Eisner and Harvey Award winner Rafael Albuquerque took some time to answer questions with Stephen Walker from DarkAvengerINC.
SW: Hello Mr. Albuquerque. How are you?
RA: Hey there, how's it going?
SW: Who or what inspired you to become an artist and what advice do you have for artist wanting to break into comics?
RA: I have too many artists who were (and still are) big influences. Eduardo Risso, Mike Mignola, Joe Kubert, Walter Simonson, Ivo Millazzo and John Buscema are just a few of them. My advice would be WORK! Nothing else will make the work done other than yourself, doing it.
SW: You are the main artist for American Vampire from Vertigo, which you are the co-creator of with Scott Snyder. For people that don’t know about the series, could you give some background information about it?
RA: Vampires are infiltrated in basically everywhere in our society, as bankers, politicians... Everywhere, and it has been happening since the ancient times. So Skinner Sweet, an old west outlaw ended "turned“ into a vampire, but he develop a bit different. He becomes the very first "American Vampire," a more powerful version than the classic vampire we are used to. My favorite aspect of this book is how it can be read as fun popcorn reading, or a critique of our modern society.
SW: How did you get involved in the series?
RA: I was drawing Blue Beetle for a long time already, and the book was about to be cancelled, so i wanted to do something very different. Something that could have a more personal art style. Will Dennis (100 Bullets editor) saw some of my indie work and really liked how i could change my style according to the story, and that’s why he called me.
SW: What’s it like working with Scott Snyder and how much say do you have on what goes into the issues?
RA: I’m probably spoiled by working with Scott and Mark (Doyle, my editor). They are the best colleagues I could want. Scott has never delayed a script, is always very opened to suggestion, and more than anything else, is a guy who likes to collaborate with the artist. You can see it in all of his works, not only AV. He allows the artist to contribute to the tone of the story and that's how I personally like to work. We quickly became best friends.
SW: You have had to do a lot of period stuff in this series. How do you go about making sure what you draw is right for the time?
RA: Basically a lot of research. Not only for clothes and cars, but also what was going on in that period. What kind of art they used to have. What kind of food they used to eat. How the politics were at the time. All of this stuff is important when you do a book like AV. Of course, Mark and Scott bring a lot of this research done already. Teamwork.
SW: Why is 2013 the time to take a break from American Vampire? Can you give us any idea when it will return?
RA: Story wise, it's the right moment. When the Cycle 2 comes out, people will understand a bit more. It’s darker. Way darker. Changes the main characters A LOT. I like to compare it to vinyl records. WE just had out Side A, with singles and pop music. In our Side B, we will see real horror.
SW: Can you give us anything, anything at all about things to come in the series?
RA: Just read issue 34. There is a double spread page that will give you some clues of what’s coming!
SW: You did the backup stories for the “Night of Owls” storyline in the
New 52 Batman series. Did you enjoy it and would you like to do more Batman in the future?
RA: Yeah. Night of the Owls was a lot of fun. I was following the book already because it's Scott's, and I love Greg Capullo's art. The opportunity to participate on that was unique. I am working on several Batman projects, to be honest. Just finished a Legends of Dark Knight short story I wrote and illustrate (colored by the great Dave McCaig), and I have another one coming in the next several months (top secret so far).
SW: Who’s your favorite character to draw and why?
RA: Travis Kidd and Skinner Sweet, equally. They are both posers, and somehow it’s a rich field for an artist. They are such good characters, with such great personalities, that drawing them is kind of easy, I guess.
SW: What are your plans for 2013? What’s in the works if you can tell us anything?
RA: I’m doing a lot of writing work this year. I've done a couple of Batman stories that are coming out this year. I’m writing and illustrating a Vertigo project that should be announced soon and I have a publisher for Tune 8 (my creator owned work, along with Mike Johnson) that will be published in US, hopefully this year. A busy but great year!
SW: One last question. Will you be doing any more creator own series like the amazing CrimeLand comic you did for Image Comics?
RA: Thanks. Yeah, as I’ve mentioned, Tune 8, a web comic I published last year in Brazil, it will be reformatted and relaunched in the US. I brought Mike Johnson (Supergirl/Superman&Batman) for the project as co-writer and we found an amazing publisher for the book. It will be announced soon.
SW: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us today.
You Can Follow Rafael Albuquerque on Twitter
@rafaalbuquerque, on his Facebook or on his Website http://rafaelalbuquerque.com/
You Can Follow Stephen On his Twitter @ComicsSGW or on youtube page ComicsSGW or on DarkAvengerINC.