Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born in São Luís island, state of Maranhão, Brazil, in 1972. I spent my childhood and adolescence in the countryside of the state, but I moved back a few years later. Schooling? Art training? I come from a humble family and was raised like most boys my age. In those years we didn’t have videogames or internet and we used to have fun playing soccer, flying a kite and taking a bath in the river, among other things. But I confess I traded it all for drawing. I learned to like comics from my dad, fan of the cowboy Tex Willer. At 16 years old I started a course by mail of artistic and advertising drawing, which I never finished! I used to think scribbling notebooks during math classes was a lot more fun! I still consider myself an autodidactic, I learned everything by myself watching and reading comics.
How long have you been working professionally in comics? This is a very interesting question, considering the Brazilian editorial market. Despite of having more opportunities nowadays, in the 80’s who wanted to live from comic books had to work in the publicity area. That’s what I did: I used comics in publicity. I’ve done everything: from political campaign to selling toilet paper! But there was an alternative scenario. I used to publish in fanzines and alternative magazines. That was my outlet, my booze!
What things -- both in art and otherwise -- have you worked on besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time? I still work with publicity. I develop campaigns and logos. In the past three years I’ve been developing some projects in the video area. I am producing two documentaries, just waiting for financing and time to finish them. Talk about how you broke into the business --was it easy? Hard? Ups? Downs? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel? In 1985, me and a few more people got together to create one of he most popular penciler groups from the 80’s in Brazil, Grupo de Risco [Risk Group, free translation], which later on became Singular Plural. Most of the publications were xeroxed fanzines, but very popular. The leader of the group is the late Joacy Jamys, back then one of the most known underground authors of the country. Many artists who currently publish in the US and some who are working for Glass House have already published in our fanzines. Just to mention a few: Mike Deodato, Luke Ross, Adriano Vicente, Emir Ribeiro, Daniel HDR and many others! Since the 90’s the economy of our country has allowed us to release our magazines in offset with a more sophisticated finishing touch. Magazines like Fusão, Fúria e Singular Plural were created during those years. Today, some editions are collector’s items. Besides that, I’ve created illustrations for children’s books and I also had my work published in magazines from other publishing houses, such as Fêmea Feroz, Quadreca and, the most important for me (I got very happy!) in the Brazilian version of Heavy Metal. Did you work as an assistant to any other artists? If so, please talk a bit about those experiences. To tell the truth, I had a very brief experience as an assistant, if you can call 5 days annoying Joe Bennet in a kind of improvised internship like that. This happened in 1996, or so, if I remember it correctly. I traveled 16 hours in a bus crossing the State where I live to Pará. An indescribable experience! But it was very gratifying and compensating to be welcomed in his studio, where I stayed for almost a week. I ended up helping him to finish a couple of pages for a Supreme issue. Well, that was the closest I’ve ever been to being a great artist’s assistant!
How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics? On that aspect, my family, even though they are a traditional family from northeast of Brazil, has never got in the way. Actually, my mother still doesn’t understand that much about getting paid for drawing!!!! But she’s fine and is very proud of having sons who are artists. How would you describe your workspace? Is it part of your home, or do you go "to the studio"? I have my work space. Drawing board, bookshelf, a bunch of other stuff and a computer. It’s my sacred place, no one touches anything without my consent. After all, “even in chaos there is order”!
What job are you proudest of? What's your most embarrassing? The masterpiece hasn’t been conceived yet, but somehow I feel a little nostalgic and I care specially about the 80’s. I believe everything I produced back then has a short story behind every story. I haven’t felt embarrassed about anything yet; at least I don’t remember anything that is worth to be mentioned. Hey! Embarrassing moments must be forgotten!!! What are you currently drawing? Comments on that project? Currently I’m working along with a friend who’s a writer and editor on an independent graphic novel about the conquering and foundation of São Luís, my homeland. I like historical themes. Stories like that let the artist explore all his talent on costumes, architecture and nuances reconstitution of a specific time in history. This time travel is fascinating. Talk about your family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you married? Have kids? Names? Anecdotes about married life, how does it relate to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids, do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics? I’m not the only artist in my family. Besides, my brother is also a penciler and all signs tell me that my son Adrien, 11 years-old now, is going to follow the same path! My wife is not very in touch with comics, but she gives me all support I need to tread my own path. Dealing with art is in my fate. What projects do you hope to work on in the future? I try not to be too specific about my professional goals. I’m someone who likes challenges. The perfect project is the one where the involved people respect each other.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Telling stories and sharing a little bit of what I’ve learned in this long journey. What is the interest in comics where you live? Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react? It’s funny what Brazilians think about this profession. One day my son came from school and asked me to give him a book with my own stories so he could show it to his friends. He wanted to prove them that his dad did draw comic books! It’s not very common to have someone working as a penciler around here. Different from Europe and United States, we don’t have a tradition to read and produce comic books. In France and United States comic book artists are true stars. Here, I’m just an ordinary person in a crowd full of people. Unfortunately, for many, comics is not art. In the state where I live culture is taken very seriously. Since childhood, the one who grows up in São Luís learns to guard and disseminate our folklore. But comic books are always seen as untrustworthy sources.
What's 1 thing you'll always find in your refrigerator? I like everything that’s natural. It’s part of the provincial culture. But I always have heavy meals whenever I can!!! What's your favorite food? Anything that comes from the sea! I live in an island with one of the richest littoral of Brazil. It’s part of our culture to have fish for a meal. But I love raw oysters with beer! What are your favorite interests --Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports? Movies are the perfect combination for comic books. Always when I have time, I keep track on upcoming movies. I like alternative music, Heavy Metal and all its variations and our local music. As sports, only gym not to become sedentary!!! Have you ever thought of writing your own stories? I’ve published stories where I did everything, the script, pencil, ink and lettering. Here in Brazil it’s common to work as Europeans do. Have you ever been in a gang? My crew of pencilers was the closest to a gang I’ve ever been. We used to walk armed to the teeth with our pens and brushes!!! What's an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day. Drawings, drawings, drawings… And a nice chat with my son. Talk to kids and about your unordinary day is fun. The world through their point of view is wonderful!
Do you know any funny or interesting anecdotes to tell about the comics market? Gee! Don’t ask me to be funny, pals! I’m a very dull person! Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody's got to see published? My mind is full of projects to be accomplished. These days I got so happy that I restarted a project that remained in limbo for years. It’s about a revolution that occurred around 1840 in the State where I was born and live, called Balaiada. It was a war between the noble and the oppressed Brazilian people post-independence. A bloody story, although fascinating. I’ve already mentioned I love epical themes; you can explore the visual aspect of it and all of its details.
What’s your complete list of published credits? In Brazil I published in the magazines Fêmea Feroz, Quadreca, Fusão, SingularPlural, Corpo de Delito, Balaiada, among others I cannot recall right now. In the American market, I’ve worked on Shadow Raven, Prison Of The Damned, Wolalina, Comic Geek Speak Book 2008/2009 and another few I cannot recall right now either. If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be? An architect desperate to draw comics!!!!
Have you ever taught comic-book art or had any assistants? If so, talk about that. In the 90’s I held a few workshops and courses about comic books. The closest to an assistant that I have is my son. The single thing you'd most like to be remembered for in your life is...? This question is not that simple. My work, for those who appreciate my art. To my family, a good son, a good father, good friend and husband. Any closing words to your fans? Buy my books, fellows!
Prison of The Damned (Novaris Entertainment) Shadow Raven (Destiny Ilusion) Wolalina – Secret Origins (Independent) U is for United: THE 2008 CGS Anthology (Independent) CGS3 #01 (Independent) Fusão ( SingularPlural – Quadrinhos) Fúria ( SingularPlural – Quadrinhos) Singular Plural ( SingularPlural – Quadrinhos) Metal Pesado (Brazilian Heavy Metal) Fêmea Feroz (Independent) Balaiada – The War of Maranhão (Ira Quadrinhos) Corpo de Delito (Ira Quadrinhos) Long Lost # 1-7 (Liquid!) Marked #1-#4 Gabbar Singh (Liquid) Mark Waid's Green Hornet #4-#9 (Dynamite)
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