Social networks are circulating several images on the project Cons, which is a first of its kind in conscientiological. To discuss more on this work, Pedro Marcelino and Desirée Biskup gave an interview to the Portal of Conscientiology.
What is a graphic novel?
Pedro Marcelino: A graphic novel is a comic story, a type of format for an adult audience with content that is more elaborate, more literary and with more refined artwork. The graphic novel formally emerged with the work of Will Eisner, an American who created the term, in an attempt to raise the potential of comics and get them out of marginal or inferior work. In Brazil comics, as with graphic novels, are very different from what we call comics, which are more popular formats for children and with informal content or with little research done and not very elaborate artwork. Which does not mean that comics are bad but most have different objectives just like television and film, for example. To understand a graphic novel it is necessary to be familiar with it and we do not have the culture of reading that type of material. Until now we know the comics of Mauricio de Souza or Mickey, but not graphic novels. “A Contract With “God” by Will Eisner, “Patchwork” by Craig Thompson, “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi and many others are well-known works, but not by a Brazilian audience. Another interesting point is the issue of super heroes, with which comics are still very much associated due to the great influence of the United States in Western culture that involves high selling action and violence. It is very difficult to have a graphic novel on super heroes, but there are other themes such as documentaries, biographies, educational, travel stories and other subjects.
Why is the work called Cons?
Pedro Marcelino: It is a graphic novel that is being created here in Foz do Iguaçu by the Confor Studio. Cons is a work that was born to be an adaption of the book “Our Evolution”, but as it was being created, it ceased being a literal adaption from the book and it started to become an introductory work of Conscientiology, strongly inspired by the work of professor Waldo Vieira. Today, we basically work with the same structure of the book and are looking to adapt it to the language of comics in a context that we call dissertational or documentary, that represents images or a narrative that traces the basic concepts of the consciential paradigm. The initial idea of the project started with Flavio Monteiro, who is a researcher and teacher of Conscientiology in Sao Paulo, who called me to do an adaption of the aforementioned book, together with Desirree or Lucas, because we have a policy of doing only what we really like since a great amount of time is required to do this work.
Desirrée Biskup: That story was the one that seemed the most authorial because the ones we did previously were of “Con-sequence”, stories for other people who were hiring our services. This time we were doing something that we really wanted to do. It is authorial and we feel it is something that will be a part of us. Then there is great motivation due to this point.
How many volumes do you plan on publishing?
Desirrée Biskup: We will have 3 volumes in total and we are currently finalizing the first one. The objective is to begin volume 2 after July, but there is still a whole process of reviewing from the beginning of the first volume (each volume has 5 chapters) because there will be many changes. After the revision, there is still the introductory part and the revision of the story from the present moment in which we participate and the moment in the character’s own narration.
Which publishing house will be printing this work?
Pedro Marcelino: We still have not settled on any publishing house, but our current criteria for negotiation is one that has a broad circulation because we would like to reach every corner of the country and bring this work to as many people as possible.
Do you intend to release this work in other languages?
Pedro Marcelino: Part of the team is working on its translation into French, English and Japanese. That is, besides Portuguese, we are simultaneously working with these languages. We intend to release them in these other languages but we do not know which one will come out first. A funny thing may happen, that the work is produced in Brazil and is released abroad first. We would like it to come out first in Portuguese, but if we have a more interesting offer with a foreign publisher it could happen overseas first.
How is the creation process and development of a graphic novel?
Desirrée Biskup: As far as the process goes, we divide between the team into the design stages and it generally begins with a script, coming from Pedro or Flavio. Then we move to the stage of thumbnails where we make small sketches. Immediately we go to work on the page where we share the design of the scenery and the characters. After that, we transfer it to the computer, gathering everything and working on the artwork to combine everyone in the team to organize the painting, the balloons and other details. Finally, there is the printing of the newly revised material. A single page takes about 25 to 30 hours of work, but it depends on the level of difficulty of each level. What we have done recently is define if a page is level 1, 2 or 3 according to the level of difficulty, 3 being the most difficult and requiring more effort. Generally, we dedicate 8 hours a day on this project but it varies greatly since sometimes we work on the weekends or whenever we have free time.
What is the final message for those interested in this work?
Pedro Marcelino: Those interested can follow the fan page on FaceBook. We are basically posting sketches, making-of and some final pages to get closer to the public because it will still take a while to finish each of the volumes. But, until then everyone will have a preview of the work and a chance to contribute with feedback of what they like, or not, so we can do a job that everyone finds more interesting.
The Cons Project Team:
- Coordination and Script: Flavio Monteiro
- Art Direction and Script: Pedro Marcelino
- Illustration and Final Art: Desiree Biskup
- Final Art: Lucas Moraes
Interview translated by ISIC (Sofia Koo, revised by Jeffrey Lloyd)
* By Alexandre Pereira.