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The Adventures of Blake and Mortimer

Christophe Alvès: 'I try to draw strong and different scenes within the same story'

In January, Christophe Alvès, a cartoonist known in part for his recent Lefranc album, has answered to this blog's questions on his relationship with Blake and Mortimer. Apart form being a passionate fan of the series, Alvès sent a project for drawing an album in the series to Dargaud in 2011, about which he offers details here. He also provided us with an exclusive drawing. Without further ado, here is the interview:

Christophe Alvès.

Christophe Alvès.

1. Which has been Edgar P. Jacobs’s and Blake & Mortimer’s influence in your work?

Edgar P. Jacobs influenced me most in dramatising the most important scenes. He often toys with light and extense dark areas. Colour plays a key role. I try to include similar elements in my pages and to make the placement of all the elements in each panel as best as possible, keeping in mind the scriptwriter’s notes, obviously. Summing up, I try to draw strong and different scenes within a story. The setting must also be an actor, a character in the story.

Sketch of Alvès's test page (2011).

Sketch of Alvès's test page (2011).

2. Some time ago, you put forward a project for continuing the series. When exactly was it? Had you a plot project or only the known page? Can you tell us more about the creation of the project and the reason why Dargaud didn’t accept it?

I made my test page end 2011. Impressed and thrilled for years by the universe of Edgar P. Jacobs, I wanted to try making a page.

There was no story, just a graphical test. But for such test, I still imagined the scene as if it took place within a story. The goal of the game was also to present as many characters as possible. The exterior images were inspired by my own house but the interiors were shown as they best served the needs of the sequence.

I sent this test to Yves Schlirf, from Dargaud, who answered saying he wasn’t searching for new authors for the series, having already two teams working in alternation.

Inking of Alvès's test page (2011).

Inking of Alvès's test page (2011).

3. Have you ever drawn any other tributes or illustrations inspired on Jacobs’s universe?

I haven’t made more pages but yes one or two drawings for the birthday of a certain blog devoted to Blake and Mortimer ;-) (referring to our Spanish counterpart, Las Aventuras de Blake y Mortimer; you can see his drawing here).

Final colored version of Alvès's test page (2011).

Final colored version of Alvès's test page (2011).

4. What are your upcoming projects?

In the coming weeks, I should start making a new Lefranc album with François Corteggiani, I am just waiting for Casterman’s and Martin’s children’s green light. I also have other project I can’t say much about…

I am currently working on the cover of the next Bob Morane by Brice Tarvel. The novel will be called The Viking Idol.

EXCLUSIVE: A never-seen-before sketch by Alvès featuring Mortimer, Blake and Sharkey.

EXCLUSIVE: A never-seen-before sketch by Alvès featuring Mortimer, Blake and Sharkey.

Special thanks to Christophe Alvès for awarding us this interview.

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