This week visits this blog...

 ...the gifted Dražen Kovačević.

©Dražen Kovačević

This tribute to Moebius is letting me discover very talented artists from the balkans, and the fact is they are very friendly and always willing to cooperate if possible.  Chapeau to that.

This week the popular  comic-book  artist born in Zagreb, Dražen Kovačević visits this blog with a gift: a wonderful lieutenant Blueberry drawing and, as usual, answers our questions in a very interesting interview.

Born in 1974,  he gets his diploma at the academy of applied arts of Belgrade in 1999. 

He is well known for creating the comic book "The Wheel", with the screenwriter Goran Skrobonja (adapted from his short story written in 1987).

©Kult Editionen

After winning a comic contest in France, he continues publishing "The Wheel" under Glénat Editions in France, publishing in France, Italy, Germany and Serbia.

He has also published with other French editors La Meute de l'enfer or Carthago Adventures with Les humanoïdes associés and L'epée de Feu and Walkirie  with Soleil editions.

©Les Humanoïdes Associés

And now, time for the interview:

- The Blueberry Encyclopaedia (TBE): What was your greatest artistic influence at the beginning of your proffesional life? 

Dražen: The biggest influence on my early career, in terms of dynamism, drama, movement, expression of characters was Big John Buscema. I also learned a lot from Hermann, mostly narration, changing camera angles, variations of the size of the panels and their arrangement on the board, and much more. Of course, big influence on me had also other great artists, but it would take a lot of time just to enumerate them, so I'll just stay on two most important for me during this period.

©Dražen Kovačević

- TBE: And now, which artists do you respect the most? 

Dražen: Now I really like works of Marini, Guarnido, Alex Alice, Mathieu Laufray, Loisel, Ricardo Federicci, R.M. Guerra, Esad Ribic and many other artists. But of course, I’m always happy to get backt to Buscema, Hermann, or even Harold Foster, sometimes just to enjoy the masterpieces, and sometimes to try to discover ways in which they came up with solutions. 

- TBE: What do you prefer to work in: comic books, storyboards, animation, movies, advertising....? 

Dražen: I prefer working on comics, particularly in the early phases of development. Sketches, visual concepts of main characters and storyboards. I like the illustrations, commissioned drawings, posters, book covers, concept art and other simillar jobs. All that is very useful and interesting, because it allows me more freedom, trying of new techniques and tools, and all that allows me to use new knowledge to work on comics.

©Les humanoïdes Associés - Dražen Kovačević 

- 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?? 

Dražen: Digital comics are part of modern comic book production and normal "phenomenon" in modern techno environment. However, like any new and useful thing they have a good and bad side, the abuse in the form of piracy. This reduces the sales of regular paper edition, and it directly influences the production. And so it goes. Reduced production leads to fewer planned and approved new projects and smaller engagements of artist or reduce the price of their work.

- TBE: What is your favourite atistic technique and why? 

Dražen: My favorite technique is ink washed, or lavis. Because it allows me to use tones, light, texture. Everything that can not be achieved only by hatching and use of the ink and relations of black and white surfaces. Somehow I feel better and more comfortable in the "gray zone". This is essentially a painting technique but without the use of colors. Let's say it’s somewhere on the half way between drawing and painting and unites their strengths and advantages. On the way to preserve the precision and sharpness of drawings and to give volume, depth of space and shadow and to make on some way that drawing "come alive".

©Dražen Kovačević

- TBE: What are you working on and what are your upcoming proyects? 

Dražen: I'm currently working on two new projects. "Le Croix Sanglante" for Delcourt, screenplay by very talented Marko Stojanovic and in collaboration with artist Dan Ianos and with Desko on colors.
And the "Le Lys Rouge" screenplay by master Richard Marazano for Dargaud.

- TBE: What are your memories / relationship / influences with Jean Giraud and their artworks?

Dražen: I discovered Giraud when I was around 12 or 13 years in the comic book magazine "Stripoteka" which is still published in Serbia, and published once all the relevant global comics and authors. I remember I was fascinated by the amount of detail, convincing and solid drawing and very good colouration. Of course stories were excellent also, although I more enjoyed drawing. Later I discovered his other works, and only confirmed what somehow I knew from the beginning, that it was one of the greatest artists of all time. Stays engraved in my memory some scenes from his Silver surfer and later albums of lieutenant Bluebberry.

From the Blueberry Encyclopaedia we thank you very much for this contribution to Moebius tribute and wish you the best of luck!!!