I'll be giving a masterclass at New York's School of Visual Arts tomorrow at 6h30 PM. My plan is to give an overview of my process for creating a graphic novel visually, from thumbnails to the finished pages and covers. I'll be happy to take questions and concentrate on whatever aspect appeals more to the students.
Next up is a talk with the talented Ron Wimberly at Comlumbia University on April the 15th.
A lot of work on my plate right now as I'm developing a big new thing - more news on the way!
Here comes the sequel to 2010's "Le troisième testament : Julius" with interior art by new artist Thimothée Montaigne. This book takes our characters on a quest for the fabled "Third Testament"- a journey that will put more than their faith to the test, as the roman grasp on Palestine tightens and the end times seem closer than ever...
I'm very glad to report that the Siegfried III cover has received the Spectrum Gold Award in comics, presented by the great Mike Mignola at the Spectrum Live event. (thank you Mathieu for teaching me this technique, thank you Zelda for the photo!)
I just got news that the cover to Siegfried III has been nominated for the Spectrum awards. The Spectrum books are an annual compendium of the year's fantastic art in every field from book covers to advertisement to concept design. Each year the jury picks two favorites in a category for Gold and Silver awards. The Siegfried III cover is one of five nominees for Comics. I've been following the Spectrum books for years and they include a lot of my favorite artists, so this is a special honor. My painting Jörmungand was included in Spectrum 16, the Julius special cover in Spectrum 18. Spectrum 19 comes out this fall.
Nous avons toujours des virtuoses du dessin. Nous avons des toujours des auteurs infiniment libres.
Nous n’avons plus Mœbius.
J’ai fini par réaliser pourquoi sa perte m’a tant affecté, moi qui le connaissais à peine. Comme beaucoup, en tant qu’artiste, je voulais la vie de Mœbius. Il n’était pas mon dieu, pas mon père spirituel, encore moins mon démon. Il était ce que j’aspirais à devenir, mon Achille, mon héros.
Pas le seul, c’est vrai. Mais celui auquel je me référais le plus souvent. Celui dont le nom revenait à la fin des débats avec mes amis dessinateurs, quand telle ou telle difficulté du métier semblait infranchissable – « Giraud, lui, y arrive » - et tout le monde reprenait espoir.
Pourrons-nous conjuguer maîtrise du dessin et liberté graphique et narrative ?
« Giraud, lui, y arrive.»
Peut-on pratiquer plusieurs styles avec autant de bonheur ?
« Giraud, lui, y arrive.»
Pouvons-nous, sans vendre son âme, participer au grand cinéma de notre temps ?
« Giraud, lui, y arrive.»
Pourrons-nous sans cesse nous renouveler, et renouveler notre intérêt pour ce métier après des décennies passées à la table à dessin ?
« Giraud, lui, y arrive.»
Giraud y est arrivé. Il est notre espoir, notre lumière.
Et ce que des décennies de dramaturgie formatée par des crétins au cinéma et à la télévision oublient de nous dire, c’est que, comme dans les tragédies et les poèmes épiques, les héros meurent à la fin.
The turn of the new year has been rather busy with Siegfried signings, Angoulême, and completing work on my next book : "Le Troisième testament : JVLIVS II". This one is drawn by Thimotée Montaigne, who's doing a fantastic job on the characters and the many environements of this sequel to 2010's Robin Recht-drawn JVLIVS. More on this very soon, in the meantime here are a few of my color keys as an apetizer.
In the last few weeks I've been overseeing the printing process on Siegfried, thanks to the great Joëlle Remy from Dargaud.
Printing is not an exact science, and more often than not choices have to be made on location. Since 8 to 16 pages are printed on a sigle sheet of paper, they cannot all be a perfect match. It's up to the artist to give priorities to certain parts of the book and so the only choice if you want the book to reflect you vision... is to be there.
I'm very pleased with the work that's been done on book III at PPO, they are patient and committed to doing a top-notch job. A lot of pages came out better than expected, thanks to Bernard and all the "drivers".
Here are a few shots taken on location...
The drawing part of Siegfried book III is almost finished, and now I'm finally able to flesh it out in color. It's a very satisfying time, when months of work finaly come to life in heir final form. Shown here are two pages from the opening of the book, evoking the birth of the world and Odin's initiation. These pages actually work as "bookends" to the whole sequence.
From a technical standpoint, this is watercolor on Sennelier hot pressed watercolor paper - where the black and white drawing has been printed by my friendly publisher. A transparent film (also printed in black) comes on top of the color to keep the line clear. That's Old School for you!
I find it's still the best way to keep both the richness of watercolor and the "easy reading" quality of line work.
So I left New York to move back in Paris, via the Angoulême comic book festival. Time for me to take a break in a secluded island off the coast of Brittany, where I am working on Siegfried book 3 : Twilight Of The Gods, in the midst of storms, mist and glorious sunsets. Just the right mood to end the Siegfried saga. Book 3 is epic almost from begining to end, it's a chalenge and I'm taking all the time -and space - I need to try and make the breaking of Odin's spear shatter the sky.
SOUNDTRACK TO THE BREAKING OF SHIELDS AND SHATTERING OF SWORDS
Wagner kindly helps setting up the mood, of course, but if you wand sound as well as the picture above, the moors on the photo usually wake up to this. If you are a soundtrack or fantasy enthousiast, it will probably blow your mind. If you don't know the piece, it is the absolute escence of Sword and Sorcery. If you already know it, this re-recording is -for the most part- absolutely glorious! (thank you for the heads up, Germanico)
The Castle of Mist in the heart of Nibelheim - the underground realm of the Nibelungs. Stalactites, crystals, giant fungi... Jules Verne's Journey To The Center Of The Earth" is never far from my mind.
Original size : 55x42 cm
In order to keep up with 2012's End of the World, I'm happy to announce The Twilight Of The Gods, last book in the Siegfried trilogy. It will come out in 2011, so you can read it in light of a dying sun, before the stars fall down and a wolf eats the moon. Happy New Year to all !
Color keys for Nibelheim, City of Mists, home of the Nibelungs in the opening scenes of Siegfried Book III — and a 3-hour oil-painted portrait sketch I made in Rick Piloco's great class at the Grand Central Academy.
A view from the studio this afternoon, with a youg Odin on the page! I have resumed work on Siegfried III in NYC. The book comes out next year : 80 pages of drawing bliss, I love working on these characters! I won't show a lot of the actual pages no spoil the surprise, but a few previews, sketches and work in progress should turn up anyway. Stay tuned!
After our initial tour together, Robin Recht will be signing in bookstore all over France and Belgium. More about the book on Glénat's official Troisième testament blog !
Thanks to all those who have shown their appreciation and support before and after the release, especialy the good people at Glénat and the retailers we've visited so far.
To all who take the time to write, thank you for your interest!
Here is a FAQ list to cover the most common subjects.
-Where can I get your books in English ?
Siegfried should be published in English when book 3 comes out.
Le troisième testament is available in 15 languages, sadly English is currently not one of them. Go figure!
-When is Siegfried 3 coming out ?
Some time next year. The book is 80 pages long and I hope it will be as epic in the reading as it is in the making! It is called Twilight Of The Gods and it is, of course, the end of the story.
-When is the Siegfried movie coming out ?
The film has been developed but actual production will not start before I finish the graphic novel series – hopefully next year, then.
-Do you do commission drawings ?
Not for the moment, I want to spend as much time as I can telling my stories.
-Can you sign my book if I send it to you ?
No, but I’d be glad to draw a little something for you during a signing session.
Do you do signing sessions?
Yes, when a book comes out. My publishers handle the dates.
-Pourquoi ce blog est-il en anglais ?
Je vis en ce moment aux Etats-Unis, ce blog est consulté par des non-francophones, et une version bilingue me prendrait trop de temps. Je préfère donc assassiner Sheakspeare et épargner Racine pour l’instant.
Buzy first days of september, as I just spent a couple of days in New York to move out of my 4th Street atelier, to relocate in 3rd Street a couple of blocks away.
The very last days over there were spent finishing the cover to the Troisième testament deluxe edition, an oversized black and white verison of the book, soon to be available at BD Must in a very limited number of copies.
...And here is the finished cover. As usual with my oil paintings, it's about a month's work. It was painted on a sturdy wood panel in order not to let the canvas texture get in the way of details.
...And I did get to work on the details.
More on the "Troisième testament"as we come close to the release on September the 28th !
Although Robin Recht is the artist for the new Troisième testament book, I have been helping him on a few panels of a somewhat delicate nature. Here are some of the quick sketches I did, including a design for a very special kopesh sword...
Here are color sketches I did for one of the romantic sequences in "Le Troisième testament : Julius". Robin Recht (drawing) and François Lapierre (colors) are wrapping up the book this week. It's exciting to see this whole process finally coming together so beautifuly, thanks to these guy's talents!
Glénat, the publisher, should open a website this month with proper visuals from the book.