but the story can be fictional. I'm still working for newspapers as a graphic designer, and I'm starting a new book, but I've also moved to Rome. I don't live in France anymore.

MR: Why Rome?

AD: It's a personal choice, not a business choice. It's a gorgeous city and I really love the Italian south.
The drawing she did in my book


*If you're in Florida tomorrow:
 Anais Depommier Book Signing
Books & Books / September 20 at 8PM
265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables, FL
http://booksandbooks.com/event/anais-depommier/