GRAY SHUKO - THE ART OF WAR

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Gray Shuko Now the name Gray Shuko may not mean a lot to you at the moment. But trust me, after reading the following interview I did with him, Gray Shuko will mean a number of things. Things such as quality, art, war, cartoons, and, of course, lights-camera-action... webcomics.





1) What are your own origins, Gray?   I'm a french artist, and I always loved comics, animes, and video games from both Japan and the US. In the past I've worked for video game studios and did some comic book projects, now I'm freelance by trade.

2) What inspired you to create your run of web-comics?   I started making comics when I was a kid, when there was no internet around, and I did it the good old fashioned way, with pencils and paper. So I just kept on doing it when I had the time, and naturally I shared them on the web later on, when possible, but I didn't make enough so they can't really be called web-comics yet.

Fruity FragsWith my latest comic, Fruity Frags, I want to give priority to the physical copy first, simply because of the paint / juice style it has, but later I will release it online and then it should officially be a web-comic. 

3) In your own words how would you describe some of your stories?   I haven't released anything big yet, but my last three personal comic book projects turned out to be pretty martial: one was a comic book with young rebels fighting their homeland army, another described a small conflict becoming a World war in an alternate reality, and Fruity Frags is very military with a dash of espionage. So, I guess, I like this kind of background, theme, but I like it more when it's cartoony and colorful too, and that's not always easy to mix together.

The main characters usually have a violent edge to them, despite having a good moral code. I normally like to associate them with a calm and controlled character who will often take the opposing view, as epitomized by this comic book with Young Rebels and the Fruity Frags comics (the main kiwi and lemon).

Fruity Frags
About the format, I'm inspired a lot by TV shows, especially the ones recurring on several seasons that make you feel like things evolve in the story and the lore. I loved Dragon Ball, Captain Tsubasa, The Shield, MI5, and right now I'm a fan of The Americans.

I like to plan stories on several tomes with drastic changes at each one which modify the balance of power between groups of characters. And because it's always happening in fictional lores, I like to make those changes increasingly important with consequences on the whole lore Personally, I like to make those changes increasingly important with consequences placed on the whole lore (which basically means that I always want my characters to go through a global war at some point). 

4) What song would you say best represents your style of wares and why?   It's hard to choose one song, but I'll go with the soundtrack for X-Men First Class, especially the theme you hear when Magneto's going mad (and that happens a lot). I loved both the movie and this character, as he's just on the edge between good and evil, nicely switching to the latter when you hear this tune.




Fruity Frags
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your comics, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Well, I'd say any celebrity who'd enjoy reading them, that would already be cool. Actually, there's a bit of an answer in the Kickstarter campaign I'm doing for my latest comic: I contacted several of my favorite artists from around the world, not really to promote it, but to add their illustrations in a section of 10 pages that I would like to have in every tome. They didn't all respond, obviously, but I finally got my Dream Team, ready to fill this book if it gets funded.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   I learnt that I constantly go too fast in details when I draw, so I spot the mistakes too late and have to correct more than needed. In my case, it's usually something really hard to get rid of. I don't have this problem for colors because I use clearly different steps that don't overlap. Maybe I should use a large pencil, then a thinner one, to simulate two different steps. 

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I'd say not caring too much about being in good stead: Work comes and work goes, especially in a field where contracts are often short. I just try to make the pictures I want to see, so I'm my first viewer, and if other people like them too, I know I can keep on doing it.

8) If you had a personal motto, what would it be?   I don't but I just checked some online, and this one is pretty cool: Natura Artis Magistra (Nature is the teacher of art).


And so on that great note, I'd like to thank Gray for telling us about his comic books, before directing you towards his official website and facebook page.

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