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Archive journalière du 15 sept 2009

Une interview de Paul Renaud

Paul a été intervievé par Kiel Phegley par le site Comic Book Resources.

Quelques parties ont servies pour la presentation du comics ici elle est présentée en integrale

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1 – To begin, a lot of folks have seen the work you’ve done on Dynamite’s « Red Sonja » books. What was your first reaction to coming on and tackling another female warrior for the publisher? In what ways is working with a character based in actual myth different or more challenging than working with a purely fictional gal like Sonja?

To me the mythological background was the main appeal in my approach on the series. My concern was that she might be perceived like a second rate Wonder Woman by comic fans. So I thought I had to make her look like the true goddess she is, bringing as much nobility as possible to her figure. She has to be the original, not one of the many amazon characters that was based on Athena along the years.
From my point of view Red Sonja and Athena are opposite. Red Sonja is a very modern person who deals with all kinds of medieval fantasy environments. Athena is the old time goddess confronted to the modern world. Of course they’re both warriors, and both highly feminist icons…but Athena is all in the justice and wisdom where Red Sonja is all in the provocation and rage. I’m drawing a new Sonja mini-series right now, and there’s a lot of rage involved.

2 – Even though Athena has a general set of physical characteristics and design principals that go along with drawing her, there seems to be a lot of variation on which parts of the character from the snake on the spear to her helmet you want to use. How did you go about drawing the most iconic version of the character you could? Were there any pieces of classical art that served as inspiration for your take?

I made several designs for that character, and I don’t know if the other artists went for the same that I used on the covers. All designs were very inspired by the statues of Athena, of course. But we decided early on that she’d wear a new armor, made up in present time. So I tried to design something that would suggest it was made by gods today. To me it doesn’t have to be an iconic super-hero costume. It should evolve from an artist to another. But I tried to incorporate some classical elements that stayed in the various designs we’re using, like the gorgon shield, of course the spear, and a variation of her helmet.
You should recognize Athena from these basic elements…and most of all from her figure and the way she’s standing. It’s all in the pose that echoes the statues.

3 – Your pages of the series are largely dealing in flashbacks to Athena’s time amongst the gods and goddesses on Olympus. What did you do both to make the pages feel like they took place in antiquity and to separate them from what Fabiano is doing in the modern sections of the book?

I felt it was appropriate to approach this in a more European style. As a Frenchman, I’m sometime torn apart by two very different ways of doing comics…but this allowed me to channel everything I liked into the work. It’s almost « ligne claire » as we call it in France : a light outline with minimal line rendering and gray tonal work for the shading and volumes. A lot of emphasis is put on the backgrounds too. I tried to give as much grandeur as possible. I decided to color the mythological pages in reddish sepia tones to give it a more antique look.
I really loved doing those mythological sequences. I was happy to let my Moebius and Manara influences shine.

4 – You’ve done plenty of work across comics, but lately, people have been seeing a lot of covers from you. What’s it like shifting between the big payoff images that covers necessitate and getting back into sequential pages like you’re doing for « Athena »?

As you said, a cover has to impact the reader as much as possible. So you’re trying to work on a composition that conveys everything you need and stays simple at the same time. The sequential work is more interesting to me because you’re building something bigger. I just love to establish the set, play with the characters, the pacing of the story…everything. It is hard work, but my love goes for the sequential work.
But of course I can do my own coloring on covers…and that’s a very important appeal to me. You can do the whole thing. Interior work implies working as a team. Right now I feel the need to do it all.
On Athena, the mythological pages were originally colored by the same colorist who does also the modern sequences (as shown on the previews online), but I asked to rework the pages and go for the sepia instead. It was a cool move from Dynamite and the colorist to let me do this. I appreciate that.
We’ve been talking about a new project with Rick Remender, where I will do art and color. That will be a major thing for me and I believe for the people who like my work. I’ll be starting soon and I’m very excited.

5 – Finally, what have you enjoyed about Doug Murray’s scripts on the series so far? Are there any standout moments that you were most pumped to draw?

Getting to draw a « reader digest » version of the birth of Zeus and the Olympians was fun. Same goes for the war of Troy. I can’t believe we manage to compress this into so few pages. I mean, it’s only like 20 pages for the whole thing! That’s insane…but it’s also very exciting to do because you want to bring emotion to this succession of events. It was a challenging task. 

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