A Look at the Portuguese World



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André plus

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André Lima Araujo is comic author, in particular, about the stories of several heroes of the Marvel universe, but not only, "men plus" is his latest personal project that promotes a cyber world not so far from our reality as you might think.

How did this world of comics come into your life?
André Lima Araujo: I can not say when it started, since I can remember always liked animation and design, but prefer the comics that any other art form of storytelling.

But, you have a degree on the arts or not?
ALA: I have a course in architecture. I am architect.

So how did the opportunity to work for Marvel?
ALA: The comic was always something that interested me, but as in Portugal in terms of professional I did not have any professional output so I decide by
the safer option and took a degree. I finished architecture in 2009 when the country was at the peak of the crisis and the construction was reduced by 50%, today it is very difficult for a arquicteto get a job. So while looking for an internship decided to make a serious attempt in the world of comics, had some stories, but had never published anything, coincidental that year was one of Marvel editor in "Amadora BD", so I went there and showed him some drawings. I now have perfectly notion that those drawings had no quality to be published by marvel, yet it was enough for him to give me his email and we were in touch. Obviously it was a very great incentive and from there as an occupation I started drawing every day, more and more I was enthusiastic about these small contacts also started to publish my work online, I met more people and was kind of a snow ball that grew, however, Marvel's editor offered me a job, even though it coincided with my first job as an architect, decided to follow this course of BD, was set that goal and I been in marvel until today.

I know you draw for the avengers, a graphic novel, but what are your favorite characters from the Marvel universe?
ALA: From marvel universe has always Spiderman, was what I read in my childhood, although like the others, was always my favorite. Now I will participate in a new book that was recently announced called "spider verse" that will have a number of versions of this hero.

So explain to me what are your concerns when you draw one comic strip to marvel?
ALA: So much for Marvel and for any other comics, the first objective is to tell a story, that's my main concern, that is to be the clearest possible and regular. Unless this is not the aim and has to be a confusing story, but overall, my intention is that the narrative is as clear as possible and I can give all to readers to understand the story in the best way. As a rule, I say to the writers I work with, they should not have limits of any kind, as I do not have too, because I draw anything that serves the story and also give an opinion when I think something interferes with the narrative or even when it lack some detail. As a rule, I do an outline of each page and send them after approved it passes to printing, is only a first analysis after reading the story.

You spoke of several writers, for that special editions are more than one writer or you do you choose an script?
ALA: No, I said writers in the plural, because I have worked with several. Normally, a person writes and the other draws. I get an script that has detailed what goes on every page and I pick the best way to approach this through the camera angles.

So what is your working method? To make a page a day?
ALA: The thing is, they send me the script, or the writer and the first thing I do is read to get a general idea. Then give a second reading and start to see what I can include on each page, I think as a result of various sketches and the stops from one page to another, what works best. After this second pass I do the page layouts, is a smaller page where I show everything that happens where the text and characters is, if an image closer or further away, choose the type of camera and the composition and do these quick schemes which takes about a day to do. After sending twenty pages for them to see and approve, upon the approval'll come to a page a day.

When you say you draw you mean sketches and greater detail?
ALA: I sketch, because it is a very quick drawing.

You mean draft?
ALA: Yes, it's a very quick scheme. I do not worry as it will be the artwork, I only have to worry about the sequence of the story and then then yes, design a page that is seen first in pencil, then with Chinese ink and shipped.

Have you participated in some comic.com?
ALA: Yes, I have.

In the US or here?
ALA: In the two.

How did each of these experiences?
ALA: They were very similar experiences, because the organization is the same. I always been a personal basis and I can add that it was great, I was already involved in a panel of marvel of authors and was very good on both sides.

This is because it is a very geek universe?
ALA: No, I'm at ease on all sides. Both there and here. In this type of meetings has many things like that, but I do not to say it's just focused on this kind of people, either in a casual way somenone can find everything for everyone, or just or something very specific, such as the USA were the actors of the series "walking dead" and there are people who go there just to see them, others in comic.com go to be with the artists in their respective tables and can see the comic books, so each person finds whatever it is more appealing.

In addition to the marvel you are doing comic author?
ALA: Yes, now I have a project that is already designed and written. The "men plus", will be released this year the first volume just has not date.

Tell me about the "men plus"
ALA: It is a book of science fiction, is a thriller with a kind cyberman, which has a lot of action, a thriller. It's about an android that looks one particular behavior, then it appears in a street at the same time show up one armed cyborgs and they engage in a conflict. Later there is a police team to investigate what is happening and what is the origin of Android, what happened and what is in the center of the conflict, who are the groups and follows the investigation of this case. It is a story told in four volumes and the title "men plus" is the concept that links the whole book, is the substance, the man most technology, the idea is not mine is old, addresses man's ability to expand up through technology and step these ideas through a book of action.

Why did you choose the cyberpunk? It is a subject that fascinates you?
ALA: Yes, and in this case it seemed the most appropriate, because the science fiction and cyberpunk in this case addresses a moment for which we are moving now, where there is a literal fusion of man and machine, increasingly are appearing more cyber implants are already arms and legs which bind to the nerves are not only plastic prosthetic which bind to members, even work throu impulses from the brain. They are all these concepts that appear in the cyborg is a person who has more strength, is faster because it has cybernetic implants and I thought it was an ideal topic to address in the books.

Will come out in the US or Portugal? This comic written in English?
ALA: Yes, will come out in the US, because I wrote it in english, although an english publishing company that operates in the American market. I have a publisher that will launch the full volumes, it will be presented in a monthly format. Then there will be a collection to be published in Portugal as soon as the collection is available, because I already have a Spanish publisher interested in participating in this project, but Europe should only be available next year.

What is the difference between the American and European markets?
ALA: The difference primarily relates to reading concepts like comic books. US books, or series are all monthly, and to be a book every month has to be a page limit, normally I draw twenty pages per month and it is very rare exist an artist who makes more than that, anyway there is no comic series with less, because as it is a job that takes a long time to do, usually expected to be complete for all later released monthly. For the European market the books are launched with more pages, close to 50, are denser, it is laucnhed in one a year, but it depends on the series, some bid every three years, but the biggest difference is in the format. But there are more and more artists to work in these two markets.

And readers are different?
ALA: Yes, Americans are more focused on their comics and do not care much also with other genres outside of their country, but I believe this will inevitably change. In Europe we read a lot of comic, in Portugal, in Spain, France series are translated, here there is another kind of culture, europeans read all kinds of comic and even the Japanese manga. European readers are prepared to read a little of everything and in different formats in the US too, but it is different.

We'll continue in the coming years in marvel or have other objectives in the future?
ALA: Right now I intend to continue in marvel, I have a book for the coming months and plan to continue with the author books in the coming years, I like to develop these two sides.

The architecture is closed?
ALA: Yes, I do not think I will ever go back to be an architect, because I do what I like.


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