25 Apr 2019
Today we are bringing an interview very special to us: it is a big pleasure to talk again with a great artist as Luis NCT. Back in 2014, Luis was one of the very first artists that we interviewed in this blog, and as he recently published Wahcommo under the Astiberri publishing firm, we didn't pass the chance to talk with him and know everything about his new comic book first-hand.
Before talking about Wahcommo, tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Luis NCT?
I grew up by the Mediterranean sea, reading all kinds of comics and books, and spending a lot of time surrounded by art and printing machines. I began drawing comics as a kid and continued making fanzines on high school. I studied Fine Arts in Valencia after that, and wasted some time on musical matters and the illustration world. I'm trying to focus on Comic stuff nowadays, so I also work as colorist for USA while I make my own comic work.
Wahcommo is your second long work, after publishing "Sleeprs" with EDT. Where does this new story come from?
This comic book has its origin on a number of diverse interests. On one side, the most basic impulse was to do a color story of greater proportions (size and length), as contrast with Sleepers. I also wanted to do something on the epic fantasy genre, which I enjoyed so much as a reader (and role-playing gamer) during my kid, teenage, and post-teenage years.
On the other side, the fantasy genre served me as scaffolding to talk about social and historic evolution, providing more deep thoughts on what could seem a lighter story at first glance.
**The first thing that catches the eye is the large size the comic has, and of ocurse, the stunning visuals. Can you tell us about the process of illustration and coloring? How much did it takes to create one page of Wahcommo?
From the very moment the project was approved, I knew the final page size and format was going to be that. Because of the themes in the comic, I think the physical appearance of the comic book (the book as an object) completes the whole vibe I was looking for with the story. All the creation process was digital, from pencils to color, but it is made to be read on paper. I couldn't tell how much time each page took, and it also varies from page to page, but the whole project took me 4 years of work (I also worked on other projects during that time, too).
Some cool things about the process: I sometimes laid the first layer of color with a very low-detail sketch, and then used that color layer as base to create the clean drawing. I worked as this during the first half of the book, and on some landscapes. I also re-learned 3D on purpouse to solve some architecture issues. The typography to letter the pages was also done from scracth (as well as I could).
Talking about the story, the one thing that impressed us the most was how well "dosed" the plot and dialogues are, and that you tell a lot with very little. Wich are the things you want to talk about with this story?
In Wahcommo, I tried to combine two narratives: the one reflecting the character's drama, and the other exploring the themes that shape the story's world.
About the main characters, on one hand we got Fox, who struggles to fit the role his tribe expects him to play (and the traits that supossedly make a hero) although his true nature is not aligned with that. On the other side, Kaya fits perfectly on that role, but that is denied to her because being a woman, and she fights over that prejudice. Vanyan the warrior, for example, really represents what a true hero is, which is something very different from the glorious ideals that stories build around heroes.
About the more broader themes are not strictly tied to the characters that shape the world around them, they basically are the horror of war, the downfall and rise of civilizations, and how History misunderstoods (and a lot of time, re-writes) events to make them fit into a convenient narrative.
On the editorial side, how was working with Astiberri? How is the "industry" side of publishing a comic book like Wahcommo?
Astiberri are marvelous people. Actually, I already signed with them for a new comic-book with them, and working with them is a very pleasant experience. On the industry side, to create a story like this, where the author is in charge of everyting (except final graphic design on the cover and layout work, which Alba Diethelm did) is very different in deadlines and process than working on USA comics, where you are a part of a whole bigger team.
What did you discover and learn with this project and journey?
I found out that if I was able to make 200 full-color pages all by myself, I can do another 200 more, better and faster!
And last, but not least: What can we expect from Luis NCT on the next months?
I hope that a lot more comic-books! On May 2019 a 32-pages manga that I wrote and drawed is going to be published on Japan. It's a spin-off from Apollo's Song, by Osamu Tezuka, and will be publish on the Tezucomi magazine.
I'm already working on a sequel to Wahcommo. And I also would like to return to Slepeers before devoting my time to a longer project that's been a while in my mind.
Thanks a lot, Luis!
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