For this week’s 7 Questions, I talked with Juan Jose Ryp, the talented artist working on Skybound’s new series, CLONE, with writer David Schulner. Check out what Juan has to say below about art, music, and this mindbending new book, in stores November 14th!
1.) For those that don’t know, how did you get your start in comics?
God, I hate that question, I’m too old for… well, this is my bio in a few lines. A zillion years ago or so, I began to publish professionally in Spain, working in several magazines with so many genres: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, erotic. Some of these works and characters have seen the light in the States years later, like Nancy In Hell. By sheer chance, I started to work at Avatar Press exclusively, and I continued to work there eight or nine years more, doing works like Robocop, Black Summer, No Hero… I spent two years more at Marvel Comics, drawing Wolverine, Moon Knight, Punisher…and, well, now I’m here, at Skybound drawing CLONE, along with some Batman stuff for DC Comics. There is more to tell, sure, but… who would want to hear all that?
2.) Your insane attention to detail makes you perfect on an action book like CLONE. Can you tell us about the evolution of your style?
Thanks for your kind words! I’ve always drawn that way, paying so much attention to the detail. Some people say it’s because I lack an ability to synthesize. I never attended any art class, I just draw the things as I see them. In fact, all that detail comes to the surface when I’m inking. My pencils are much more loose, more anarchic than the final result.
3.) Which artists out there are currently influencing your work?
Oh, well… Hergé is a DIVINITY and Jean Giraud Moebius, too. And in the same Olympus are Schuiten, Manara, Giardino, Darrow, Boucq, Gimenez… I know this is too European, but Adams, Lee, Risso, Miller and Hughes are around, too. But I’m not being fair. See, every book I read, every comic I enjoy (and there are plenty of them), leaves something in me and influences every new page I face. I love comics, man!
4.) If you look at our interview with Director of Business Development Shawn Kirkham, you’ll know that we’re big music fans in the office. What music do you have playing in your studio?
Are you asking for a playlist? Right now Bo Diddley is playing, but usually I listen to (without any order in particular) The Clash, BB King, Stray Cats, Sex Pistols, Mozart, Ramones, The Cure, Charlie Parker, Green Day, Nirvana, Vivaldi, The Who, AC/DC, Ella Fitzgerald, The Undertones, The Cult… and much more! Plus a lot of Spanish groups. I don’t want to bore you, but as you can see, everything I hear is sort of… old. Just like me.
5.) You live in Spain. David Schulner lives in Los Angeles. What’s it like creating comics across the globe with David and the folks at Skybound?
That’s nothing new. My life as a professional has always been like that. The publisher is American, the writer is American or British, me, a Spaniard, and the colorist is from any other part of the world. That’s globalization, man…Or perhaps some type of Babel Tower. But there is absolutely no problem there. David and the Skybound guys are very kind and attentive, always quick to solve any doubt I may have.
6.) Artistically, how do you approach making Luke and all the clones distinctive, even though they’re all the same?
…with some difficulty *laughs*. Well, first we designed a “Zero-Clone,” that could be (our protagonist) Luke, and changed some characteristics and features, like haircuts and clothing, and the other clones soon appeared. But I’ve tried to depict that “difference” with the gestures and the behavior of the different clones. That way, Patrick is a cold-blooded, evil-hearted, imperturbable guy. And Luke is just a good guy, indecisive and insecure. A good guy in a bad problem
7.) If you had a clone to assist you, what would you do with all that extra time?
Well… a hundred things come to mind, and some of them I can’t confess! Overall, I’d love to spend more time with my wife and my son, to share more things with them. I’d like to travel, to see with my own eyes these places I’ve drawn and possibly I’ll never visit. And run! Running is one of my passions. I have in mind to run through the whole country, a la Forrest Gump. I can keep saying nonsense like that all day long, you know…
Thank you very much! I really hope you like CLONE. I’m putting all the effort and hope I can into this series.