with Max de Radiguès of Rough Age & Moose
Name: Max de Radiguès
City: Brussels, Belgium
Comics: In English: Rough Age (One percent Press), Moose (Conundrum Press), Bastard (Oily comics). More in French here: http://www.maxderadigues.com/bibliographie
Websites: maxderadigues.com - http://maxderadigues.tumblr.com - http://www.employe-du-moi.org
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Max – I’m from Belgium so reading comics is part of the culture. In every house there’s some Hergé, Fanquin, Peyo… I’m quite fed up of Tintin because it’s everywhere & doesn’t leave a lot of room for anything else in the comics landscape here. But all those guys are masters !
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Max – A Tintin? A Spirou & Fantasio? Gaston?
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Max – I did comics as a kid with friends. But my "real" first zine was when I was 20 years old & my first book when I was 24.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Max – Any of them… The end of the nineties & beginning of the two-thousands were a big boom for indy comics in Belgium & France. A lot happened…
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Max – I don’t feel like a drawer. My drawing isn’t my best skill. Nor is writing. Only when I combined the two did I find a way to tell stories & have fun telling them.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Max – It can of course be a path to mainstream. It always depends on what you want.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Max – For my zines, always a hundred. When I make books, it depends… between 600 & 3000 copies.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Max – Enough for everyone to make a little bit of money… I would say a reasonable price regarding what kind of object you’re selling.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Max – Around 10 zines & 1 book. I always wish to make more of course…
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Max – It depends on the project. I have fun doing both.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Max – That doesn’t really apply to me in Belgium…
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Max – Around a year, a year & a half.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Max – I draw a little better. But I hope all my skills are improving. They will never be good enough, but that’s what keeps you going…
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Max – Yeah, always in sketchbook. It’s very rough, only I can read it, but it helps me. Sometimes I only thumbnail a sequence at a time & sometimes I do the whole book before starting to do some final pages.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Max – Nearly the same as the print size. Slightly bigger.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Max – Always the Bic Atome nib. It’s the cheapest & works fine for me….
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Max – My desk is pretty organized & tidy. But the wall behind me is a mess full of pages, notes.…
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Max – Usually just to make some corrections, add colors, or black.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Max – We all have to look into it. I don’t think it will replace traditional paper comics, but be along side it. I still wait for someone to make something really interesting with digital comics. A lot of what I see isn’t better that what people use to do for a CD-Rom....
My friends Sacha Goerg did some really cool Turbomedia that makes you think a lot of possibilities that remain to be discovered.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Max – It depends on the project. But I tend more naturally towards black & white.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Max – The fun part for a cartoonist is to layout the pages. When I do a script I try to be as loose as possible to leave enough room for the drawer. It’s not a collaboration if he only executes what you said.
QRD – Do you think it’s important to have a full story arc completely written before starting to draw?
Max – No.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Max – Trondheim? Hergé? Porcellino?
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Max – It was weird to understand for some of them in the beginning… But most of them were always really cool about it. Everybody likes to have a friend or a member of family who is a cartoonist, no?
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Max – I only see them in movies…. So, nothing….
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Max – Nancy.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Max – Facebook, Twitter, conventions, signings.…
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Max – The best are independent bookstores that don’t sell only comics, general bookstores.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Max – A movie would be great!
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Max – A reader.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Max – self-distribution, maybe? That would be fun….
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Max – Telling good stories!
QRD – Anything else?
Max – I work in a studio with eight other cartoonists. It’s a very important for me…. Even if I work on a project on my own, it’s nice to be out of the house & exchange with others….