geschrieben von God am
Donnerstag, 20. Januar 2000
"I really love comics. I really, really love comics."
Der Linkshänder Munuera wurde bekannt durch "Die Potamoks" und präsentiert
in Essen sein "Merlin" (beim Carlsen Verlag), eine fantastische Geschichte mit viel Humor und witzigen Zeichnungen, die an "Mit Mantel und Degen" erinnert. Das Interview führte Aleks auf englisch für "The Big 4".
Comic Radio Show: Welcome to our stand, thank you very much for the interview.
Jose Luis Munuera: Thank you very much, it's a pleasure being here.
CRS: How did you come to the "Potamoks"?
Or did they come to you?
JLM: After Studying fine arts in Granada (Spain), I wanted to become a comic artist an I tried to look for a publisher in Spain. It was impossible to find somebody, because it's not going very well, it's a disaster...
CRS: I heard the market broke down...
JLM: Yes, there is no market for the products I like to produce. There is a market for american comic books, japanese mangas and so, but not for european stuff.
So I travelled to Angouleme with a little money from a regional price, and there I contacted all the publishers I could. I presented my portfolio and finally, at Delcourt (der französische Verlag der "Potamoks" und "Merlin" - Die Red.) they caught with it. They were interested in doing something and they introduced me to Sfar (sollte es jemand nicht wissen: Der Szenarist der "Potamoks" und "Merlin" - Die Red.), who at that time had lots of scripts without an artist to do them. So we started speaking in a sort of mix of english and french and mimic, and we started to work directly on the "Potamoks".
CRS: How is the work between Sfar and you. You've worked together in "Merlin" too.
JLM: We have arrived to a method that for me is perfect: He sends me a short synapsis of the story, and I draw a storyboard with those ideas. After that he writes the dialog looking at my storyboard. So I can participate in the creation of the gags, especially the visual ones. This way it's much more creative for both.
CRS: You work in something like four phases? He sends you the information, what he would like to have (a rough idea), you send him a rough idea of what you would like to draw, and out of this rough ideas you make something concrete.
JLM: Yeah, it's a little bit like that, yes.
CRS: You've got a very visual humor that's got to do with Harold Lloyd and many other black and white comedies that many of us love...
JLM: Yes, comics are visual, and Sfar has a great talent for dialog. He's an intellectual guy and his humor is always based on dialog and not visual. So I try to complete his humor with as much visual ideas as possible. I really work on a visual development of gags.
CRS: There is one scene when you've got the pig running, that looks like a Warner Bros. Cartoon.
JLM: I love cartoons in general, and specially Tex Avery and all the "termite terrace" cartoons. I have lots of books about cartoons with the original drawings from them... They were great!
I try to do something similar but in comics.
CRS: There is one scene in page 31, where all people fall into each other. This scene is really "Harold Lloyd".
JLM: Yes, absolutely. I think Harold Lloyd and the Warner Bros. Cartoons are quite connected. Is the same kind of humor, a very visual humor that is very direct to the person that is enjoying the product. I really like that kind of humor. In fact, I study Harold Llyod and Buster Keaton. There is a very precise mechanism of making people laugh: How the gag is being prepared, how the gag is developed, how the gag is finished. All is pretty well studied and pretty wel done.
CRS: So you have a complete collection of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd videos and watch...
JLM: I have the complete, well almost complete Harold Lloyd, and the complete Buster Keaton on videotape. Early in the morning I use to wake up and put a movie in the video to see a little. That always refreshes my mind before I start to work. That gives you lots of ideas.
CRS: We talked before a little about how your humor is similar to "Mit Mantel und Degen"...
JLM: I don't know if the humor is similar, but the universe is similar. They have mixed magic, humor, old traditional tales with a contemporary point of view from the tales. That makes it similar. I really love their work!
CRS: We've talked about the influence of movies, of cartoons. Who or what has influenced you or still influences you?
JLM: I have lots of influences, and it's impossible to say one guy influences me more than any other.
I never know how to answer this question, because it's very difficult to say. A guy I really love is Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes). He is the biggest influence for "Merlin", and for me the contemporary master of comics. But for "Potamoks", the more realistic things, it was Will Eisner. But there are a lot of other authors that have influenced me.
CRS: We talked yesterday to Tom Breitenfeldt ("Der
kleine König der grossen Tiere"), and he told us that one of his biggest
influences is Bill Waterson too.
JLM: Yes, it's because his work is just amazing, it's incredible. He really controlles the mechanism of making people laugh. He controlles the drawing, his drawings are beautiful, his compositions are really good, really expressive. His characters are alife, and the humor is quite intelligent too. He makes you laugh very hard, at the same time he makes you think about the subject he's talking about.
CRS: Tom Breitenfeldt was very impressed with the coloring of "Merlin", for example on page twelve. Is it done with the computer?
CRS: How do you make it? You draw by hand and some parts of it, like the background, are drawn with the computer?
JLM: Yes, things like that are done with the computer. In the second album there are more things done with the computer, because at the beginning we didn't have a digitizer pad. But now that we have that instrument we can use it, and that gives a lot of profundity.
CRS: How do make it?
JLM: I just draw the lines, we scan it, and my wife colorizes it with photoshop. It's a very simple procedure.
CRS: What is you're relationship with computers? Do you do more than paint with the computer?
JLM: No. At this moment my relationship with computers is just profesional. I really don't like computers that much: they are always broken, make you loose things and so. For me it's terrible to work with the computer. Because of that it's more my wife who works with the computer.
CRS: Did you work similarly in "Potamoks"?
JLM: No, in "Potamoks" the colors are hand-made with three different techniques in each album: The first one was done with what we called "direct color", which means directly coloring the page with water colors. The second one was done with what we called grey that means you have the lines in a photolith and you color a copy of the page with water colors too. And the third one, which in my opinion is the worst, was done in wax. We were just trying to find a method for color in comics. Now I think the computer is the better way to color on comic.
CRS: Last Question: Why do you work?
JLM: I really love comics. I really, really love comics. When I was a child I wanted to become a puppeteer, or a movie director or something like this. What I found that mixes all my dreams are comics. They let you move the characters as if you were a puppeteer, direct a sequence as if you were a movie director... You have complete power. And you don't need no one to do the work, you can do it alone.
CRS: Jose Luis Munuera, thank you very much for the interview.
JLM: You're welcome, thanks.
Das Interview führte Aleks A.-Lessmann während der Comic Action 99.