This week, up until MOCCA, we are going to each present our little work area and our current project.
I get to go first, here is my mess :
So on my desk right now you will find :
– Pages from the book I’m working on that I’m either penciling or inking
– My laptop playing a movie (most often though, a bad TV show that doesn’t require much attention) or music,
– An assortment of old cups of coffee -most of which have mold in them-,
– The model I built as reference for the building all of the action in the book takes place in,
– Random things.
This is a clean version of my desk, by the way. Usually there is old polish food rotting under piles of things.
Typically, here’s my morning coffee with chapstick all over it, my old ink and nose tissue, some street-presents from Sarah, and my pencil and eraser.
I am super obsessive with my pencil and eraser ! I have doubles at home and in various bags I carry around. If I don’t have them around when I want to work I get all annoyed and waste time pretending I can’t work. I like to work with specific light and thin pencil nibs because I ink directly on my pencils, so then I have to erase my pencil lines, and if they’re too dark it messes up my scans.
I use those $1 Muji erasers, that I highly recommend, they’re just the best. I buy them ten at a time because I don’t like to go shopping in Soho at all, but that’s where Muji is.
Soho is the worst.
Right above my desk are a few of the things the residents from the French project “Pierre Feuille Ciseaux“, made during a week of collaboration that I am grateful I was a part of.
Last fall, 21 cartoonists, including me, were invited to spend a week in what was once a phalanstery, the Salines Royales d’Arc et Senans, in the east of France.
(The Salines was an active salt mine and community throughout the 19th century and then various not so glorious things, including a prison camp during WWII.)
The 21 residents were asked to collaborate and experiment throughout the week.
A few Oubapo members were there (namely Alex Baladi, Andreas Kundig, Ibn Al Rabbin and Etienne Lecroart) and they came up with some exercises for everybody to work on.
Much fun was had playing with the various elements of what makes a comic. It’s hard to define what Oubapo really is… I would say it is a way to create comics under strict formal, narrative, and/or conceptual constraints.
Here in the US, I’m only aware of Matt Madden‘s “99 ways to tell a story“, a body of work created under typically Oubapo constraints. (Oubapo is the little cousin of Oulipo, the playful literary movement initiated by Perec and Queneau. Remember Queneau’s “exercices de style” in which he tells the same story… 99 times ?)
Simultaneously to the collective exercises, we were encouraged to make absolutely anything we wanted to get silk-screened, as there was a silk-screen workshop (All-Over) complete with an amazing staff that was ready to print, fold, xerox, staple and chop pretty much anything we wished. It was a cartoonist’s heaven ! Blex Bolex (pictured above) invited four cartoonists to draw full pages in his zine “People’s Plague” that he spent most of his stay at the Saline putting together. It’s a really beautiful object, and everybody was excited to watch Blex work.
This is the centerfold from the 48h de la BD in Montréal that I did in November as a collaboration with David Libens. David is the fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies right now and he is a great writer and cartoonist. He is one of those people that doesn’t pencil. He goes ahead and draws. And uses tons of white out. Until it’s just right.
I am the proud owner of this fantastic Fart Party fan-art.
These are pages from the book I’m working on, I like to keep them within eyesight, so I can keep track of the details in the characters and building and don’t make too many continuity mistakes.
I’m adapting a contemporary novel, The Suicide Shop, by french author Jean Teulé. It’s a tale about a gloomy family who runs a suicide equipment store, whose life -and business- get turned around when their youngest son is born… happy.
This book is going to come out in France, I don’t know about the U.S. (I wish!)
Oh, yeah, because I’m French. I was living in Paris until two years ago. So most of what I do comes out over there and not here, which can be a little awkward for me. Maybe people think I just pretend I’m a cartoonist.
I can’t really show those pages yet, but here’s some samples of the lineart.
And here’s a part of the cover.
I’m coloring my pages digitally for the first time.
I’ll show more of that later.
Yeah right ! I’ll neatly put away my receipts for about three weeks and then start losing them again like I always do. I hate paperwork even more than I hate Soho.
OK, back to work !