Comic Vine asks the artist of 'Dark Avengers' a few questions!
1. As a Brazilian native, what inspired you to work in American comics? How did you first get started? Do you think it was harder for you to break into the business?
The majority of the comic books published in Brazil are from USA, so I grew up reading them. My father is an comic book artist -- and writer -- as well, so he was my biggest inspiration. He taught me to read and to collect comics, and he introduced me to the work of great masters such as Will Eisner, Hal Foster, Alex Raymond, and so on. It was much harder for me to break into comics, being a foreigner. Back then there was no internet, so the communication was very difficult, specially if you don't speak the language. I was relatively famous in Brazil, because of my independent work there, so one day I got a call from some people who wanted to represent Brazilian artists in the American market, I accepted -- and the rest is history. :) I recall inking a small super-hero project for a small company, and I was in heaven -- working for the U.S.! I thought it was the greatrest thing in the world. I spend a few short years drawing Beauty and the Best (which I painted), and I did some work on Lost in Space and Quantum Leap and other things. The big trick, of course, was learning how to grow and keep studying my craft. Growing and adapting constantly is what's brought me whatever success I have. It's hard work. I've been working in the U.S. market steadily now for close to 20 years, so I seem to be doing something right.
2. What is your favorite character to draw?
Captain America. It comes from my childhood. I just love the character. Second on that list is probably Wolverine. Can you tell I'm a comics fan?
3. How much interaction do you have with, say Brian Michael Bendis for example, when working on the 'Dark Avengers' books? What is the script interpretation process like?
I rarely interact with writers about the book I'm working. I wouldn't like them to say how I should draw, so I prefer not to stick my nose on their work too. :) Once in a great while, an author will contact me and ask, "What kinds of things would you enjoy drawing?" -- and sometimes those things may end up in the scripts. As for interpreting the script, first I read the entire script though without making any drawings or notes. I kind of take the time to absorb it all and fall in love with the story. Then I read through it again, page by page, and make some notes. Then the third time through, I make layouts as I got through each and every page. Occasionally I make more than one layout for a page, but mostly I find my first impression was the right one. Then after my editor approves the layouts, I start drawing, and I turn in my finished inks a page at a time.
That's new to me, as well. These past few years, I've been drawing all my pages as tight, tight pencils, so dark you'd think the originals were inked. But I'm always looking to grow and improve, and just this month I decided to go back to inking my pages, like I used to. But I brought with me all these techniques I learned from making my own tight pencils look inked, and I felt refreshed to be working with pens and brushes again. So now I'm on the lookout for some new and better tools to continue making my work better and better.
4. Do you still live in Brazil? What is it like working from a different country?
Yes. I live in a beautiful beach city called Joao Pessoa. That's the best of all. I can work from home, close to my family and friends. I feel much more inspired this way.
5. My favorite food is my grandmother's "feijao tropeiro," what is your favorite food?
Beans, rice, vegetables, and "Carne de Charque" Sorry, I dunno how to translate this, but it is just delicious.
*Bonus* (We had so many questions for you!) How many pages per day/week do you draw?
I do a complete book, pencils and inks, plus cover in about 26 days. Add weekends with my beautiful wife Paula and my daughter Priscilla, and it comes out to a full month on the calendar. I've got to make a little time for my family and friends, because that's what a good life is all about.