Τρίτη, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2012

What i think About Stuff-Pavlos Pavlidis and Valia Kapadai Interview...ON VIDEO!

Who said that Greece is where nerds go to die?

An Interview with artists Valium (Valia Kapadai) and Paulnaut (Pavlos Pavlidis
Back in the 90's Greece was not a very nerd-friendly place. As I mentioned back in my Metabarons Retrospective, there were hardly any comic books worth reading and there weren't any comic book artists worth following (with the exception of a very small number of hardened artists who were thought as mad art hermits.
When the 00's roled in however, this changed. You see, a small group of aspiring artists and creators had been born in the 80's, lurking in the darkest corners of the country, hidden in cultural and social shadows, until they collectively burst from their coccoons and gave us hope.

Below is a two-part video of an interview I got from both Valia and Pavlos at the Tilt Comics bookstore (who invited me for this event). But since most of you reading this are not native Greek speakers, I've arranged for the interview questions to be transcribed in English by the creators themselves

Because the rest of the world deserves love, too.

And off we go!

Part One:

Part Two:

And now, for the English bits:

Kostas: So, Valia, how come you decided to become a comic book artist?

Valia: I'm not sure becoming a comic artist has been a conscious decision. I recently found a really really old sketchbook, I used to have as a kid (8-10 years old) on my vacations. There was a comic strip in it !! I also distinctly remember me and my best friend, age 10, drawing a comic book together. (Unfortunately I have no idea where that comic is now). There used to be a lot of comic books around our house, growing up. My older sister had tons of Disney comics (the Mice, and the Ducks), while my mum especially loved Quino's comics and a few more (mature) ones. I'd "devour" any comic I could get my hands on, I spent most of my allowance on buying them. Even when I got my very first (paid) job as a comic artist, the decision was kind of made for me, since I was still in college (Graphic/Interior Design), when one of my professors proposed me to illustrate a comic. Of course, lots of years later, I have decided that I would like having a "career" in comics, but even if I've been working in the field for a while, I still have to keep my dayjob and make comics on the side. 

Kostas: Pavlos, when did you realize that being a comic book artist was your destiny?

Pavlos: Becoming a comic artist was a very old wish , that starts from my youth , becoming a director actually was my real desire , comics give you a bigger playground to play i think.. ( i ended up to study economics but this is another story ) .. i had n't found the right way to expose my art so far until i discovered the self publishing.

Nope. No nightmares here. (Pavlos Pavlidis)

Kostas: Tell us a few things about your work in comic books so far.

Pavlos: I have selfbublished five issues from 2009 ( Unstrung! , Fixed! , Such a waste ..! , Full Bloom and  Lamda with Valia and Lee Grice ) I have a lot stuff unpublished yet that i want to show to the audience as is very different from the " style" i present in my recent works.

Valia: So far I've illustrated two graphic novels for Greek publishers (2001-2003), and since I've returned from a 5 year hiatus in 2008, I have participated in a lot of comic anthologies for AccentUK, AyeSaw comics, BLC, DapShow Press, IDW, Insomnia, Markosia and the Sleepless Phoenix. This year three of my graphic novels have been published: Indigo by ComicDom Press, White Knuckle (story by Cy Dethan, letters by Nic Wilkinson) and Kindred Spirits (with Maggie Lewinowicz) by Markosia. I'm currently working on two more graphic novels that will be published by Markosia: Snow (story by Richard McAuliffe) and the Heart Of War ((story by Jimmy Pearson, art by Row Bird) and I'll be participating in a few more anthologies. I also enjoy self publishing my own (short) stories. At the moment, I'm also working on a short illustrated story by Mo Ali, that will probably be also self published and on a few pitches I'll be showing to publishers.

Aw, he killed her mama, that's adorable! (Valia Kapadai)

Kostas: Pavlos, in the video interview, you mentioned that you work entirely on your own. What did Lamda feel like for you, having to work with a clearly defined script?

Pavlos: Yes i like to work alone as i feel sometimes like i am going to explode and i need to release this energy.. I took Lamda as a challenge and the stories was very interesting ..The slowly transformation of a TV on something bizarre in " Don't touch that dial " caught my attention , ( TV is a bad thing anyway ha ha ..) and " The usual suspect" was a very cool  mysterious story , the difficulty for me was that the script dictates you sometimes to change your perspective on some things.. I love to keep myself working on projects with others while i work on my own , that helps my skills to be evolved somehow..

Cyberpunk Fetishism brought to you by Pavlos Pavlidis.
 Kostas: And you, Valia? How did you feel about finally having the chance to work with professionals?
Valia: Please define "professionals". According to me, being a "professional", doesn't necessarily means someone who has been published and/or is an acclaimed author. I've worked with people who were just starting out and they have been more professional, than others who are more famous. The most important thing to me, when collaborating with someone else, is mutual understanding. Unfortunately there are some authors, with whom you can't quite communicate, but thankfully (at least for me, so far) these people are the exception to the rule. I usually have pleasant collaborations, in spite of any setbacks that may occur. 

Why hello there ladiesh...(Valia Kapadai)

Kostas: You've both started off your careers from complete opposite directions. Pavlos started off entirely on his own, while Valia associated mostly with professionals and publishers. Do you feel that the fact that you both met professionally exactly in the middle is reflected in your work?

Valia: I wouldn't say we started off our careers from complete opposite directions. We both love comics and share the same passion. Although our styles are totally different indeed, which makes our collaborations even more interesting. I don't know whether this has affected our work either, I guess I can't be objective about that. I do hope our mutual passion for comics is reflected on our comics, though.

Lamda, pencilled by Pavlos and colored by Valia

Kostas: Pavlos, your artwork seems gritty, violent and frankly disturbing. I like that. If you had to, which sources would you cite as your greatest influence?

Pavlos: I used to read underground comics by creators as Kaz and Max Andersson and i think these i mentioned are my greatest inspiration.But you can get influenced from every thing you see even if you don't realize it.

Monochromatic Ultraviolence brought to you by Pavlos Pavlidis

 Kostas: Valia, your artwork is colourful and cartoonish. Do you find it clashed with Pavlos' style in any way during your collaboration?

Valia: Our styles are indeed quite different, but that's exactly what makes it so interesting for me to work with Pavlos. I always enjoy experimenting and working on different styles, so I have never felt awkward collaborating with him. For me, it's always intriguing and exciteful to see these two different styles mixed into something new !! I totally enjoy working with Pavlos, because I admire his work and he keeps raising the bar for me, to become even better.

Horror sensitivities brought to you by Valia Kapadai
Kostas: Quick word on your upcoming projects?

Pavlos: I am working on a script of Ollie Masters and i am preparing various stuff on my own .. A story of mine will be in pages of Evol volume 2 . and i am writting a story for the Comic Festival ( a.i.c.f. ) 

Valia: As I've already mentioned, I'm currently working on two more graphic novels that will be published by Markosia: Snow (story by Richard McAuliffe) and the Heart Of War (story by Jimmy Pearson, art by Row Bird) and I'll be participating in a few more anthologies (for the Unseen Shadows, AccentUK, N.Gibson). I'm also working on a short illustrated story by Mo Ali, that will probably be self published and on a few pitches I'll be showing to publishers, in November at Thought Bubble festival. Me and Pavlos we'll also have a few more surprises for you in December, but I can't really tell you more about it yet.

Kostas: What sort of advice would you give to an aspiring comic book artist/colorist/writer?

Pavlos: A lot of work and devotion on this and of course a lot of reading ( books and comics ) !!!
Valia: Making comics might be hard and disheartening sometimes, but just keep working and keep getting better !! Don't expect the opportunities to find you, make them happen. ;)
Valia Kapadai works at the edge of your nearest rainbow, where she weaves art out of dreamstuff and fairy tales. She has a day job too, but she doesn't like to talk about it. You can find more samples of her work on her DeviantArt Profile, or you can friend her on Facebook so you can impress your friends.

Pavlos Pavlidis dwells in the 25th hour of the day, where he organizes the legions of reverse Santa Claus in the service of his nightmarish lords.
You can try to see the world as he sees it through his DeviantArt profile, or you can follow him on twitter where he dwells under the pseudonym @Unstrung7

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