Being Brazilian, you began your career in the Brazil comics scene. Can you tell us a little of what that market is like and how it differs from the US?
Well, first off thanks for the opportunity, guys! Being a SUPER-HERO COMIC BOOK artist here in Brazil, and living solely of that, is practically impossible. Publishers here don’t have interest in having monthly super-heroes books totally made in Brazil on the stands. It’s much cheaper to buy the rights to publish US Comics here. That said, you have to know every little bit of the process (writing, drawing, inking, coloring and lettering) to be able to work with editorial illustration, advertising, etc, etc, and do super-heroes comics as a hobby. So that was how I grew up during the 70s, and remained the same til… lets say… 5-6 years ago. From that point on, many super-talented Brazilian artists started to publish their own creations in form of GRAPHIC NOVELS, and having great sucess with it – to name a few, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Rafael Grampá, Rafael Albuquerque, and many others. So nowadays, what we have is a huge number of reprinted US material (DC, Marvel, Vertigo, Image, Dark Horse, etc), tons of kids books, a huge amount of reprinted Manga and this newer and sucessful niche, the Brazilian Original Graphic Novels. And I’m not mentioning the fanzines – we have HUNDREDS of fanzines!
Brightest Day was a bi-weekly book. As an artist, what’s it like having such a limited time space to produce such high quality work?
It was a real wild , WILD ride! BUT super fun, nonetheless! Since Ivan(Reis) and I already knew from the start that the Schedule was super tight, we decided to GO with it, and have fun! Not to mention that it pushed us to our limits, which is good to find out what you can and what you cannot do as an artist with a limited amount of time. Now the “quality” part – you’re saying that, lol – like I said, we just tried to have fun, and experiment with different forms of solutions for Geoff (Johns) and Peter Tomasi’s scripts. We tried lots of different techniques, textures, creative solutions, use of different art materials – you name it! By the end of the day it was an experience that I’ll cherish forever.
You’re teaming up with Ivan Reis currently with the new Aquaman series. I know you’ve inked his work prior to this (Blackest Night, etc) so what’s that collaborative process like?
Ok, long story short – our art styles click and work together. We have very similar art influences, and we’ve been friends for almost 20 years. The proccess is really easy and flows naturally. Blackest Night was the training ground for me. It was pretty much the first time I inked somebody other than myself, and everybody liked the results, so I stuck around for Brightest Day, people liked it too, oh I stayed for Aquaman! Honestly is a pleasure and honor to be inking Ivan. He’s an insanelly talented artist and a great friend.
Has there been much new character design on your part for this? I know that you did a large amount of that for Blackest Night.
Not this time around – I left the heavy-lifting for Ivan – although I suggested some ideas and roughs.
Have you had to change your approach at all for Aquaman or found any new difficulties?
The new series is so good that the transition is almost seemless between the Aquaman story on Brightest Day to this (the new series). One of the concerns that all of us had in the first place was to make an accesssable story to old and new readers alike. I think we pulled that off… ehr… right? Now, visually, the only thing we always try to keep in mind is that the characters should look younger, than they looked before.
Aquaman’s had an up and down publication history. Is there added pressure in that sense to produce a successful book?
OF COURSE, there’s always pressure! Specially dealing with such an amazing and underrated character. BUT, I think we turned all this into FUN! Which seems the “magic-word” for all of us. Fans should stay tuned, because we have a LOT more in store for Aquaman! The mystery and adventure is just beginning!
Do you prefer working on covers and do you treat it any differently from inking or doing panels?
I like both – each one has its particular challenges though. On covers you should always add more and aim to have an iconic image that sells the book without even having to flip through the pages. On interiors you should also add and enhance what the artist did, but of course, you don’t have the amount of space to work with, like you have in a cover. In each case, I think the inker should always aim for quality, attention to detail, and most importantly, have fun with what you have… damn! Fun seems to be the Word of the hour, right???
Personally, it’s more of a group thing! After all, many of us involved on the New 52s are friends… well, at least that’s how I see it!
You were central in the process of making Aquaman relevant again. Is there any other character you’d personally like to give the same treatment to? (doesn’t have to be DC)
Great question! I’d LOVE to have the chance to work on Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Wolverine & Elektra! These are my picks..! So I guess that’s it, right?
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