Actually you're (for me) one of the surrealism comic authors, but with "Frida, parrot" you've done a very very surrealism exercise! Don't you think?
No, I'm not sure if I agree. There are some surreal elements in the stories, but in my opinion no actual surreal stories. Maybe the one with Frida Kahlo and her parrot is the one that comes closest.
On this occasion some of the character are very famous people, why have you decided to introduce them in these stories?
It's not something completely new. I did an album about Hemingway before, and also short strips with Darth Vador, Elvis and other characters. After Lost Cat, my previous book, I wanted to tell some lighter stories this time, and some of them are parodies or homages to famous films or people, like Robert Mitchum and Chet Baker.
Magritte, Frida Khalo, Nostradamus and Brigitte Bardot... why these characters? Are they special for you?
I'm a big fan of Magritte, and I had one story where his paintings could fit. Kahlo I used mainly because I could draw her as an animal character, yet you can see who it is. The story is not really about her, she's rather a killer for hire. So it's mostly the iconic side of her I use. The same with Nostradamus, that strange hat he wore - I could draw him as an animal character. I'm not a fan of Bardot. It's just her last name, how it's similar to Godot. She doesn't appear as a character in the story.
Khalo and Lorena Velázquez. Both are very iconic women, Could you tell me, what's your relationship with them?
I like Frida Kahlo's paintings, and she was a facinating person, but as said, it's not really her in the story. I watched one of the Mexican Santo film with Lorena Velázquez on youtube, and it's hard not to be captured by her looks. I wanted to make my own Santo story and have her be one of the charcters. And then I used her name as the title of the story.
Why headline the book with the name of Frida?
I first came up with the English title: "If You Steal". But it didn't work that well in French, so I decided to rather use "Frida Kahlo's Parrot". As a title it has both some poetry and mystery, I feel.
With Mjau-mjau you began to create stories starring anthropomorphic animals; an idea that nowadays has become one of your trademark features. When did you consider that they were the perfects draws to tell your stories?
Pretty early. I did the stories with the bird character collected in Shhh!, and those stories are sort of fables. They wouldn't work drawn in a realistic style. The animal characters are more universal. Everybody can relate to them.