Piotr Kowalski says he is just getting known in the American comic market. But so far the artist has worked with Clive Barker on Nightbreed, Joe Casey on Sex, Joe Keatinge on Marvel Knights: Hulk and now Peter Milligan on Terminal Hero. That's an impressive list of projects. So we turn the spotlight on him as his newest Dynamite project is about to kick off.
BLEEDING COOL: How did you get started drawing?
PIOTR KOWALSKI: As a child I suffered from severe case of asthma which naturally kept me at home and amazingly allowed me to read a lot of comic books. Star Lord, Tarzan, Star Wars – those were my favourite titles. Anybody remembers Star Lord weekly comic magazine? Tales like Time Quake, Strontium Dogs or Planet Of The Damned – those amazing comics influenced me the most. And as time went by I guess the natural consequence of my interest was not only reading more comics but also actually drawing them. It was a really free and spontaneous activity – a thing that a young kid tends to do during the long hours spent at home. And eventually drawing comics turned out to be the biggest love of my life.
PK: My biggest influences were the titles I mentioned, also early Conan stories, Godzilla comics and plenty of European comic books. I was particularly interested in works by Rosinski, who later turned out to be my teacher, Moebius, Gimenez, Manara… I read also a lot of Italian comics: Dylan Dog and Nathan Never were my favourite series for a long time.
BC: What is your process for doing a page? How long does it take you?
PK: Oh, it is a subject that deserves a whole book… It is never the same. A lot depends on the schedule and on the market structure. For example in French comic market drawing a 48 pages -long book takes usually 8 or 9 months so you have plenty of time to produce one page. You can focus on details and create real works of art. However when drawing comics monthly you have to work under a great pressure and often what counts the most is the fast pace of your work. It doesn't mean that the pages look bad as it is possible to draw a gripping and beautiful page in 6 or 7 hours, but certainly a lot of images and panels must be done in a hurry and that can sometimes influence the quality of the art.
BC: Where might folks have seen your work previously?
PK: For nearly 15 years I have been working for French and Belgian publishing houses and I am still pretty fresh newcomer in the American market but I am beginning to like it here. Hopefully I will be able to work more for American audiences because it seems that many readers find my art nice to look at.
BC: What are you working on now?
PK: Well,I have been doing a lot of stuff recently. Some of the projects are done, some are monthly ongoing comics. I also continue working for French publishing houses. You can find my art in Terminal Hero, Sex, Marvel Knights: Hulk, Nightbreed, Badlands, Dracula L'immortel, Urban Vampires and La Branche Lincoln.
BC: What is your dream project?
PK: My dream project is my own dark horror story. I have been working on it for some time now. I do it at nights between other projects and between other pages. It is a long graphic novel which may also work as a mini-series. I can really go wild there!
For more on Terminal Hero, click here.