The artist Antoine Dode has kindly popped in to Curiosity of a Social Misfit’s slice of the Internet to talk to Patrick Challis about his career and his work on the new ‘The Crow: Curare’ comic book written by the legendary James O’Barr.
PC: Firstly, thank you for popping in to talk to us here at Curiosity of a Social Misfit.For some of our readers that may not be familiar with your work, how would you describe your rather unique art style?
AD: I would say this is a mix between different influences. I love Hayao Myazaki , Taiyo Matsumoto, Hugo Pratt, Nirvana, Joy division...
PC: You recently worked on the art for the new series by the renowned writer James O’Barr. How did the collaboration come about?
AD: Well, I've always been a huge fan of James O'Barr's work, 'The Crow' movie came out in France before the comic book was released though . But since then I was obsessed with that character. And there is something strange here because my first book was influenced by 'The Crow', the story was about a sad little girl who befriended a huge black crow and James didn't know about my first book when he asked me to work on 'The Crow: Curare' story.
At first I was kind of worried that I might have to redraw the same kind of characters I was drew 10 years ago for my graphic novel, but the James's script was so great and different from what I was used to and at yet at the same time it was kind of familiar . It became an amazing experience. And on top of that James is a very very nice guy.
PC: Were you at all intimidated to work with someone with such a big reputation?
AD: Of course! I could not believe it. I saw James O'Barr once in real life it was at the tcaff ( a comic convention in Toronto) few years ago . I saw him but I didn't dare go and talk to him, he was not even busy . But I was too shy!
And can you believe I haven't see him in real life since then? We are just chatting online, using the keyboards to talk, we are planning to meet next time he comes to a European convention.
PC: Working on a ‘Crow’ series must have been difficult thanks to the passion that the fans have for the title. How do you think they have received your take on the mythos?
AD: I'm not sure, I haven't met the fans yet but James told me they loved it though . I tried my best, I was really into the story and I was really sad when I had to draw the last two pages . I think I cried a little haha! For real!
PC: You are very passionate about your work. What made you want to become an artist?
AD: I love stories, I love comic books, I love to draw comic books, since forever!! I'm just stubborn and I didn't quit.
PC: With such a unique art style, how do you choose the projects that would be best to show that to it’s full extent?
AD: Working on 'The Crow: Curare' was my first time drawing the script of someone else. As you know I'm a huge fan of the crow . But what I try to do is to put my art at the service of the story. I try to tell the story the best way I can.
PC: Who or what would you say has been the biggest influence on your career?
AD: My mom, she's been so supportive.
PC: If you could work with any in the comic world, who would you choose and why?
AD: I would turn crazy if I could write a story for Richard Corben, he is not only a crazy amazing artist he is one of my favorite storytellers, perhaps my favorite . And the first writer that came in mind is Neil Gaiman . I 'm crazy about his stories. But actually, I can't wait to work with James O'Barr again.
PC: Do you have any advice to some of the readers out there that may want to become involved in the comic book world?
AD: Well it's a simple advice : do comics again and again and show them.
PC: Where can your fans see your work next?
AD: I'm working on a graphic novel, a big book of 340 pages, called “Pierrot Lunaire “ it will be out next year . Also with James, we are planning to work again very soon, something that won't be 'The Crow'.