Manga For The Beginner (Chris Hart)
VERITAS KISS MANGA- (Tokyo Pop) 2008
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and I grew up in Barra do Piraí, Rio de Janeiro state inland.
Have you already taken a drawing course/art training?
I have never taken any drawing course. I only started studying art when I got in the university. Now I'm about to finish my Plastic Arts course in Escola de Belas Artes (UFRJ).
How long have you been working professionally in comics?
I don't know if I can consider myself a professional since I only have two published comic books. But I can tell I've been around for some time, preparing myself to try to reach new horizons in this market.
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've never done any artistic work but the several projects of the university. I hope I can make a living from comic books, working full-time. That's my goal: to be able to work a lot in this area. I really enjoy making comics!
Talk about how you broke into the business -- Was it easy or hard? Did you get through ups and downs? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
I still haven't got the pleasure of feeling like I'm already established in the market, just to tell you so. I've got some published works in Brazil, on "Tsunami" and "Talentos do Mangá" magazines. When I could see my work printed and feel the reader's receptivity, I realized that this is my life. It was such a great experience! The magazines were cancelled though. Unfortunately this is a common thing in my country, but I still get nice response from a few readers that did not forget my characters! I believe that any work has its highs and lows. It's the same in art. But I really want to believe the effort and determination can overcome any obstacle.
Have you already worked as an assistant of any other artists? If so, please talk a bit about these experiences.
I have never worked as an assistant.
How did your parents take the idea of working with comics?
My parents worry about me a lot! In Brazil, it's a common thing to tell artists die from starving because of the lack of opportunities to work. But they do believe me and support me to find my own way, whatever it is. I think that deep inside they know I'm very determined and I don't usually give up easily.
How would you describe your environment? Is it part of your home,
or do you go "to the studio"?
I work at home on my drawing table, surrounded by references and beside a computer. Another thing that's part of my work environment is a music player (because I just can't draw in silence) and a watch (to come back to reality).
What work are you proudest of? What's your most embarrassing?
I'm really proud of everything that I've done, whether it's on the magazines or on my fanzines. Since we're constantly learning and improving, every drawing has its own importance. But I think my biggest pride is the fanzine. Even it sounds unbelievable, I still get nice words from readers.
Talk about your family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you married? Do you have kids? What are their names? Do you have anecdotes about married life? How does it relate to your busy schedule? If you have kids, do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics?
I have a sister and a brother, both older than me. I'm currently living in Rio de Janeiro with my brother. We are very close to each other and we always support each other as well. We are like The Three Musketeers, no doubt! Curiously, we all work with art: my brother is a graphic designer and my sister is a penciller too. I think our family is very united and we really believe each other.
What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
I hope to work A LOT! I'd like to work with all the possible themes (martial arts, romances, adventure, boys love, fantasy, comedies, etc) and who knows, make some mangas about my favorite theme: school dramas!
Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?
In front of a drawing table! That's what I hope for!
How big is the interest in comics in the place you live? Do your friends and neighbors know you make a living from comics? How do they react?
In my city, like it's common in Brazil, the interest for art seems to be a small circle. But I believe things have been changing slowly and who knows some day comic books get its deserved importance over here. My friends, in the majority, like mangas and comic books. Everyone is supporting me!
Tell us one thing we'll always find in your refrigerator?
What's your favorite food?
Everything my mom cooks and Chinese food.
What are your favorite interests? (i.e.: movies, music, TV, sports, any other hobbies, etc)
When I'm not drawing, I'm watching movies. I love going to the movies! I like to watch comedies and movies about court. I really enjoyed L.A. Confidential, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Shine. The only TV series I've been watching is Law & Order SVU. Besides, of course, Japanese dramas and animes!
I listen to music all the day long, especially when I'm drawing. My favorite styles are J-Pop and R&B. Here you're gonna always listen to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Utada Hikaru, L'arc~en~Ciel and a lot, a lot of Arashi!
My sport is swimming! It's great exercise and it's the most useful.
Have you ever thought about writing your own stories?
Yes, I've always thought about it! I've got many ideas that I'd like to see published! Who knows some day?
Have you ever been in a gang?
No, but I think I've always wanted to be part of a group. Mainly a penciller gang
What an average day in your life is like? Walk us through a typical day.
Let's see: By the morning I go to the university; after lunch time I'm back and it's time to draw; I do the domestic stuff in the evening (because someone has to do that >_<); in the night I do some stuff in the computer (reticulation and painting) and then I sleep.
Do you have any great unsold projects in your files that nobody's got to see published?
Yes, sure. But differently from other projects I have, this one is my eye candy. If someday it's published, I'll be able to say: "Everything, everything really worth it!"
What's your complete list of published credits?
Independent works: An issue of a fanzine called Beeswax and three issues of Mr. Jinx fanzine. Professional works: An issue of Tsunami Magazine, from Talismã publisher and an issue of Talentos do Mangá magazine, from Escala publisher.
If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
I'd like to be an actress, but since I don't have any talent and I'm very shy, I think I'd be a History teacher.
Have you taught anyone comic book art or had any assistants? If so, talk about that.
No, I've always worked on my own.
The thing you'd most like to be remembered for in your life is...
I'd like my characters were always remembered. People are easy to forget about, but characters that made you smile, cry, in any time of your life, these ones will always be remembered. I believe that making something that turns positively unforgettable in someone's life, turns yourself unforgettable too.
Any closing words for your fans?
My fans ? Well, wherever you are, stay with me! I'm gonna do my best to deserve your caring and attention.