This interview with
comic book artist Floro
Dery was conducted by Director Sebastien
Dumesnil via email during the editing of Adventures
Into Digital Comics. This interview is a part of
the second set of interviews, which means that Floro
Dery was asked to answer questions accordingly to
the final cut of the movie.
Can you tell us about
I am a comics illustrator,
cartoonist, painter, designer, screen director, and
a mathematics professor with a Ph.D. To see more details
go to http://hometown.aol.com/kuest144 and click on
the link "about the artist".
In the film, we discuss
the nature of comic books. Can you tell us what, for
you, a comic book is? What are the strengths and ideas
you like or intend to explore?
To me comics are a visual
medium. I believe there should be more of an emphasis
on adventure type stories with less emphasis on violence
and more emphasis on the story itself.
Wolfman told us that ten years ago, there was not
even one comic book store in Wyoming. What do you think
of the distribution channel in the US? Do you think
that comic book stores are good ambassadors of the medium?
The comic distribution
has gotten quite bad in the U.S. Before, there were
so many comic book stores and even supermarkets sold
comics. Nowadays, there's practically less than one
store per city. Comic book stores are partly good ambassadors
of the medium. Right now I think the internet is the
There is a debate
about the nature of the growth of comic book sales in
the early 90s and the subsequent recession. Would you
qualify these events as a boom followed by a crash,
or an aberration followed by a "back to normal" situation?
Why? In the case of a boom followed by a crash, do you
feel that the small press was hurt during the same period?
I believe that there
was a boom in comic sales and then a crash. When I first
came to the US there was a wide variety of comics, adventure,
romance, action, etc. Nowadays, there's only violent
superhero comics. Because of that the small press was
In the film, Scott
McCloud says there are more golfers in this country
than comic book readers. By right, we should be able
to sell comics about golf, but it's not happening. Do
you feel there is an issue of diversity going on?
I think there is an
issue of diversity. US comics need to have different
stories as I pointed out earlier. Comic writers and
illustrators need to direct their work towards more
of the US population's interests. For example, I for
one do not enjoy reading mindless superhero comics.
I like down to earth adventure epic type stories. If
they don't do that, it'll still be considered just a
Nowadays, would you
say that printed comics are for kids, for grown-ups
or for everyone? Is there a stigma attached to the pamphlet?
In the US, comics are
still for kids because the story ideas are still too
simple and reused. If the level of the stories are raised
then by time the stigma will go away.
Do you think that
it is now easier for kids to find printed comics or
to find webcomics on the Internet? For you, what is
a webcomic? Why would people read them?
It's easier to find
webomics. To me a webomic is basically a comic just
posted on the internet. Webomics are like the comics
section of the newspaper. It's free so people would
want to read webomics.
In the film, artists
Farley and Cat
Garza say they make webcomics because publishers
would not touch their work, because it's too offensive,
different, etc. As an example, Patrick talks about his
webcomic, a Manga style rewriting of the Book of Revelations.
Do you think that the Internet could be the next logical
step of the comic book for artistic or business-related
Yes, webomics are the
next possible step for artistic reasons. I believe it's
just a matter of presentation to make it easier to view.
Maybe just 2 panels per page?
Garrity, author of the webcomic strip Narbonic
told us that she can do more complicated stories because
her readers have access to the archive. Thus, she can
create stories with a big chunk of continuity. Do you
think that the Internet offers more possibilities for
Yes, the internet is
capable of storing so much stuff.
Finally, do you think
that the tactile experience of holding a book in your
hands is necessary to the comic book reading experience?
Yes and no. Yes it is
necessary to have the book in your hands because it's
easier on the eyes. No, because it's more convenient
and there's no expense to read comics on the internet.