What was the impact of the Henk project on Hercule? How did that lead into to this new project?
It is entirely thanks to Henk that the Hercule project is possible. Looky saw the Henk interview and my work at ZBrushCentral and contacted me directly, renewing our mutual contact lost a few years ago. He was already in touch with Morvan and the editor at Soleil for other projects and told me they were looking for a specific graphics style for a new project. It was to be very distinctive stylistically and more mature. Of course, this project was Hercule. So it is thanks to ZBrushCentral that I have been able to be published and undertake this long story!
And what is happening with Henk at this point?
The feedback I had was simply fantastic, even if the project is still ongoing. I had proposals for publications in the US, but I wish to finish more of the project first.
I intend to finalize the script, as well as the character design and creation by year’s end. Then I will be doing only production in January and February, depending on my work between Hercule and TeamTO. Speaking of TeamTO, I don't hesitate to show my project to some of their filmmakers to have their feedback. They are quite critical, which makes me pretty confident. I really want to do this project right and the professional critiques don’t scare me!
Henk will be a one-shot rather than an epic story with a complex scenario. That is not my goal.
At the end, it’s a little bit like Twelve Labors of Oliver, between the production at TeamTO, Hercule and Henk?
Yes and no. It is true that I work a lot without caring about the time spent on it. Yet I have very little stress and I'm working with great pleasure. The more it progresses and takes shape, the more I'm motivated. That leads to very interesting things. So it's not really my Twelve Labors!
Speaking of your "drawing" style, has the 3D style had an impact or brought specific remarks? 3D in comics is quite rare, right?
In fact, few people have noticed that my drawings were actually 3D models and renders. I had some feedback that the look was a little strange, especially in the amount of small details but really nothing about the 3D aspect.
After all, I must admit that the goal is actually to hide this 3D nature of the characters and/or environments. Many projects with 3D content have failed, but mainly because the 3D was really visible or too plastic; too typical. In my case it is very far from that. ZBrush can push details to the limits, altering the perfect aspect that tends to make 3D feel fake. I’m ultimately able to create an aspect that looks traditional.
Let's continue on the 3D part and drawing aspect. What has been done in 2D, in 3D, composited, edited? When carefully studying your illustrations we end asking a lot of questions, ourselves! The characters are all 3D models. Some objects like the spaceships are also in 3D. All outside environments are 2D, done by Looky who accomplishes this part with great ease and produces a high quality result. But 3D is almost everywhere!
The Hercule comic is really in the French style, while Henk has a US comic style with some manga touches. Is that by design? Yes, Hercule is clearly in the tradition of French comics, with deep work on the images. It's a choice we made, even if here and there you can find some speed lines. But it’s nothing similar to what I did with Henk, where everything is much more pronounced.