Interview with Frédéric Brrémaud and Federico Bertolucci | the Lucca Comics and Games 2018
Pair stainless from the humour tender and suitable for all ages Frédéric Brrémaud and Federico Bertolucci are known especially for their publishing success, Love, a series of books that tell stories of cute animals inside their natural habitat. During Lucca Comics & Games 2018 were guests of the publisher Renoir Comics, for which they published the series “Little stories...”, where a dog and a squirrel venture out to the farms, in the forest and in other places the discovery of the secrets of Nature. We have had occasion to do them some questions about their current works, and future.
MF: Thanks for the availability. Very well-known both in Italy and abroad, the couple artistic Brrémaud – Bertolucci was born, very first of your successful series Love. How did you get your partnership?
FBert: First Love, we have made a lot of albi: the first was with the publishing house Soleil and it was Richard Cœur de Lion, then The players in question for the publisher Bamboo, Rocambole de Ponson du Terrail for Delcourt... Well, we already a little work done together. Then we thought of making Love, a comic dumb that he has had quite a success. The fact that he was mute was a positive aspect to sell it abroad, given that there would be no translations to do. Lately it has also been released in China! However, the association was born thanks to Donald Soffritti, who at the time worked with Fréderic: he was the one to tell me that the latter was seeking a designer for a register. I knew of a person during a Lucca Comics a few years ago and, before introduce ourselves, we had already started working on a few table together. We were immediately very well, also because we both have several things in common, especially the sense of humor: we are the same age and we both grew up in the country... However we have never had so many problems.
MF: A sense of humor that you find in a lot of your work, especially in the series “Little stories...”. There will be other volumes in the future?
FBrém: I don't know how many, exactly: I'm thinking of ambientarne one in the mountain and one in the Great North. The use of the characters is quite vast. We want to have our time to find the right theme and have the right ideas. It is not a work to commission, so...
FBert: Then the squirrel and the dog are two characters that lend themselves well to tell a lot of things, because in the end, are little educational books for children, which speak to animals. Coming from the series Love we wanted to create something of the kind, but suitable for children. At the beginning, this project called out for him, between us, Baby Love, because we have seen that a lot of parents bought Love to the children. Only the themes of the series were a little strong and a little disturbing for children, and we decided to do one more thing for them. The fact that the two characters live adventures in the world of animals causes the narration to be very elastic. You may also make a journey into the world of film, music, literature... adventures are always different. In the future we could create adventures out of the Nature.
FBrrém: I would make him take a journey through the paintings of a museum. I remember that at the castle of Angers, in the west of France, made a visit to the children of the tapestries of the Renaissance, and on these there was a rabbit who “traveled” to the inside of the tapestry. It would be to do such a thing. Then there are also publications about the Louvre, what type of Taiyô Matsumoto, who has published two volumes for Futuropolis (the title is Les Chats du Louvre). Many publishers big have a necklace all their own dedicated to museums... Say that this is not a new idea.
FBert: The museums more modern shop, and often there are these little books for children.
FBrrém: Anyway, we thought of “Little stories...” you could do the history of rock... in Short, we have a lot of ideas!
Federico Bertolucci in the dedication on Little stories#luccacomicsandgames #dedications #piccolestorie #littletails
Published by ReNoir Comics on Saturday, 3rd November 2018
MF: A question about the character design of the two small protagonists: why your choice fell on a little dog and a squirrel?
FBrrém: I chose the dog because it is the animal that represents the home environment, likes to stay home and not have much desire to travel, but in the end remains always glad of his adventures. Instead, the squirrel is a wild animal but linked to the city. The mouse was already taken, so... (laughs)
MF: your success was not only in italy but also abroad, especially in America. What differences have you noticed between the Italian market and the foreign? What the one has and the other deficita or vice versa?
FBert: In the Italian market there are very few publishers that allow authors to make the cartoonist's job, and these have characters known to the public that they offer a good payment to the author. Speaking of Bonelli and Disney mainly. Out of these, there are publishers that offer very low prices (sometimes ridiculous) that can not be taken into consideration in order to live: in this case, the author makes a second job, or writes/draws for a hobby or do not need it because it is economically successful. It also happens, that the big publishers have already the talented designers, so those that are good, and not being able to find a place, turn to the foreign market, which offers more possibilities than even those who were not of the quality that the Italian market requires. There is more chance of finding a job in France, and at the same time, since the market is very strong (about 5000 times a year), you get a salary at the table, even to small publishers. If in Italy the Italian designers are high quality, in France there is more freedom of expression.
FBrrém: I noticed that Italy lacks a nice feature that the French publishers. The French publisher has a catalog with titles that take a range of audiences ranging from children to the old. For example, those who sixty years ago was a child, and he read a comic book published by Dargaud, is now an elder and passes the comic to his nephew, and of these, the content speaking, not age. To do such a thing here in Italy is risky, because there is the danger of out of the slice of the public is obtained. Children do not read comics, except for Mickey mouse, and at 12 years of age read the manga or are interested in the animation: it is difficult at that age to read Tex or Dylan Dog. From here, the writer may make the mistake of writing comic strips for children that are bought and read by the old. This is not a criticism in itself, but you need to do the work to make sure that the kids buy comic books for children.
MF: In the preview at Lucca Comics & Games 2018 you have brought Brindille, published for saldaPress. What can you tell us about this story fantasy?
FBrrém: Brindille is the name of a girl that is lost in the forest: he lost his memory and must figure out who he is. The theme is the search for the self. The story is divided into two volumes and now we can not say much, because the mystery and Brindille will be revealed in the second volume. It is not very different from Love: it was supposed to be part of that series, then the story has developed on the side of fantasy, and we detached to make it a story in and of itself. Technically it is very different, however, find themselves, however, the humorous elements, and also the emotional tension, resulting from the fact that the character is going to die” over and over again. The first volume has just been released in Italy, while the second will still come out in France (maybe in spring 2019), and then will come here (who knows, maybe for Lucca Comics 2019, but does not depend on us!).
MF: do You have other projects in the works, both together and alone?
FBert: our next project will be a volume of Love and the second volume of Brindille. The latter are in slight delay, given that I have traveled a bit to promote the first volume. Maybe we will do something related to the world of Brindille: we've got the taste for working on it and surely we will do something with the same setting or the same style (it will not be a sequel to Brindille, given that the story closes with the second volume). Then in these days we are discussing various projects...
FBrrém: Premising that I'm focusing on Love, I'm also working on a project on the sea, with Giovanni Rigano (a disneyiano has been a Creepy Past for Bonelli). The story is set in the 1700's, in the midst of the pirates, and has a style that is humorous. I would be happy if it was published also in Italy. Then I'm also working with Stefano Turconi (The port prohibited) to a series that is not yet released in Italy, Chamomile et les chevaux; in addition, I will continue to work with Paola Antista in the series the Cats (published by Renoir Comics). Out from the comic, I'm writing a novel on the island where I grew up, in France. When I'm there I see the world a little bit strange: all the children, from four to those of eighteen years of age, leave together. Looks like a cross of the village of Asterix and an old tv series-yugoslavian! I will also of the illustrations within the novel, which will be done by me 100%!