Article Information
TitleThe first publications
AuthorYves Lacroix
AuthorPhilippe Sohet
Context Information
AlbumAndreas. Une monographie
Article Contents
from the article "The first publications (1995)":
What happened after Saint-Luc and the Academy?
Andreas: Yet I hold good memories on Saint-Luc, because of the friends and aquaintances it has left me. We shared the same passion, we all wanted to do comics. After Saint-Luc I worked with Antonio Cossu, Philippe Foerster and Philippe Berthet for - I don't remember exactly how long - six to twelve months. We had rented some space and made a workshop out of it. We had much fun. We discussed eachother's work, that was a lot of fun. Talking to comic book artists these days, its always about rights of authorship, contracts and the like. It's no longer about what's really interesting about the trade.
You worked in the same space, yet everyone had his own work...
Andreas: Everyone did his own thing. We just started. I drew the first episode of Révélations posthumes in collaboration with François Rivière and made sketches for Eddy Paape. Antonio Cossu made drawings and the layout for a small business magazine. Philippe Berthet and Philippe Foerster worked on a book about hunting in Belgium; Berthet drew the animals and Foerster did the backgrounds and characters. That was the beginning, we became professional slowly but certainly. Then followed the first festivals of Angoulême, where we made our first important contacts...
How did your collaboration with Eddy Paape come about? You were mentioned as co-author in a story from 1977: Carol détective: Mission en 2012...
Andreas: That went about as follows: Paape had had a scenario from André-Paul Duchâteau for a while. He had made some character sketches, but had not had time to draw the story. He asked me if I wanted to sketch it. In the beginning I wasn't fast enough for him of course: he inkted in a flash, while it took me three days to do the sketches. He called me continuously. That was good, because he taught me to work under pressure. Currently I like to work fast as well to remind myself that I'm telling a story! If you are working too long on a plate - making Le retour de Cromwell Stone I spent up to three weeks on one plate - you seem to string standalone illustrations together, rather than tell a story. Then you lose the feeling that you are telling a story. I rather like to keep a certain rhythm, so that the storyline remains clear.
After that came Udolfo?
Andreas: Before Udolfo I made two plates, so Paape could finish a story of Luc Orient before he could start Udolfo. That is at the end of L'enclume de la foudre, there is a large lizzard on the final plate.
Andreas: We worked on Udolfo when I moved to Paris, that was in 1978.
For Udolfo you were given a scenario. Could you decide yourself which points of view, ways of cutting pictures, and what positioning of the characters to use?
I had the scenario of André-Paul Duchâteau, specifying on the left what happens on each picture and on the right the dialogues, picture by picture. But I had a lot of freedom. Eddy Paape wanted me especially for the plate layout, the mise en scène.
That work division is remarkable, because in American comics the one who sketches and cuts the story in pictures is credited with the drawing, while an assistant inks all accordingly. Yet in Tintin/Hello BD (fr); Kuifje (nl) you were only mentioned for your work on La montre aux 7 rubis in the fifth episode, starting with page 12.
Andreas: That's possible, but it didn't really bother me. I was happy to be doing something. I was of course very surprised when Eddy Paape asked me to do the sketches for him! Anyway, Milton Caniff also had someone doing the sketches for him.
Did your drawing style resemble Eddy Paape's
Andreas: I must have one or two copies of those sketches somewhere. I didn't draw like Paape at all, but it didn't look like Rork either. It was just the best I could do at the time. By the way, I had to work on a size that was too big for me. Paape then corrected the mistakes in my drawings and inkted all, in his own way off course. He changed the characters somewhat, added his fine lines, gave it his own style.
How was your contact with him? Did you feel at home with him?
Andreas: To me it was more about the man than about what he made. He was an OUDE ROT IN HET VAK. The things he taught me I still use. Simple, yet practical things. Limited, but important. From time to time I still recall new things.
About the same time the first episodes of Révélations posthumes appear in (A Suivre). Where your collaboration with François Rivière originate?
Andreas: The first episode of Révélations posthumes I made in 1977 and these were published the year after in (A Suivre). The contact with François Rivière comes from that famous day when Jijé visited the Saint-Luc. I had a drawing on (site-editor: in Dutch: schaafkarton), my first. That happened to be the only one of which Jijé had said:""That's good! Look, that is good, elegant..." Rivière was there as well. He was looking for someone to do the cover of a Jules Verne book and approached me. Later I asked him to write a story for me. I believe he didn't feel like it at first, but I persisted, so eventually he came up with a text on H.P. Lovecraft. After he had seen the first plates, he became more interested. At first we worked for Métal Hurlant, for a Lovecraft special. But when I was finished, Riviere told me: "Métal Hurlant isn't doing well these days, they don't pay well. Maybe it would be better to go to (A Suivre)." I must say I didn't feel good about this thing with Métal Hurlant. That also led to some arguments. Later I understood that it was really something for (A Suivre). They were looking exactly for this mixture of comics and literature. After that we continued working for them. Métal Hurlant was a lost case in all respects.
Was the collaboration with François Rivière for you the first acquintance with H.P. Lovecraft's work? Or did you know it already?
Andreas: I already knew it. For a long time I read fantastic literature, until I discovered H.P. Lovecraft. Then I had found what I was looking for.
You made Révélations posthumes on (site-editor: in Dutch: schaafkarton), in a very different style than your work for Tintin/Hello BD (fr); Kuifje (nl). Did you work a long time on these plates?
Andreas: Yes I worked a long time on Révélations posthumes, especially on those stories on Loti and H.P. Lovecraft. I was very careful, because I didn't really know what I was doing. I spent much time on them.
Révélations posthumes has become an odd album, but I don't really think it's good. It's not really a strip, more like an overillustrated text, mainly because of the photographs I used, which I did partially to work faster. And of course my drawing style was not great.
Did you work out the text based on the photos? Or did you look for photos to match the texts?
Andreas: I looked for photos to match the text. For some stories we made photos ourselves, like stories on Jule Verne or Loti. For La femme de cire du musée Spitzner we visited the museum more than once. It happened to be in France and later in Belgium. The story on Agatha Christie I made with photos from a book François Rivière lent me and other things I found myself. Eventually it became routine and we stopped it.