Update 23:  31/07/2017  Tribute to Moebius new adds:

Xavier Drago:

A man who made himself a name.

Blueberry © Xavier Drago

Website: xavdrago.com
Profile: in facebook

Xavier Drago is a french self-taught illustrator, painter and sculptor. He is in a constant search for what he considers the perfect style, which would combine the lyric and grace of impressionism and renaissance, with the motion and strenght of manga. Fantasy and reality worked in different ways...Xavier is capable of making us feel the terror of Alien Covenant, and the romanticism of his own created Romeo and Juliet (Quentin and Rachel).

Born in south of France, Xavier has created artist posters for 20th Century Fox (Assassin's Creed, X-Men Apocalypse, Deadpool, Independence Day:Resurgence, The Peanuts Movie...) the list for naming all would be too long.

Alien Covenant by Xavier Drago

This is the interview that Xavier has answered for us:

- The Blueberry Encyclopaedia (TBE): What has your biggest artistic influence in the beginning of your artistic life?

When I began high school, I met a cartoonist who introduced me to mangas. These Japanese comics landed massively in France. It was also during this period of my life when I followed my first real courses in History of Art. I can therefore say that my first artistic influences are a mixture of Claude Monet, Michelangelo and Titian with Dragon Ball (Toriyama), Gunnm (Kishiro) and Appleseed (Shirow)!.

Then, comics like The Quest of the Time-Bird (La quête de l'oiseau du temps, Letendre / Loisel), The Man of Java (L'homme de Java, Gabrion), The Incal (Moëbius) or The carnival of immortals (La foire aux immortels, Bilal) came to enrich my imagination and the base of my Graphic universe. The discovery of the first volumes of the manga Blade of the Immortal of Samura revolutionized my way of drawing because it managed to combine the energy of the line with a semi-realistic style that I adore. A few years later, I created a fanzine and at a comic event, I met the artist-painter Marc Ferrero. This meeting was truly decisive because, on that day, he showed me the way to follow. He is the first to have made me understand that limits exist only in our minds.

X-Men Apocalyse by Xavier Drago

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

I trully respect most artists: there are so many great artists, who have incredible ideas and who manage to stage them so masterfully! If we can feel all the work that they supplied to produce their work, I love all the artists. Obviously, I have my preferences, but the list of my favorite artists would be really long and above all not limited to illustrations. I still have to quote David Mack, the author of the comic Kabuki who is one of my favorite graphic works, and artists James Jean (author of the comic covers Fable among others) and Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme as well, which I discovered more recently.

- TBE: With whom would you love to work?  

I've always been dreaming (or almost) of working with Billy Corgan (the leader of the Smashing Pumpkins), with David Mack or in a Peter Jackson's movie, so... why not one day?
But closer to me, I would like to work with my friend Cyril Bernard, who is an excellent author. We grew up together: he in the writing and I in the drawing. Our paths were parallel during a long time, but I hope that they will finally cross one day, in order to produce works at four hands..

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

I prefer drawing, in the first sense of the term. So, a nice sheet and a good pencil is enough for me. My main pleasure lies in the search for positions, dynamism, life in the drawing, more than the finishing itself.
But I must admit that I sometimes miss sculpting clay.

Sculpture by Xavier Drago

- TBE: Where does the idea of covering Alien: Covenant come from?

Well, this is an order from the 20th Century Fox, for which I create fan-art posters for some of their movies. Working on such important projects is an extraordinary opportunity, and an unparalleled source of motivation.
In addition to Alien Covenant, I was able to work on Deadpool, Assassin's Creed, X-Men Apocalypse or Miss Peregrine!

Deadpool by Xavier Drago

- 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?

I have a reader that I take during my travels in transport or during holidays and surprisingly I appreciate its practical side, me, who love both paper and ink. 

But I only read novels, never digital comics. I may be wrong, but I can't imagine myself finding pleasure in reading a comic book on a screen. The drawing is so important and the "book" is so beautiful and noble...

- TBE: What can you tell us about your current job, and/or any clues to your upcoming projects?

I've just finished fan-art posters for the Fox (coming soon) and I'm currently working on a fantasy book cover for author Jean-Marc Dopffer. There are big cinema productions coming in upcoming months, so there are beautiful fan-arts to create!

Xavier, it has been a real pleasure to have you taking part in this tribute and also letting us explore your work. We will look forward to admiring your next work, no doubt it'll be magnificent. Thank you very much.