In House Artist Interview with M.C. Carper of In A Relationship
Hey MC, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s start with the basics so the fans can get to know you. Where are you from?
Well. I’m from Argentina, the southernmost of the Americas. I am a science fiction writer and have illustrated tales of many writer friends. Drawing comics, however, is the job I love most in the world.
You draw In A Relationship for the site, what’s your own relationship status?
I am married to Norah. I have no children, but have a few cats. They are my assistants, although they only look when I work.
When you draw In A Relationship, there’s always body language to consider. How do you think drawing characters in particular positions impacts the story and dialogue?
I think that manhood and eroticism are very good tools to tell a story like in “In a Relationship”. Many of our desires and frustrations are because of our dreams about the ideal relationship. In addition, the human figure is very attractive. Of course, the scripts are very good, without that, the picture would go unnoticed. In this strip, there are very sexy characters like Rachel, who I could draw a thousand times.
Give us a little history on your art. How did you get started drawing?
Fortunately, in my country there was a golden age where there was a lot of comics and magazines. Many also came from Europe and the USA. Then the market fell and in came the manga and other formats to entertain the kids. For a while I dealt with trying to improve my writing. Drawing for the internet helped me get in contact with people from Spain where I published my priemras graphic novels; biographies of rock bands like AC / DC and the Norwegian black metal bands. I also did a zombie comic and many sci-fi stories. I collaborate regularly, illustrating science fiction books of colleagues in many Spanish speaking countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Spain. My work in “The Webcomic Factory” is very important to me, because it’s my first continuous work for the U.S.
The Spanish scene seems to be huge. American comic books seem to be dominated by superheroes. Is there a particular genre that tends to dominate Spanish comic books or webcomics?
Since there are influences from all over the world on the Internet, zombies were a mandatory topic for five years. Everyone did comics about zombies! In Spain, there’s a lot of penetration of manga. In Italy, half of the Argentine artists are continuing the stories of the characters that ceased publication in my country. France, you know, is a world apart, where they seek originality. Work for England too, they try to keep alive the old characters like Dick Turpin and 2000 AD! In Argentina there are new things and revivals. Many of the comics are with historical and national heroes like the gauchos, in western style. There is a comic artist, Jose Massarolli who already published his third comic book in this genre with gauchos and heroes of the colonial era.
What other projects are you working on?
Last year I finished the biography of the origins of the music heavy and hard rock called “The Black Bible of Rock“. In it, the protagonists are Ozzy, Dio, Iommi, Hughes, Gillan, Powell, Rhoads and many others. Currently, I am working hard on adapting some stories of mine on an apocalyptic future. The central character is called Salvat, the Nomad. The story could be described as a cross between Terminator, Conan the Barbarian and Mad Max, but is heavily influenced by the Argentine comics I read as a child.
Tell us a little more about this “Bible Black Rock”. Is this like a biography or a fictional account of the rockers? Are you big Heavy Metal fan?
Everything is based on radio interviews, magazine articles, biography and video documentaries. It begins in Birmingham with Ozzy and Tony Iommi trying to be musicians in the early seventies. It ends near the end of 2010 with the sad death of Ronnie James Dio. There are about 200 pages told in a funny tone, with dramatic moments and lots of rock and roll! My favorite band is Black Sabbath, in all its formations. With a history going back forty years, it took me a couple of years of research and a full year to do it. In the first script, the comic ended with Ronnie Dio giving a tour with Heaven and Hell. But when I made the pages about recording of the album “Sabotage”, I learned of the death of Dio and then rewrote part of the script by introducing Dio earlier, with details of his musical career before joining Sabbath. It was hard work, but I’m very happy with the result and the response of the people are very good.
What do you think of the impact of webcomics on the comic medium? Do you forsee webcomics taking over? How do you feel about the digital vs. print argument?
Like it or not, digital media is the future. I like paper books, but I also love horses. Unfortunately, they are no longer used, because of cars. The same goes for the tablets. It’s better for a webcomic and it can be read from anywhere in the world. From an Ipod, I phone, etc.. When books were new, we left behind the papyri. This is the same. Webcomics are beginning to spread and be increasingly recognized. I don’t know how they will do financially, as a business. But the books now are like vinyl records. The good thing for artists is that far from our house, we can design, print and color our comics.
What are comics like in your part of the world as compared to American Comics?
The comic industry had its peak in North America. I love many artists around the world, I have a huge collection of comics and always have a friend traveling to the U.S. to get my copies. My favorite characters are from American comic books: Elektra, Swanp Thing, Constantine, Darkness, Hellboy and Fantastic Four. Of course, the obvious ones like Batman and Superman, of which I will have several hundred magazines. In Europe I love Brian Bolland, Simon Bisley, Moebius, Druillet, Enki Bilal, Pratt, Manara, Serpieri, almost all the Spanish and of course the Argentines like Trillo, Altuna, Juan Gimenez, Alcatena, Meriggi. Even people like Otomo or Shirow or Katsura. I think the comic medium is a great family and you learn where you can. There are teachers from all over the world. There are very many new artists who are also good. It is an exercise in searching the Internet. I recently met a girl named Judith Tondora of Hungary, who is very talented. In my country there are people like Gala or Marian Antonelli. Merbitt. Fernando Sosa is doing “Tony Destructo“. In Mexico the boys in the magazine “Koigora” and artist Komixmaster. Or Fraga Graphic Humor. In Spain, my friend, Mark Perez is also doing stuff. I could name you many more.
Which strips in In A Relationship are your favorite to draw and why?
Hmmm, I like many of them. I think when I have the opportunity to draw hots girls, I like it the best. But there are many strips I like. I remember the Calvin Pilgrim and the ones starring Rachel and Bonnie. There is a very funny with Bonnie waving to be rescued by her friend on a blind date. Or the muscular girl. The strip that was tough was the upcoming Fourth of July strip featuring the Founding Fathers, for I am not familiar with American history, but I think I captured them.
I’ve seen that one and you sure did, buddy! Thanks for chatting with us!
Visit M.C. on the web at these locations!