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Friday November 19, 2010

An interview with comic book artist Guiseppe Camuncoli

Italian artist Guiseppe Camuncoli digs the sideburns.

NEXT month, the Singapore Toys, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC), regarded as the biggest comics-related event in the region, will once again take place at Suntec in Singapore from Dec 10 to 12. Since its introduction in 2008, the event has grown from strength to strength as seen by the increasing variety and quality of its content and creative talents.

Dramatic: Giuseppe Camuncoli’s Dark Wolverine

Two years ago, I attended the first STGCC event. I was bowled over by the sci-fi-meets-anime décor at the hall. Seeing my favourites Tan Eng Huat (Thor 1st Thunder, Silver Surfer, etc) and Gary Erskine (Dan Dare) was also a memorable experience.

This year’s creative talents include Esad Ribic (Loki, Sub Mariner), Salva­dor Larocca (Iron Man), Guiseppe Camuncoli (Daken, Wolverine, Jonah Hex), Lienil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion) and David Lloyd (V For Vendetta).

As a build-up to the event, we will post updates on the event and interview some of the creative talents, starting with Camuncoli, 35, who is making waves with Daken and Wolverine. Through a recent e-mail exchange, I had a chance to delve into Guiseppe’s psyche and found out that the friendly Italian-born artist has a fetish for sideburns and subconsciously wants to be Wolverine.

What is your favourite comic book that you have worked on? Why?

It’s very hard for me to name one comic book among the many I’ve worked on. Every single one of them, even the less inspired or successful, still holds (and always will hold) a special place in my heart. For some sentimental reason, though, I can probably tell you that when I had the chance in 2007 to work on the follow-up to Hugo Pratt’s series The Scorpions Of The Desert for French publisher Casterman, it was an unbelievable surprise. Hugo Pratt, the late creator of Corto Maltese, has always been one of my all-time favourite creators, and when they chose me to continue his epic story, it really felt like an unbelievable gift.

Having worked on different genres/settings – occult (Hellblazer), tech-pop (Intimates), space/cosmic (Heralds Of Galactus), Western (Jonah Hex), etc) – what would you like to draw next?

Dracula

I’m open to anything. I’m not, never been and never will be picky! I love to work on intense, possibly dramatic, stories. The genre is important as it can be a variation, but as long as it serves the story and the characters well, then I’m up for all genres! Especially when it can give me the chance to draw something new and different. One thing I’ve never done so far and that I’d love to do, even if it was a short story, would be a story for the Eastern market. Japanese cartoons and mangas have had a great influence on me since I was a kid, and are part of the reason why I’m dynamic in my storytelling and action sequences.

Which comic book artist/writer is your biggest influence?

In addition to Hugo Pratt, others would be Sergio Toppi, Moebius, Katsuhiro Otomo, José Munoz, Mike Mignola, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Frank Quitely, Dave McKean, Ted McKeever, David Mazzucchelli, Chris Bachalo, Marc Hempel, Adam Kubert ... the list could go on. I’m pretty sure that once I see the interview printed, I’d curse myself for having forgotten to name a lot of other creators that have definitely changed my approach to style and storytelling with their art.

Loved your work on The Intimates, particularly the presentation and dynamism. Will there be an Intimates sequel?

I think it could be very difficult, but never say never. It’s incredible to see how many people nowadays are still big fans of that series. Too bad it didn’t sell well enough at the time to keep it going, especially as Joe Casey and I had great plans for the book.

‘I love to work on intense, possibly dramatic, stories,’ says comic book artist Giuseppe Camuncoli

As you have worked for both DC and Marvel, are there any differences (in terms of work style, remuneration package, creative freedom, etc) between the two companies?

Not so many, to be honest. There can be small or big differences in some things, but that apply as well inside the same company. It really depends on the book you work on, and the people you work with. But overall, I’m having a blast working with both companies. Call me lucky or whatever, but so far there’s not been any single editor/professional or company that I’ve worked with that gave me a hard time. Everyone has always treated me like a king, and I try to return that same kind of attitude with anyone.

Jonah Hex (movie version) vs John Constantine. Who do you think would win in a no holds barred fight?

That’s tough. They’re both very unpredictable characters so it would be close to a draw, in my opinion. But John Constantine maybe could win with an unexpected move, his sense of honour could possibly allow him to do stuff that Jonah would never do.

If you could be a character that you have drawn, who would you choose to be?

Wolverine. I’ve always liked his looks, as I love sideburns. Plus the healing factor could allow me to do anything and always feel good. Or, alternatively, Cole Cash, aka Grifter from WildCats – another sideburns badass.

For more info on the Singapore Toys, Games and Comic Convention, browse www.singaporetgcc.com

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