Monday, February 11, 2008

He speaks!

As most of you may already have noticed, Fábio does most of the talking – writing – around here. Not that he's the bright one or he's the one who knows how to speak in english, but the fact is that he's been trying harder to enchant the american public with our ideas than I have.

I think I've been too busy drawing comics – monthly comics for that matter – that I didn't feel the need to write so often. Also, for being so busy drawing, I didn't have lots to say other than what I was putting on paper, which was, on most cases, a secret until it went to press. So as much as I wanted to talk about what I was working on, I felt I could not.

But now that last year is gone and most of The Umbrella Academy has been published already, I can talk a little about some of my ideas and my worries and what I care about when it comes to comicbooks.

I think it's fair to start with Umbrella, since it has called so much attention and it took so much of my time last year (and, yes, it will take some of my time this year also). I gave up super-hero comics for a while now because I thought it was all too worn off and it was just a part of the big machine of selling comics, toys, T-shirts and making movies and it was not about the stories anymore. So from the first script of Umbrella when the kids are fighting the Eiffel Tower and "flying towards camera" and stuff like that, I had cold feet and feared to have had made the wrong choice about taking on The Umbrella Academy. When I got to issue #3 I was very worried, because it's almost all action. The parts I enjoyed the most were when Vanya appeared, because they were the pages with more emotion and depth.

Umbrella Academy #1 page 1Umbrella Academy #1 page 16

But you know what? Since I was one of the skeptics of this series (maybe the most skeptical of all), I'm now also one of its biggest admirers, because I have to give it to Gerard that he told a great story, created some instant-liking characters and gave this worn-off genre a very fresh tale.

I'm kinda sad to confess this, but i've made the best pages of my life for The Umbrella Academy. It's just sad because I'm a storyteller and I like – and I WANT – to tell stories of my own and I wish I was drawing my own stories right now, or at least more of that and not only stories someone else has written, even if it's a good story. The fact that I liked the Umbrella story helped me a big deal when coming up with the pages, because as the story was taking shape in front of me, first on the layouts and then on the actual pages, I instantly knew I was doing something good, worth reading, something that was not like all other super-hero comics on the stands. And that's the main reason I want to work on new comics, just to make something different from everything else.

Umbrella Academy #1 page 21Umbrella Academy #2- page 15

But you know, we have lots of new stuff cooking and in 2008 I'll be able to fulfill my need to tell stories, as well as drawing and working with other authors. Too bad we can't talk about any of these things right now. But that's the fun of it, right?

flying aorund Umbrella #4 - 2Umbrella 5 - page 19

Changing the subject a little, or entirely, I'd like to say why I don't really write as much here as, let's say, on our blog in portuguese we keep for our readers in Brazil. Yes, as you may know, we are from Brazil and we've been making comics in Brazil a little longer than in the U.S. We have almost 10 books published and lots of independent work, some awards and some recognition, but the market in Brazil is much different from the american one, much smaller, so I feel the need to speak to the audience at large and tell them why comics are so great, why we must be taken seriously and what is possible with comicbooks. It's a never ending struggle to pass it along to the newcomers, readers and the majority who doesn't even read comics thinking it's silly things just for kids.

São Paulo

Four years ago, we have created this blog (in english) in order to do the same thing with our american readers (or anyone in the world who could read in english actually), because no one knew us then. But we have been working so much, specially on monthly series, that this audience can see our work on a regular basis and get acquaintanced with it a lot easier than our brazilian audience, who gets a new book year year or so. Books that are kinda hard to find, also, as in the U.S. the public already know where to get his favorite comic every month.

So I really whish i could have a mix of the two markets, produce as much as I do for the U.S., with big print runs, and still be able to write in portuguese, the most beautiful language in the world. Well, that's what I have to aim for and keep reaching, right?

All my friends say I work too much, I don't have time to go out. They ask me if I wanna change the world. Well, I do. And I believe it can be done with comicbooks and that's what I'm gonna keep doing: telling stories that can change the world of someone who's lucky enough to read it.



Fabian Göranson said...

What an interesting post. Nice to get an insight into the artistic process of an artist's mind as opposed to the techniques.

Me and my peers also strive to do the same thing in Sweden as you are in Brazil, to spread the medium and show people how great and versatile it can be. And the best way to do that, i guess, is to make great versatile comics.

Good luck! / Jan

mmmmmike said...

amen to that last paragraph, Ba! keep it up!!

rory said...

Great post with both art and words. I always wondered if Risso was an influence. You all do the black and white layouts so well.

j_ay said...

Thanks to sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to seeing more of your work, and do let us know (on the English blog) when *anything* comes out in Brazil, we may not be able to read it, but we can look at the pretty pictures.

Joe Willy said...

Awesome post. Love your work and appreciate the sacrifice. Here's hoping you get big enough to pick your projects and make enough money to just do the stories you want to tell!

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