Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Mozambique and grew up in Portugal.
Schooling? Art training?
I´m self-taught. My academic formation is in electrotechnical engineering, but my Muse had the good sense to kidnap me and chain me to a drawing board.
How long have you been working professionally in comics?
Ten years in real time. Perceptionwise, it feels like last Tuesday.
What things -- both in art and otherwise -- have you worked on, besides comics?
I´ve started as a freelance illustrator back in 95, drawing for children´s books, schoolbooks, ad campaigns, a finantial magazine....
Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time?
Full time. It´s the greatest job in the world, I wouldn´t want to do anything else..
Tell us how you broke into the business --was it easy? Hard? Any interesting anecdotes?
Even at college, I never stopped drawing and practicing. Encouraged by my colleagues, I had already been winning awards at national comic contests and festivals for a while , which allowed me to gain experience, build a portfolio and network. When my sister showed me a newspaper ad asking for freelance illustrators, it was the excuse I needed to make the jump from alternators and PVC cables to gouaches and ecolines. No bumps, easy like Sunday mornings.
When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
A bit underwhelmed, to be honest. The print house butchered it. I remember trying really hard to smile as the editor gauged my reaction upon looking at those pages with the blurred lineart and the washed out colours. To this day printers leave me nervous, whenever I receive a package on the mail with my copies, I cross my fingers and go:
”- Not a roadkill. Please-please not a roadkill.”
How did you settle on the style(s) you're currently using?
I don´t think I´ll ever settle on a style, every day I see things that inspire me to change, to evolve, to go beyond. Whenever I think I´m almost where I want to get, I see an Adam Hughes piece or a J.H. Williams III page and I want to throw my crayons out the window.
Did you work as an assistant to any other artists?
Please describe your work space. Is it part of your home,or do you go "to the studio"?
My place is tiny, Tinkerbell used to live here. My room is basically my studio, gym, and sometimes living room. I spend days coming up with clever ways to optimise space. On the upside, everything´s at arm´s reach. I want to draw, I take the keyboard off the table and replace it with a sheet of paper. Lamp, pencil, Wacom tablet... EVERYTHING on the table has to have a purpose, otherwise it´s demoted to The Shelves. And you don´t want to be sent to The Shelves, there´s a 3D Studio Max bible sitting there rotting since 1999.
What job are you the proudest of?
Usually, the last thing I did. It´s still fresh, so I haven´t had time to rip it to shreds with my crits.
What's your most embarrassing?
My older works, definitely. The older they are, the worst is my take on them. There´s this portrait I did for a girl´s birthday back in high school? If it still exists, I seriously need to track it down and turn to confetti with my bare hands.
What project are you currently drawing?
I´m working on Steve Roman´s PANDORA ZWIEBACK and Bobby Bierley´s ZOMBIETOWNE.
Tell us about your family and home situation. Are you married with kids? Anecdotes about married life, how it relates to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics?
Single, no kids. Our family orbits around my nieces who I keep trying to get hooked on comics.
They love my work - I´m the cool uncle with no “real job”- and keep pestering me to draw something they can show their colleagues at school. Occasionaly, I´ll buy them a DVD to distract them from stealing my mechanical pencils. And erasers. And drawing sheets. And. And.
What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
All of the big ones. X-men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, JLA, Teen Titans...
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Either as Wonder Woman´s penciller or Naomi Campbells´ boy toy.Whichever has me being fed grapes.
Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react?
My friends know I work as a comic artist and they´re okay with it even if they don´t think it´s a “real job”. My neighbours just know I´m the weird guy who´s up til 5:00 am and never goes outside. They might think I´m a vampire and I want to encourage that notion.
What's 1 thing you'll always find in your refrigerator?
What's your favorite food?
Probably an indian dish also known as samosas. More specifically, the ones my mom does. They´re heavenly, I could eat them all day long. That and shrimps. I could eat those all day too. Probably not a good idea, though...
What are your favorite interests --Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?
Zombies. Zombie movies, zombie videogames, zombie sports...
Strangely, not zombie music, I prefer the chew gum pop variety. Does that make me a sellout?
Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
You mean today? Not yet, I only write/draw my personal comic projects after I´ve cleared all work from my desk, at around 2:00-3:00 am.
What's an average day in your life like?
My days start very late, noon usually. It started when I realised my work rythm is much faster at night – must be the silence of the zombie hours- .
I usually go about it at a leisure pace, some weight lifting when I´m in the mood, eating in front of the tv, some net surfing, all the staples of the bachelor´s lifestyle. At around 2:00 pm, I sit in front of the drawing board and mentally write three things I want to accomplish that day.
Draw these many pages.
Ink that many pages..
Color those many pages.
And when the day ends, at around 5-6:00 am, those three things ARE done.
Otherwise, it puts the lotion in the basket.
My Muse has me on a very tight leash.
Any humorous or interesting anecdotes to tell about the comics business?
I had this gig once where the writer had me redo the art over and over again. The pages just kept coming back, she didn´t like this, she didn´t like that... I tried to act professionally, nod and smile, nod and smile... By the nth time I finally asked straight out:
“What exactly is it you are looking for?”
Moral of the story: Communication is your friend. Use it.
Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody's gotten to see published?
Great is such a big word.... I mean, I LIKE them and I think they would change civilization as we know it, but then again, these are my babies, so it´s only natural that I would I think the world of them..
If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
A film director.
Which, funny enough, requires great leadership and people skills, none of which I possess.
Any closing words?
Do you think Wonder Woman likes zombie movies?