July 11, 2020

"The cmic lives its Golden Age" – The Province


Dave Mckean is, without a doubt, the star guest of IX festival of the Manga of Las Palmas and the Gran Canaria Comic-Can 2018 that, under the motto Sword and witchcraft, is celebrated since last Friday and until today Sunday in Infecar, from 10 am to 8 pm.

But, most likely, the English illustrator, is also the most prestigious guest who has attended this event in its nine editions so far. Head illustrator of the great screenwriters of the current North American graphic novel, Neil Gaiman Y Grant Morrison, his work bifurcates in a multitude of prestigious collaborations that include album covers for rock groups (among them, the Voodoo Lounge of the Rolling Stones), images for videogames, or publicity, and his career has penetrated fully into the world of audiovisuals with a film and several short films of impeccable authorship.

The graphic style of Dave Mckean is, in addition, unique and non-transferable. Far from any known influence and school, the genius of Maidenhead stands out for its dismal and tremulous works, sometimes close to the Surrealist pictorial tendency and with certain Freudian airs. A style that immediately drew attention to Neil Gaiman, who quickly convinced him to illustrate his famous and popular saga Sandman.

This authentic gentleman, in a break from his signature session on the opening day of the Festival, paused to talk about his current concerns. "It's my first time in Gran Canaria but I've been to Tenerife several times, because I have an art gallery in The lagoon", he clarifies as soon as he begins, among his enormous work, which includes authentic masterpieces such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Violent Cases, Black Orchid, Signal to noise or Mr. Punch, Mackean stays with the last one he did, called Black dog, who says "that is my favorite by far, I am very satisfied with it, because where I could take my style to its fullness".

The work focuses on the life of the London painter Paul Nash whose surrealist landscapes reflected his experience in the trenches of the Great War. A work, certainly, intense, which reveals the horrors and desolation of war, the psychological consequences of its protagonists, as seldom has been achieved.

The English artist adds that currently "I'm working on a graphic novel titled Rapture " what in Spanish is known as rapture: the belief that when Jesus Christ descended, the dead who led a godly life will be resurrected. "And in the assembly of a film that I shot last year," and also "many other things such as exhibitions and book illustrations." Mckean is still a great friend of Neil Gaiman, but adds that "we are very different people, we like very different things and we work in different ways, but it was great to have started with someone and worked with him, although for me, now it is better to do it alone".

His work tends to please people of all ages, which is something very difficult to achieve in any artistic manifestation. And although he has adapted children's stories, he adds that "my books are for all kinds of people, men, women, seniors, young people, who are looking for something different".

An aspect that clashes with the problem of a comic industry that thinks only of a specific audience. "It's true," he answers. "But the comics that are currently being published throughout the world are considered the best in history for a variety of people, we live a golden age of comics." Mckean has made the covers of artists like Tori Amos, Iain Sinclair, Rolling Stones, The Misfits, Alice Cooper or Skinny Puppy. "The majority was easy, because you only have to earn their trust, but once you've achieved it, there's no problem."

To which he adds that "well, most musicians are good people, but others have very large egos, so drawing the cover of their albums is usually a job in which there are more disadvantages than in others."

During the day yesterday, the attendance of fans was massive in Infecar. It attracted attention the high number of young people disguised as characters of anime, manga or superheroes. Once again, cosplay contests, karaoke, choreography, and videogame competitions were the most acclaimed options. And outside the tents acted the Municipal Society Villa de Ingenio with tribute included to Stan Lee.

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