Monday, February 29, 2016

Interview 5

Also for Spain, not sure which publication (I've tried several times to enlarge the font, but with no luck. Sorry!):

1.- First of all, congratulations for your work and thank you for so many good, wonderful times. Lost Cat is your longest story ever. Was it harder than before? Did you make one script or did you improvise as usual? Did you feel more comfortable working with four-cartoon pages?
No, it wasn't really harder than before, even though I find making longer stories a challenge. It's still a fairly short graphic novel. Counting the panels, I don't think it's longer than a Tintin album. Yes, the story is improvised, as I always do. I worked in sequences, some from the beginning, other from the end, and then had to put all the pages in a correct order when finished. One problem with that, is that it's difficult to improvise a plot, especilally if you have to give different clues throughout the book. So the plot isn't really that important, and some readers might be disappointed that I don't have all the answers at the end. Yes, I like the four panel grid, the visual style it has.

2.- Lost Cat is your first work after your collaboration with FabienVehlmann in Isle of 100,000 graves, if I’m not wrong. How was backing to work only by yourself? Did this previous oeuvre √† quatre mains (colorful and even humoristic) change your way of writing or drawing? Is possible to find any new elements now in Lost Cat?
I believe I did Werewolves of Montpellier and Athos in America after Isle of 100 000 Graves. There wasn't any problem going back to doing a book all by myself. I enjoyed doing the album with Fabien and it was fun drawing pirates, but I also realized the most fun of doing comics for me is not doing the drawings, it's telling the story, creating the characters and writing the dialogues. The drawing is actually the boring part! I don't know if my storytelling has changed after the piratebook. I don't believe so. But I don't analyze my books after they're done. It's up to others to do that.

3.- Which were your influences in Lost Cat (movies, crime novels)? Are you interested in comic noir panorama? Is Dan Delon (and Athos, The Last Musketeer or many other main characters yours) a dazed hero in a tragic world, like anyone of us? Why do you think it’s so easy to connect with your stories? Which are Jason’s fears?
I was mostly influenced by Raymond Chandler's books, the Philip Marlowe novels, and also The Big Sleep movie version with Humprey Bogart. The Maltese Falcon as well. I like the old pulp writers like Chandler, David Goodis and Charles Willeford and the film noirs from the 40s.  Yes, I suppose I have a pessimistic view of the world, but at the same time some room for hope. I don't know why it's easy to connect to the stories. I hope they are well told and well drawn. I try to capture the reader's interest. Herg√© was very good at that. Three pages into a Tintin album and you were hooked. My fears? The usual ones, I guess. As an cartoonist, I guess blindness would be pretty bad. Or losing your drawing hand.

4.- Searching for a twin soul: is love the main shelter is this melancholic, absurd, permanently in crisis world?
I guess it could be. It's definitely a theme in the book: the search for a soul mate, and what do you do if you find it and then lose it?

5.- Crossover as one of your strong points: sci-fi, historic, terror… How challenging is it? Do you follow any method for doing that?
No method, really. I like reading books and watching movies. I like genres. I like playing around in those worlds. There are certain rules, but you also have a lot of freedom to talk about whatever interests you. And I like mixing things up, to be able to see things from hopefully a new angle. It's fun. To tell a strictly socialrealistic story , about drugs or unemployment or something, I find less interesting.

6.- How is Jason’s life in Montpellier? Have you ever been in Spain? Do you know any Spanish comic author?
It's a very simple life. I draw most of the time, or I go out to find a bench in a park to read a book or meet someone for playing a game of chess. The weather is better here than it is in Norway. Yes, I've been to Barcelona several times. It's a city I like a lot. I wish I could speak the language. I know the work of some of the Spanish cartoonists at Astiberri, like David Rubin. I like the work of Jordi Bernet.

7.- How will be your next comic book? What are you working on at the moment?
It will probably be another collection of short stories, like Athos in America. I have different short stories I'm working on right now. I hope to be finished by the end of the year for a publication in the summer of 2015.

8.- Just curious: Charlotte (anthropomorphic dog) having Kitty (nonanthropomorphic cat) as a pet? Paradox, a joke or just a resource to give the appearance of normali?
No, it's not meant to be a joke or a paradox. To me the characters are people, not animals. People – with animal heads, that's all. I had the idea for the opening of the book, with the detective that finds a cat and brings it back to the owner. I never thought about changing that opening, just because the characters also appears to be cats or dogs. To me, they're not.  

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