ARCHAEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS - LIVING IN A MECHANIZED WORLD

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Archeologists of Shadows
In the past my interviews have always been pretty straight forward really. I ask the questions. The interviewee gives the answers. Then I can present what has been said into a post, for anybody to read. However, this time, I've needed a translator to mediate these proceedings. Nick Defina is this cleaver chaps name, and I'd like to publicly thank him for helping me chat with two comic book creators, Lara and Patricio. Gracias, mate!


Archeologists of Shadows


1) What are your own origins, Lara and Patricio? Plus how did you two first meet up?   Our origins are quite different and similar at the same time. We're not only from different countries (Argentina and Spain), we're from different continents! We met in Barcelona, and started working in the same company -- a Publishing house, that published mostly magazines and books.  Since we had lots of things in common we became friends very quickly, and had a good time as a writer and art designer. At some point we began to talk about devising a project together. Granted, at the beginning, the idea was to make an illustrated book of short stories, but eventually the idea evolved until the logical thing to us to do -- as an artist and a writer -- working together on comic books.

Barcelona
2) What inspired you to create your graphic novel, ‘Archaeologists Of Shadows’?   The world we live in -- our situation. We looked around us and tried to make sense of what’s happening to art, the media, and culture. So we decided to criticize all these things that don’t make sense to us, and translate it to the media we feel comfortable with -- comic books.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   The story is about two characters looking for their place in the world, trying to make sense of what’s happening around them. They awaken from their lethargic existence and look for the reasons why things are the way they are, and solutions to make their world a better place. We would say this is the core of the story, but it all happens in a world where every living thing is being mechanized -- all is supposedly the will of the two Gods -- and the Authorities are brutalizing every person that disagrees.

4) If your novel was a piece of music, what would it be and why?   Now that’s a really difficult question. But after making the different trailers and teasers for the books, we can’t think of the images of 'Archeologists of Shadows' and not think about the music we chose for them. All the songs are by a great young musician with great pieces. Some of them really epic and dramatic, that we discovered on the Internet. So if we had to choose, we would say 'Morphosis' or 'Shedneryan' by 'Roger Subirana Mata'.




Metropolis
5) To me, Patricio style of art is very much like Fritz Lang’s work on the sci-fi opus ‘Metropolis'. How would you describe your style of art, Patricio? And what provoked you to create in this way?   I believe that the art style of AOS has been an accident that occurred between my artistic ambitions and my very limited knowledge to materialize that ambition. In a sense, it was born from experimenting with textures, forms and a constant search for references.

The style is still in its early stages and growing. I thought about it a lot before I began the third issue of the series, and I have realized how far away I am from how it should be done. That’s why I think that AOS will always be a potential experiment -- or the shadows of what it should be. I think I’d describe the style of AOS as a seed that could become something big, we just don’t have enough water to make it happen.

6) Lara; I was wondering if you've incorporated any of your past experiences working within the media industry into this tale? And if so, could you give a example please?   I’m afraid to say that if I gave specific examples, I would give an important part of the story away. But if you take a look around and wonder how come there are so few original works in the industry these days, that would give you a clue. Lately, it seems that if you want to see something that is not a remake, a sequel, a prequel, or a new version of the same thing with a different title, you are going to have to look outside the mainstream. And I am not just talking about comic books, but movies and novels as well. It comes to a point where all that matters is the safety of the bestsellers or the blockbusters, there is no place for almost anything else. Obviously there are exceptions, but it seems like our culture is being mechanized. The industry has been a great deal of influence in the story.

7) What was the first comic book you ever read? And do you still read mainstream comic books today?   PATRICIO: All my childhood has been full of Marvel and DC comic books and toys, but the first comic book that really impressed me was: 'The Arrival' by Shaun Tan. I appreciate the great works, but I’m not a big fan of the art during the 80’s and 90’s except for a few names, like Dave McKean, Simon Bisley, Lee Bermejo, and Adi Granov. These are great artists, but nowadays I have lost a great deal of interest -- not just in comic books -- but in the arts in general. I believe it all is in a constant state of decadence.

Archeologists of ShadowsLARA: I don’t remember the first comic book I ever read, but when I was a child I was always reading the adventures of 'Tintin', 'Asterix & Obelix', and oddly enough, I loved 'The Phantom' too. My father had a collection of comic books from his childhood -- he had 'Superman', 'Flash Gordon' and 'The Phantom' -- but I loved 'The Phantom' and to this days he is my favorite comic book hero. I still read mainstream comic books, I’m a big fan of 'The Walking Dead', 'Locke and Key' or 'Fables', to name a few.

8) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote ‘AoS’, who would you get and why?   PATRICIO: Alan Lee, he is one the best artists alive -- so that’s a good reason. And maybe he could convince Peter Jackson to make the movie. 

LARA: This is hard to answer, there are so many people -- Alan Moore is the immediate choice. He is one of the best comic book writers in the world, so he shouldn't have to even promote the work. If he just read and liked the book, that would be incredible.
 
9) What piece of advice would you give to someone else trying to produce a similar project?   Work very hard and don’t expect too much too quickly. Better yet, don’t expect anything at all, just in case. You have no guarantee that everything is going to work out and that people will like your work -- or that they even will ever hear of it - so you need to have patience and believe in your work even if nobody around you does. Get some help with the stuff you are not good at, we found 'Septagon Studios', and they do a great deal of work that we don’t know how to do or we don’t have the time to do. Overall, work, work, work, learn from your mistakes and keep working, working, working. That’s all we know so far…

Very well said, Lara and Patricio. Work is the key to creativity nowadays. As well as some incentive to encourage my dear readers to check out your website, www.archeologistsofshadows.com, plus follow you on facebook too. Go on. Click-click. It'll be good for you.