In this blog: Juancarlerías...

a taste of Moebius.

The world of drawing wouldn't be the same without graphic humor. We are going to have a series of graphic collaborations in this blog, that we will be revealing soon...you'll be surprised. This time it is about Juancarlos.

Juan Carlos Contreras has his space every day in the daily newspaper of Jaén with his humor vignettes. His aim...making us smile. And he does succeed.

But this talented guy from Jaen, Spain is able to bring us this impressive graphic collaboration bathed in his stamp and imprint that leaves us speechless: 

© Juan Carlos Contreras

And having the pleasure to present Lieutenant Blueberry this way, so original, so fresh and so different ... and how easy to draw it seems.

But we all know it ain't that easy.

Let's us put in value the immense talent of this great graphic humorist who once, for a good cause, disguises himself as Moebius.

Duelo explosivo © Juan Carlos Contreras

Juan Carlos is also involved in a campaign  (Jaén deserves more!) that seeks to give the notoriety that his province, Jaén, is lacking; especially punished by the crisis we are living in Spain, and forgotten in the industrial and infrastructural developments (among many others) necessary to generate business and wealth, and forcing young talented people to emigrate.

A puerta vacía © Juan Carlos Contreras

Selectividad © Juan Carlos Contreras

This is the blog interview that Juancarlos has agreed to answer:

- The Blueberry Encyclopaedia (TBE): What has your biggest artistic influence been and how has your way of drawing evolved?

Juancarlos: Like many of my generation, we live our childhood reading comics. Especially those edited by Editorial Bruguera that were full of characters drawn by authors who have been our teachers. My beginnings were influenced by them and mostly Francisco Ibáñez, Vázquez, Raf and Escobar. But it was Jan who marked my drawing style since the first Superlópez comic  fell in my hands. As time passed, it may have evolved into a style of my own, but once you notice the "nose", the plump hands or the position of the feet, you can clearly see the influence of this author.

- TBE: After a long career as graphic humorist, do you have any "thorn in the flesh", like working with a specific artist, or working for any new editorial, or in any professional field that you haven't explored yet?

Juancarlos: I want to think that everything I haven't done yet is because I haven't set it as a purpose, but it is true that I'd had loved to master the comic full page format and have developed a style closer to European authors like Franquin. If it had been so, publishing in magazines like Spirou would have charmed me. In the graphic humor, there is no doubt that to publish in a national newspaper would be awesome, but I also recognize that I have been fortunate to have internet to reach any corner of the world

- TBE: What is your favorite technique for drawing and coloring?

Juancarlos:  I began with pencil, ink and liquid watercolors, but as time went on and it became harder to find pens in the marketplace, I switched to brushes and my computer replaced the watercolors. I use Gimp as an editing program, photoshop gives me laziness.

 © Juan Carlos Contreras

- TBE: What do you think of digital comic books ... is the comic industry in danger / crisis with the menace of pirate downloads? How can this affect the work of artists?

Juancarlos: We can't go against technological advances, we have to adapt to them. There are good and bad things. For the nostalgic ones, we like to touch the paper and smell the ink as we continue to buy the traditional comic. This doesn't  mean that it's fantastic to be able to have access to a large number of digital publications and also have the possibility of having them in the original language.  

Many authors, in addition, have the opportunity to be able to edit their work without the costs of printing because there are webs that facilitate this work.  

In the negative, of course, piracy that just like with movies, series, eBooks, etc. and affects editors, authors, stores, finance, etc.

- TBE: At what point in your career did you feel more comfortable working and with more creative freedom?

Juancarlos: I must admit that until now I haven't find any obstacle or censorship, but, like any author, I have my own "red lines" that I choose not to cross, self-imposed for personal reasons.

- TBE: What can you tell us about your current job?

Juancarlos: My job as a graphic humorist is accessory to my main profession, which is not the one I like but it is the one that lets me pay my bills. I am very comfortable in Diario Jaén where I publish a daily bulletin of current affairs since 1996 and other collaborations in magazines such as El Batracio Amarillo or Amaníaco. In all of them I have the possibility of being able to express myself through the humorous drawing that I love

- TBE: What about your upcoming projects?

Juancarlos: You always need to have a project to move towards some goal. In the long term I want to make the history of Jaén in humor cartoons, something that hasn't been done yet and in the short...tomorrow's newspaper vignette

- TBE: What memory / relationship / influence do you have with Jean Giraud and his work? 

Juancarlos: When I choose a comic book to buy, the first thing I look at is the drawing. If it doesn't appeal to me, I let it go. In the case of Moebius it is clear that his style makes you spend hours admiring its pages. Lieutenant Blueberry is for me a monument to the comic regarding stroke, composition, narrative and inking, a jewel that Moebius has left us, comic lovers. And of course, the Incal, another wonder, a must have in my library.

Juancarlos, I want to thank you for willing  to cooperate with this tribute to Moebius since the very beggining, and wish you luck with your upcoming works.