Sunday, September 5, 2010

#5 - Sara Varon

Your comic books are very often about friendship. Why is friendship so important to you?

Isn't friendship important to everybody? 

Robot, dog, chicken, cat and many more. You are doing comic books about people and people’s problems, so why do you always use animal or fantastic characters?

To be honest, I'm just not very good at drawing people. Also, it's more fun to draw characters that are not human (in past books, I drew mostly animals, in my current project, I am drawing food characters). They are not male or female or young or old, so I think readers can project whatever they want onto those characters. Also, they can be symbols for certain character traits. For instance, everyone knows that a tin robot would rust if he goes swimming, so I don't have to explain it. Or in “Chicken And Cat Clean Up”, the cat decides to go into business catching rodents, which makes perfect sense, because everyone knows that's what cats do. Also, some things are just funnier if they are, say, a banana or an elephant doing something than a person.

It’s hard to show some things in comic books without words. Do you sometimes have a great desire to use words in your silent comic books? And are you afraid, that the reader can overlook something?

No, I'm not worried the reader will overlook something. Most people take something from my stories, although it may not always be the same thing. And simple stories don't need words. The book I'm working on right now has a lot of dialogue because it's kind of a complicated story. But I do think I'm better at wordless stories, and the wordless parts of my new book are probably better than the parts with a lot of dialogue.

Not only adults, but also children can read your comic books. Is it a problem for you to connect a simple story (easy to understand by children) with an intelligent message (that meets the expectations of adults)?

No, I pretty much just make what I like and, lucky for me, my stories have turned out to be for all ages.  

Cinema has movement and music has sound. And what – for you – distinguish and make comic books a different medium?

I dont' really think they are different. Comic books and cinema both have movement, although it is depicted in different ways. I started out doing animation, and it was too much work and also too isolating (my films were hand-drawn, so I spent a lot of time alone in a dark room, working on a light table). So I turned to comics instead. To me, they are the same thing. But what I like more about books than films is that you can spend as much or as little time as you want on each particular frame, whereas in animation, it is predetermined (in 16mm film, which is what I worked on, each picture is shown for 1/24 of a second, and you can't go back if you missed something). Also, I especially like books because you can read them anyplace, like in bed or on the subway or in a cafe. 

Many critics say, that everything in art had already been said and done. If that’s true, what are the new solutions and horizons for comic books?

Oh, people like to say that, but I don't think it's true. If it were, nobody would want to make anything anymore, yet they do. However, I don't feel like I am any kind of spokesperson for the state of comic books. I don't actually read that many, nor do I keep up on the latest trends. Mostly, I just read novels.

If you could take only one picture, what would you photograph?

I would take a picture of all my favorite people and carry it with me. Wouldn't everyone?

You can also find Sara Varon here:
- Dargaud

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