|(E) Interview - Igor Kordey
|By Nenad N. Bach |
Culture And Arts
(E) Interview - Igor Kordey
Here is an interview with successful Croatian comic strip artist Igor kordey
- just drawn top selling X-Men. Does anyone have a contact email for him?
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is a long way from Groznjan, Croatia, and while
Igor Kordey may miss his friends in Croatia, he doesn’t mind the peace Canada
enjoys. Along with the change in location for Kordey and his family has come
work – lots of it from American comic book publishers.
While Kordey had made a name for himself with his work on Tarzan for Dark
Horse and other publisher, as well as other comic work in the states and
Europe, the 44 year-old Croat émigré has found himself in the comic spotlight
recently, beginning with his stint as regular penciler on Marvel’s Cable, as
well as being named a fill-in artist on New X-Men, and being tapped for a
bevy of other Marvel projects.
Newsarama caught up with Kordey in his Winnipeg home for a chat about where
he’s been, where he is, and where he sees his future.
NRMA: Over the past few years, the American market has seen a small but
notable influx of Croatian comic book creators, which to many seems a little
odd. How did you, growing up the former Yugoslavia, become interested in
IK: I was interested in comics since I started to think probably, when I was
three or four. That’s when I found my first comics and fell in love with
them. It’s a disease. I cannot get rid of it.
NRMA: But that’s pretty young, right? To Americans who grew up during the
Cold War, Yugoslavia was tucked behind the Iron Curtain, and, at least as
many of us were taught, nothing from the West got in. Did you see Western
IK: Oh yes. When I painted Star Trek: The Gorn Crisis last year, I did some
acknowledgements to two guys who were my biggest influences ever, two English
artists - Frank Bellamy and Frank Hanson. When I was a kid, they used to
publish a weekly youth magazine with comics in Croatia. Translated, its name
was Blue Herald. It was a copy of the English magazine Eagle – which was a
very influential magazine for comic creators in England throughout the ‘50s
and ‘60s. Those two guys used to work on Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, a
science fiction comic book. It was done with beautiful color – they were
using the most modern and updated color possibilities for offset print at
that moment. It had a greater impact than any Walt Disney cartoon or whatever
at that time, because we didn’t have too much of an information flow from the
West, and there weren’t popular television serials for the kids.
NRMA: Among your generation of English creators, Eagle gets mentioned a lot…
IK: When other guys my age remember this magazine, we can remember every
single picture and every detail. It was an incredible comic book. The sad
thing was that both of those guys they died without real recognition. In the
‘50s and ‘60s, England didn’t have copyright protection, so both of them
died pretty poor. I think Frank Bellamy, before he died, had arthritis, and
couldn’t draw anymore – it’s a very sad story, just like the creators of
Superman, Siegel and Shuster.
Speaking of Siegel and Shuster and the early days of comics, I would like to
recommend to all people who are into comics that they read The Amazing
Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It’s a beautiful book. It
brings an amazing amount of fact and fiction together, especially in its
portrayal of the comic industry in the early days using creators’ creativity
to make piles of money. Lots of people got rich on behalf of the comic
artists who remained relatively poor.
NRMA: So, getting back to your career, the comics in Blue Herald and Eagle,
pushed you into comics?
IK: Right. Those are my biggest influences in comic books, and Harold Foster
with Prince Valiant was also one of my big influences back in those days as
well. Because I really wanted to read, I learned how to read and write and
draw by copying them, and I made my own magazines out of these Blue Herald
magazines. It was cute – I even invented my own logo. I called it Albatross,
and it circulated among my friends at the school who had the same interest in
comic books. We exchanged comic books, and started to exchange comics with
the first Avengers, Daredevil, and Thor stories in them in the early ‘60s.
Later, I forgot about the American comic books because in art school, we were
rebellion oriented, and American comic books were sort of the symbol of
rotten capitalists, so we switched to European stuff. It was very interesting
– in the mid ‘70s, French publishers started to publish a number of
magazines aimed at an adult audience, like Metal Hurlant, which was turned
into Heavy Metal in America. It wasn’t like it looks today, oriented towards
mild eroticism – in the ‘70s, it was really, really good science fiction and
fantasy stories with excellent artists like Richard Corben. I was fifteen
years old when I saw that for the first time, and I freaked out completely.
NRMA: Since you were impressed by the Metal Hurlant and the art therein, did
you begin your own move away from the Dan Dare-style of comic illustration
towards a more illustrative approach, say, along the lines of Corben,
Frazetta and other artists who made names for themselves in the ‘70s?
IK: Yes. In my art school period, which corresponds to high school in the US,
since we were between fifteen and eighteen years old, I wanted to be a big
artist, so I forgot comic books for a while, and started doing paintings and
posters. Later, around 1976 and 1977, some guys from Zagreb, the capital of
Croatia founded a group called New Square [also translated as “New Frame”],
and it was the most influential group of comic book creators for some twenty
years. We created many comics for audiences all over Europe. In 1999, we had
our twentieth anniversary, and it was fun – I saw all those old people for
the first time in ten or fifteen years.
This group, New Square, it was greatly influenced by the French, Italian, and
Spanish magazines of the moment, in the late ‘70s. It was very much into
comics for adults, and intellectually oriented comic books.
NRMA: From New Square, and illustrative, more adult-oriented comic art, you
were able to make the leap to the American Heavy Metal in 1989?
IK: Yes. My cooperation with comic books in the United States began in the
late ‘80s. My work was being published all over Europe, and I started to work
for Heavy Metal magazine in ’89, with the black and white story, “The Wall.”
In ’94, I entered the American comic book industry through the main entrance
– on the painted ‘Marvels’ stories that Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek had
started. Some of my first ‘official’ stuff was for Marvel. My first work was
Tales of Marvels: The Wonder Years.
NRMA: So you got your first big comics gig at Marvel when you said that
earlier American comics were a symbol of rotten Western capitalism. What
IK: The ex-Yugoslavia was transitioning out of communism, and was a socialist
government while I was growing up. Basically, it was a very open country, but
communist oriented. We grew up and were raised to hate capitalism – well, not
to hate, but to have a different approach to the Western world. Over the
years, I grew out of it. Since I was fifteen or sixteen, I used to hitchhike
all over Europe and England, and made contact with other young people from
the USA. It was a normal part of the development of the young person to be
curious about and learn things about the world outside your own borders, in
my case, Yugoslavia. I learned that it wasn’t such an awful society to the
NRMA: After you got your start at Marvel, which as you described was grabbing
the brass ring, you pretty much moved exclusively to Dark Horse for your
American output, and were there for years working on licensed properties. Why
IK: It’s because of Tarzan. Tarzan is my obsession over the years. Back in
’83, there was one big publisher in Yugoslavia that had the Tarzan license
for all of Europe, and my story-writer [Neven Anticevic] and I made a
proposal called Tarzan: Rivers of Blood. The proposal was bought, but was
turned down because it was too mature, too grown-up of a Tarzan story for
what they wanted. They offered it to their European publishers, but still, no
one wanted it. In ’91, a Swedish company, which was based in Copenhagen,
Denmark, bought the publishing rights for Tarzan, and they were going to
publish it for Malibu for the US market. Still, I didn’t have any luck – two
teams, an American team and a Danish team had stories published through
Malibu before me, and they were both flops, so they cancelled the complete
project, although they paid me for the work I’d done.
In ’93, Dark Horse bought the license for the Tarzan comic, and my ex-editor
from Copenhagen sent all this existing Rivers of Blood material over – it was
about 90 pages at the time. I got a call from Dark Horse in ’94, because they
wanted to start publishing some of my earlier Tarzan work, particularly a
short story called Tarzan: Mugambi, which was actually my first American
comic published in a regular comic book format. It was also the first
published work of Darko Macan, the writer. That’s how he started his career,
and he’s really renown today. I like him a lot.
[This message has been edited by mbrady (edited 11-27-2001).]
Newsarama posted 11-27-2001 09:46 AM
NRMA: But ultimately, Dark Horse did publish some of Rivers of Blood, right?
IK: Yes. I was struggling for years for it to be published at Dark Horse,
and finally, just before the Disney cartoon was released, Dark Horse decided
to start publishing Rivers of Blood, so I started working on it again. They
published four books, and cancelled it again at the beginning of 2000. My
writer and I are in contact with Dark Horse all the time, but they refuse to
get rid of the license, which prevents us from publishing it elsewhere. Over
half of the story is still unpublished. Still, I’m very stubborn and very
patient. The day will come in the future when we can publish the entire
story. It’s beautiful and works perfectly without any problem. It’s a
long story – it’s been going on for 18 years now.
NRMA: Speaking earlier of Darko, it’s interesting that you, Darko, and Edvin
Biukovic all entered the scene around the same time, worked at Dark Horse and
were known for your intense storytelling. Do you think the passion with which
the three of you drew from came from living through some very nightmarish
times in Croatia/Serbia and the surrounding territory?
IK: Wait – there is something you must not forget - we didn’t come from
Serbia – we came from Croatia, and you shouldn’t mix them, because we had a
war against them from ’95, and they were the aggressors. After Yugoslavia
split in 1990, they wanted to keep it together as the biggest nation in
Yugoslavia, so there was aggression on Croatia in 1991, and on Bosnia in
1992. The Serb government was the bad guys – and that’s important to note –
it was the government. I’m still keeping connection with some of my beautiful
friends from Serbia, and they are having hard times right now. The people who
want peace and mutual understanding are in a minority these days all over the
Balkan area. It’s no wonder – the Balkans are such an area that a war can be
provoked every ten or twenty years. We’re kind of used to it, to always
expect some kind of turmoil and mess going around, and it does affect how you
NRMA: While we’re talking about your life in Croatia, in your editorial in
Cable #89, in which you also spoke a little about your military service
during the war, you explained to comic fans and creators alive that after the
attacks of September 11th, we all must get back to the business of living,
and maintain our families and senses of humor. Was this something that was
learned through trial?
IK: Yeah. Get back to life and take care of your families – that’s what
really matters. There was a response on some website where the guy had very
positive comments on the article, but said that where I felt the point of
life is to reproduce and keep your family safe, it sounded depressing. I got
pissed when I read that. It’s not depressing – taking care of your family is
the only thing you have.
It’s a larger story. They must learn to think that way. Family is something
that is not popular anymore, but it’s not people’s fault, the system made
them to think that way. The very core of the nuclear family has broken down,
and people are left alone, and when they are alone, they get depressed, and
when they are depressed, they are more obedient and turn toward money much
more, and are therefore easier to rule. But that’s another story.
If you have family, you are building your own foundation, your own security,
and your own tribe. An oasis. Starting with mutual contact, family is the
basis of society, and it’s completely broken down in Western society,
especially North America. When you are alone, it is much harder to cope with
a disaster like the New York tragedy. For me, family is extremely important,
but look around – it doesn’t exist anymore. Grandparents live in New York,
the son lives in Vancouver, the daughter lives in Texas, and the
grandchildren live in Los Angeles, and they see each other maybe once a year
for a family reunion, but it’s not “family” anymore. People don’t
communicate anymore in a family way. That’s what I was talking about in this
article – family is the basis of your existence, and it should be. That’s
why I was pissed when that guys said that reproducing and taking care of your
family was a depressing outlook. It’s part of the way of thinking – people
want their lives, they want to make money, and the family is just a burden
for them, especially if they have kids.
NRMA: Speaking of your time with the military in Croatia, and the lessons you
learned, in your essay you said that there were five million war stories in
Croatia. Have you ever thought of writing and illustrating an
autobiographical story about your time in the war?
IK: I have one beautiful proposal, and I’ve offered it to publishers all over
the USA over the years, but nobody wants to publish it.
NRMA: Why not?
IK: All of them want to put a bigger accent on the war side, and basically,
my story, because a vampire is involved, and some other things, it’s more
like fantasy than war. I went through it, so I didn’t make exactly the war
stories, which is very understandable. For the people who have never part of
a war, they want to hear more about war. For the people who have been through
war, they don’t really want to talk about the war itself. It’s a catch-22.
It happened especially in connection with DC Comics – an editor from DC
wanted to cut out all these characters that were not part of the real war,
like the vampires and ghosts and extra-material experiences. I didn’t want it
to be shortened, and I refused to shorten it, so I cancelled it. The same
thing would happen with all the publishers I contacted.
NRMA: What is it about and what keeps publishers at bay?
IK: It’s called Cross Roader, and it’s a story about a guy who is a natural
born super-hero. There are such people all over the world, like witch doctors
and shamans – they do possess some powers, and they know how to deal with
them. I met such people in Europe. I’m actually talking about real things,
but for people here, they don’t look real, they look like fantasy.
The story is about this guy who is dealing with evil forces in his own way,
and he became part of this war in Croatia, and fights, good against evil. I
call it a super-hero story, but it’s not – it’s more complex. It’s about
existing people and places, not made up heroes. This year, I started my
company, by myself, and publishing will be included in it, and one day in the
future, I plan to make and publish this comic completely on my own.
NRMA: Since you mention the superhero set, since Tarzan is your admitted
obsession, why the switch to Marvel from the more pulp-oriented characters at
IK: First, I heard about some changes going on at Marvel, and it corresponded
with my miscommunication with Dark Horse. After they cancelled Tarzan, I was
not interested in working with them anymore, so I had a transition period
working with Wildstorm on the Star Trek book last year. Then, last year in
October, I was in Spain to attend this beautiful convention, and there I met
Howard Chaykin. He kind of liked my work, and told me that he had some
proposals over at Marvel, and he would like to work with me, and would let me
know when the time came what was going on. He also told me that they were
bringing lots of good writers in to Marvel, as well as artists like Richard
Corben, so I knew the situation there had to be changing from what it was
when I was there before – I was not satisfied with the people who were
working there while I was illustrating Tales of the Marvels. It was a breath
of fresh of air at Marvel, and I was intrigued. I wanted to try something
NRMA: So you weren’t keeping up with Marvel at the time?
IK: No - I hadn’t read any superhero for years and years, so for me, it was
going to be a nice change. Then, at the beginning of this year, Howard called
me and said they had given him the green light on Cable, but David Tischman
would be coming on as a co-writer. Because Howard was working on the
television series, he had to step down from Cable, but would stay on almost
as a ghostwriter, supervising the stories. Eventually, he dropped out of supe
rvising too, leaving David as the writer. In early March, we started talking
with Joe Quesada and Mark Powers.
NRMA: From what you’ve said, it seems as if Cable, as envisioned by Tischman
would be a good match for you.
IK: Yes, Cable is something good for me, because when I began talking with
David, he told me exactly what he planned on doing with Cable – turn him into
a wandering priest/warrior who’s visiting every hotspot in the world, and is
trying to make a difference by fighting the bad guys. At the same time, he
works to spread around his religion, especially to young people as a way to
help them cope with their problems. This combination of traits in a character
was very interesting to me. He’s sort of a modern samurai.
Later, we developed his special relationship with women, which allows us to
put in a slight dose of eroticism. It coincided with Marvel’s decision to
drop the comics code, which was good. We can pump up the amount of allowed
eroticism in this book. All in all, it was a good combination – with the code
gone, you have bigger possibilities to do good stories. The sensuality and
eroticism that we might put in the book isn’t there just for the sake of
being there, but it’s there to spice up the lives of these sweaty, stinking
guys who seem to battle one another all the time. Look at it this way, Cable
has this artificial arm, he’s big, handsome, and very wise and mysterious. He
must appear very exotic to women.
NRMA: Judging from your art first three issues, it looks as if Cable is the
perfect book for you, and speaks to your strengths – many people, few
costumes, and varied locations.
IK: Yes. Especially, when talking about comic books, I always consider myself
more of a black and white artist than a painted artist. I entered the
American market in ’94 as a painter with Tales of the Marvels, and had a
reputation for being a painter for a long time, but I wanted to get rid of
it. I was doing black and white stuff occasionally, and didn’t have a chance
to develop my black and white skills as much as I wanted. So Cable is an
excellent opportunity because it is an ongoing serial, and it’s an excellent
opportunity for me to work in black and white and try to do what I always
wanted to do – got to the essence of black and white graphic art, and do
whatever is necessary when it comes to purification and stylization of the
I don’t know what I’m going to do with Cable, but I already realize working
on it, I have become faster and cleaner. It’s like practicing piano every day
– as you go, the contact between your fingers and brain is shorter and
shorter and shorter. You can draw something in a split-second. You don’t need
too long for an idea to reach your fingers from your brain, but you can only
reach this point by practicing every day, and this is what I’m able to do now
– draw twelve hours a day.
NRMA: Along with the art, you’re also responsible for the new logo and
covers, which have been distinctive so far. Is it gratifying to work in a
work-for-hire situation and be given a rather large amount of freedom?
IK: Yes. Very much. With Cable, they let me do whatever I want – they let me
redesign the logo, and have a new approach with colors on he cover. They’re
not painted, they’re not two colors – if you’ve seen the three Cable covers
so far, you won’t find too much color – they’re very graphic and visually
powerful. Marvel is very satisfied with this new approach, and so am I. It’s
challenging and a big change when the company I’m working for trust me so
much that I can do whatever I want. I have over 25 years experience of
working in comics, and they know that I won’t go over the edge with
something. There’s mutual understanding and respect. When you do this job for
so many years, you have an inbuilt censorship, so you know what to do and
what you can’t do. Even though the European market is much more open to sex,
I know what can and can’t be done in this market.
NRMA: Are you pleased with the reception Cable has received so far?
IK: Yes, very. I’ve been reading what some critics of Cable who used to read
the book before I started have had to say, and 90% are satisfied with what I
did on architecture and characters and the terrorists. One thing I like about
this book is that no one is black and white – everyone is a different shade
of gray, like normal people. They can kill, but they can love, they can be
tough, and they can be gentle. They’re real people, jus like in life. No one
is completely good, and no one is completely bad.
NRMA: Moving away from Cable, and getting to one of your pieces that has
struck an emotional chord in many people, your illustration for the Heroes
book of the passengers on United Flight 93 rising up against the hijackers.
While you had to have known that other creators were going to focus on the
rescuers at Ground Zero, why did you focus on these people and this moment in
IK: First, because it was a challenge. I wanted to deal with something that I
knew nobody else would tackle, because it was something that was really hard
to draw. Secondly, this story, if it’s true, it’s a very heroic act. The
passengers decided to take over and fight the terrorists, in spite of the
fact that they knew they were going to die, because some of them were in
contact with their relatives and knew that the other two planes had crashed
into the towers. In spite of this fact, they decided to do something about
it, and try to take over the plane.
NRMA: Something that has caused a little controversy though, is your image of
an Air Force fighter seen through the window of the plane. Is this a
statement on your part of what you think happened to Flight 93?
IK: No, no. We still don’t know if it’s true or not, because, according to
some other stories, this plane was crashed by Air Force fighters which were
escorting George Bush’s airplane, which was very close to it at the time.
This story about the passengers sounded very heroic to me, so when Joe told
me that this book was going to bear the title Heroes, this was what came to
my mind. This was a very heroic act.
As for the plane and other things in my image, I had given up on watching the
news, because they started saying the same things and showing the same video
over and over again, so some of what was learned about the plane came after I
was done with my picture, like the terrorists had killed one steward to show
that they weren’t guys to fuck with. If I knew that before, maybe it would
have looked better, but what I drew in this illustration was my impression of
what I had heard about this Pennsylvania plane, and I tried to draw regular
Joes traveling to their business, or whatever. Some of them were men, some
were women, and all had a different reaction – some were standing up, some
were praying, some were panicking. There are many different reactions. That
was challenging – to draw a variety of behaviors in the face of a distressful
situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much time to draw it, but
according to the reactions I’ve heard, I’m very satisfied because I managed
to provoke such a reaction.
NRMA: And you’re working on A Moment of Silence as well – whose story are
IK: Joe Quesada’s. It’s an 11-page silent story, based on a true story in
New York. I won’t tell you anything of how it ends – I want it to be a
surprise. Roughly, it’s about a family coping with a loss – a disappearance.
There will be many people that will never be found after the attacks – so
many disappeared without a trace. There is always a spark of hope in such
cases that they may show up some day, if they’ve never found the body. It’s
interesting from a psychological point of view – you know someone died, but
the body was never found, so part of you wants to believe they’re still
alive. Then there’s the waiting. The period of waiting is what this story is
NRMA: On to slightly happier topics, it appears as if the attention from the
Heroes piece as well as the success with Cable is already beginning to reap
benefits. From hearing Joe Quesada speak, you’ve become the pinch hitter for
nearly the entire Marvel Universe. So, do you have a fill-in slot scheduled
on every book?
IK: Not quite, but I am getting more work. I think they announced already
that I will be doing a full-length graphic novel hardcover on Storm. In the
beginning, Chris Claremont wrote it to be a four issue miniseries, but it was
so powerful and visually effective that I managed to negotiate with Joe and
the other editors to add an extra fifty pages and do it immediately as a
graphic novel. I want to do some experimenting with color in this book, so it
will be exciting. Because of the length, it will run 144 pages and will
resemble manga a little bit, but not in the style – just in storytelling,
graphic approach and length. I would like to concentrate more on characters
and their body language, and 88 pages is not a length for such a book. It
will be something beautiful, and will probably come out in 2003.
NRMA: You’re also replacing Greg Horn on the MAX Black Widow miniseries by
Greg Rucka, right?
IK: Yes. I’m just about to start on it. I need to finish this silent story,
and finish inking X-Men for #120. After that, I’m clear to go for Black
Widow, which is familiar ground to me, because it happens in Russia. Russia
is not my country, but most of the people in the Balkan area are part of the
Slavic tribe, and the Russian way of thinking is very familiar to me. Again,
it’s challenging to do something appropriate within a Russian environment.
NRMA: You enjoy working on something in a real world setting rather than a
fantasy one, where you can take a few artistic liberties?
IK: Yes. I started working this way on Cable – the first arc happens in Peru,
and I spent a long time researching to find out about real people, the
fashions they wear, and the environments they operate in. For me, it’s always
very important to generate a complete picture, so they can get a complete
impression as to what it’s about.
So, in lots of superhero books, you can see when they showed Moscow, it’s
always Red Square. Moscow is not just Red Square. That’s what I plan to do
with Black Widow – to present a variety of architecture and people and stuff.
Similar to in Cable – we’re doing the Macedonian story right now. People in
the US and Canada probably don’t have a good feel for Macedonia and what it
is about, so I’d like to present that to them. It’s a part of my European
comic book heritage – we grew up with these French, Italian, and Spanish
comic books, and they always paid attention to the backgrounds – the
architecture, the fashion, and the vehicles. The French have had a long
tradition of this since it began with Herge’s Tintin of showing detailed
backgrounds. He was one of the first authors who started paying attention to
environments, especially architecture. I think it’s very important for the
reader to have a complete picture of everything that is going on.
NRMA: Looking ahead, one could figure since Marvel is keeping you busy,
you’ll be staying with them for the foreseeable future?
IK: Yeah. Although, at a certain point, they started to pile up the offers to
a point where I changed into a marketing way of thinking and told them that
if they want me to do so much, they must like me, so they should be willing
to raise my price a little. They thought about it for a short time, and
offered me an exclusive contract. I agreed, because I have a big family to
NRAMA: How big?
IK: I have a wife and two dogs, and three girls – but not in that order. The
dogs should come at the end. The girls are 4, 8, and 10 years old. This
contract is for two years, so at least for two years, it will give me
financial security. Now, for the first time since I came to North America,
which was five years ago, I can plan something for the future. I can spread
my tentacles on the local ground some more. This income I’m getting from
Marvel right now will give me the possibility to open a gallery of my work,
and my wife and I have always wanted to open a restaurant.
Recently my wife and I leased a place here in Winnipeg that was an old
Masonic Temple from the end of the last century. It was a restaurant for
years and years, and we’ve now leased it, and are trying to renovate it to
establish a lounge on the second floor with live music and lots of art. On
the third floor is going to be a big, big gallery. We’re hoping for this
building to be the center of all the cultural events in the city. It can be a
gathering place for people who are involved in culture and art. One of the
things I want to do for next year or for 2003 would be to start up a comic
book convention, because there isn’t any in this region. Winnipeg is an ideal
are for that, because in a circle of 2000 kilometers around, you can find all
the bigger cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Seattle,
and Portland. Winnipeg is basically the geographical center of North America,
so if people want to get together for a comic book convention, they don’t
need to go to San Diego or New York – they can travel a shorter distance, and
come to Winnipeg. We’ll see. We also want to do theater shows, live music,
and lots of other things.
NRAMA: Sounds like you’ve got a full plate all around…
IK: Right. And I will be able to do it especially because I have this steady
income for two years and hopefully longer. That’s why this contract and my
contact with Marvel are so significant. Things are going up.
When Igor learned that his interview would be following Jodorowsky’s the
creator was compelled to offer up his own Jodo story or two, one that should
especially pique the interest of fans of both Kordey and Jodorowsky…
IK: I worked with Jodorowsky at the beginning of this year on a project for
the French publisher, Les Humanoides Associes [the parent of the American
Humanoids]. The book was the second volume of Les Passion de Diosamante. It
is supposed to be an ongoing story, but he doesn’t want to writer further
stories, because he wants to see how the first book will be accepted by the
market. He pulled out of it, because he was very busy with his theater shows
and other things, along with writing comics.
NRAMA: This would be a continuation of the original series by Gal, correct?
IK: Yes. Diosamante is a fantasy story begun by Jodo and Jean-Claude Gal
began in the late ‘80s, but Gal died after the first book was published. He
died because of working too much. [laughter] it will probably be the same for
me too. He was in bad health, but a great guy. I had met him once in France.
He had glasses like beer bottles minus fifteen diopters, or something. They
occasionally published his work in Heavy Metal – it was extremely, extremely,
painfully detailed stuff. It was almost annoying in a way to read, it had the
tendency to overpower the storytelling.
They wanted to start it again last year, so they engaged Jodorowsky to begin
work on it. Gal managed to finish ten pages of layouts of the second volume,
and I was working on the script for the potential second book.
NRAMA: There’s been some speculation that Jodo might be a target of Joe
Quesada’s as he looks for talent to bring to Marvel. Speaking as someone who
has worked with the man, do you think he would bite, if offered the chance?
IK: Oh, no. He’s very satisfied with what he’s doing, because they treat him
in France like a celebrity. He chooses his own artists and whatever he says
editors obey. He wouldn’t have such an approach in the US. He’s a celebrity,
a big deal in France, and he would like to stay like that. I doubt he would
want to spoil it. They pay him very well also – every serial he starts is a
big success in France and the European market.
Speaking of him, this Juan Solo project- what’s coming out in America as Son
of the Gun - I would recommend it to anyone. You can recognize his
obsessions, as in all of his books – he’s coping with religion, with
dwarves, with incest, Oedipus complexes, and all of it. Later in Son of the
Gun it will all come out – trust me. It’s very good, probably my favorite
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