You create comics. Is there a difference between graphic novels and comics?
The term "graphic novel" has the sole purpose to give the general understanding of „comics“ a helping hand, that this art, beside being entertaining and only interesting for children, includes the full range of artistic expression, which you can find in the literature, for example.
As a professional I don’t make a difference between "graphic novels" and „comics“. If necessary, I would distinguish Comic-Art much more between poetry and drama or fiction and non-fiction.
What can you tell about your comic about Paul Klee? What aspects of Klee's work do you find inspiring?
„Klee" was commissioned by the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. To be honest, up to this point I wasn't particularly interested in Klees work.
The nice thing about commission works is that you come into contact with topics you not really had a focus on. You have to bring in these foreign territory your own interests. In this case, I was interested in the historical context. It was a time of many revolutions, political, industriel and artistically. And Paul Klee's work was revolutionary in all aspects.
You are a ligne claire artist. Why do you use this style?
First I tried to draw like Herriman, Franquin and Moebius. Later I hoped maybe Hugo Pratts style would do it. I tried Ben Radis, Fmurr, Challand, I even had a short Reiser-period.
While working in a small advertisement-studio in Paris in the late 80ies I had to do illustrations in the only admitted style in advertisement at this time: Ligne claire.
Back in Zurich it turned out that this fancy style earned me a lot of jobs and so I never really got away from it.
Apart that, this style fits quite well with my drawing weaknesses. I’m not a natural born intuitive freehand draftsman, I need many preparatory drawings until I can bring my vision on the paper.
What can you tell about Swiss comics?
There is not really a definition of Swiss comics. Culturally, one must distinguish between the German and French-speaking part of Switzerland. In the French-speaking part comics are perceived as in France and most of the artists work for french publishers. In opposite the German-speaking part of Switzerlang belongs to the german market and there we live in the perception of comics still in the stone age, compared to France.
Nevertheless, there are extraordinarily good publishing houses and magazines as Edition Moderne and Strapazin.
Which other comics artists do you like?
Randomly the first ten that come to my mind (knowing there are a hundred coming behind): Taniguchi, Winsor McCay, Barks, Gefe, Goscinny, Mezières, Tardi, Thomas Ott, Hergé, Anna Sommer