Gabriel Delmas, painter and illustrator. I authored a number of comic books (Le Psychopompe, Vampyr, Le Mouton-chien Manchot, Vorax…) and underground graphzinesoften with occult themes or dark fantasy. Some are now available from Hollow Press like “Largemouths”, “Fobo” or “Plutonium”. An exhibition of my work took place in Bologna, Italy in December 2016 around a giant format album “Xuwwuu” published by Hollow Press, and in August 2018 in Rodez using drawings available in the collection “Riggel Bum”.
Andwhat do you do in Gryyym?
In Gryyym, I’ll make do the graphic design of the mook, an editorial and some obscure drawn thingies. Everything will depend on what can be done, but the more freedom and space we have, the more amazing Gryyym will be.
Why so Gryyym?
I do Gryyym to live the experience, life is short and there are no extra moves to be done after the “Game Over”. The idea is to find a fantastic and horrific comic strip, with the visual and witty pleasure from Creepy and Heavy Metal magazines. Freedom of tone, a mix of underground and more classical styles, side to side, without snobbery.
Ta BD d’horreur préférée?
My favorite horror comic is Cidopey de Corben. The colouring and drawing make it a work of art for me. These pages should be in a Museum of Modern Art.
Gregory Makles. I am mostly known for my work with Paul Jorion on La Survie de l’Espèce, a graphic novel on finance that laugh wickedly at our own species (that’s being adapted as a stop motion tv show). I have also made quite a few people laugh quite a lot (or so they say) on my South Park style comic on my life as a World of Warcraft character in Aventures de Stevostin. Before all that I wrote quite a few mostly serious fantasy stories for Robin Recht (Le Dernier Rituel) and Joseph Lacroix (l’Encyclopédie du Mal), including Ruppert which I also drew. In another life, I am co-founder of Ohm Force, a small but somehow cult audio software company with very famous users.
Hey you, what do you do?
Initially I just told a bunch of friends that maybe they should consider crowdfunding in 2019 for an horror comic project. I then got drafted as the “web campaign guy” as well as an author. They know me from our art school days (ENSAD) where my real dream were grounded in my deep love for UK awesome comics (Bisley, Mc Kean, Hewlett, you know the bunch) so they were aware I needed little push to put back the gloves on and do something really dark.
And why so Gryyym?
Quite simply, it’s about doing the kind of comic I crave. Genre, popular comics with total dedication is were the real art is for me. Be fun, but be deep, be spectacular, but always have a reason, don’t tell people what to think, but do think yourself. Pat Mills, who’s our sponsor and hands down my favorite comic writer, embodies that perfectly.
Your favorite horror comic?
Probably some bits of Dave Mc Kean’s Cages that are scary the way David Lynch can be in theaters. Now if we’re speaking about my first, biggest hunch on horrors, it was when as a young teen a friend brought Bolland’s Judge Dredd, with the dead judges, at school. The black and white art, the characters, I was completely fascinated.
I am « Diablo 3, Sword of justice » with Aaron Williams, the « Encyclopédie du mal » with Grégory Maklès, « Pythons » with Gabriel Delmas, « Fébus » with Catmalou, part of the « book of Tyrael » and other from Diablo and World of Warcraft lore… and hundreds of drawings piling up in search of freedom!
Hey you, what do you do?
I’m bouncing between Gabriel, Greg and Jérôme. I fight my shyness by finding and trying to convince artists from all walks of life to come and join us. I’m tinkering with the com. And I also draw the Grenouillard. It’s a wild comic that will be part of the dark fantasy contingent in GRYYYYM.
And why so Gryyym?
My drive in “GRYYYYM” is to create some space for free expression and experimentation.
It has become extremely difficult to publish comics in France. As a result, we spend a lot of time anxiously building custom proposals… thousands of pages that disappear into the limbo of correspondence between authors and publishers.
I want the opposite approach in GRYYYYM: drawing with your guts, being bold. Strong characters, exuberant universes, sharp stories. No fuss, no yadayada. Drawing that hits hard, stories that shake things up. Then we let the readers decide
Your favorite horror comic?
If I have to choose only one: “Jenifer” by Bernie Wrightson. Everything is there: virtuosity in the service of the story and proof that in a few pages you can provoke real emotions. I also have a graphic passion for Alex Toth’s “Grave undertaking” which I have been tracking for many months. And “Sanctum” by Mike Mignola, because Mignola.
As a kid, I went from Strange and Yoko Tsuno to L’Incal and Dark Knight and since then I’ve never stopped. I don’t remember a day without comics. Every week, I kept putting stuffing my face full of comics. I like the episodes lining up into stories month after month like colonies of ants walking along my brain’s alleys. A continuous infusion, a semiotic fluid in which I am immersed, spiced with some epiphanies: V for Vendetta, Ikkyu, Den. As in comics, literature or music, I love everything, everywhere, genre, style, form, an eclectic intoxication: Otis Spann, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, Jeff Noon, Pavement, Taiji Matsumoto, Colin Stetson, Ernesto Sabato, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Ellis, Jason, Lovecraft, William Blake, Edward Austin Abbey, Mignola, The Cure, Jordi Bernet, Corben, Joy Division, Jaime Hernandez, Darwin Cooke, Sonic Youth, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Ales Kot, Dostoïevski, Mazzucchelli, Sienkiewicz, Bisley, McKean, Ian Banks, Thomas Pynchon, Poe, David Mitchell, Moorcock, Rick Rememder, Chris Ware, John Burnside, Silas Hogan, Charles Burns, Hannu Rajaniemi, Kafka, Otomo, Moebius, Giraud, Leonard Cohen, Pratt, Tardi, Sonny Boy Williamson, Damazio, Jean-Philippe Jaworski, Bill Watterson, Thelonius Monk, The White Stripes, Pulp, Bruno Schultz, Led Zeppelin, Scarlatti, Constantin Cavafis… It’s exhilarating. An endless list that’s always changing and that I can make over and over again.
As a kid, I went from Strange and Yoko Tsuno to L’Incal and Dark Knight and since then I’ve never stopped. I don’t remember a day without comics. Every week, I kept putting my stack of comics in the oven. I like these stories to be followed in dotted lines, from month to month, like so many colonies of ants that walk the furrows of my brain. A continuous infusion, a semiotic fluid in which I am immersed, dotted with some epiphanies: V for Vendetta, Ikkyu, Den. As in comics, literature or music, I love everything, everywhere, genre, style, form, an eclectic intoxication: Otis Spann, Alan Moore, Albert Camus, Jeff Noon, Pavement, Taiji Matsumoto, Colin Stetson, Ernesto Sabato, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Ellis, Jason, Lovecraft, William Blake, Edward Austin Abbey, Mignola, The Cure, Jordi Bernet, Corben, Joy Division, Jaime Hernandez, Darwin Cooke, Sonic Youth, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Ales Kot, Dostoïevski, Mazzucchelli, Sienkiewicz, Bisley, McKean, Ian Banks, Thomas Pynchon, Poe, David Mitchell, Moorcock, Rick Rememder, Chris Ware, John Burnside, Silas Hogan, Charles Burns, Hannu Rajaniemi, Kafka, Otomo, Moebius, Giraud, Leonard Cohen, Pratt, Tardi, Sonny Boy Williamson, Damazio, Jean-Philippe Jaworski, Bill Watterson, Thelonius Monk, The White Stripes, Pulp, Bruno Schultz, Led Zeppelin, Scarlatti, Constantin Cavafis… It’s exhilarating. An endless list that changes at any time and that I can make over and over again.
In the workplace though, it complicates everything. Especially when you make yourself a comic book publisher. Carabas was born in 1999 with the project to publish Leela & Krishna by Georges Bess.
And then there was chaos: revolutionary underground comics, contemporary blues, space and musical adventure, a Norwegian calles Jason who settled in Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, opportunist projects, translations – Ashely Wood’s memorable Popbot, a little manga because everyone made one… an eccentric publishing UFO. Lots of meetings, lots of friends, some of whom are here today. But after 10 years, the situation was hard: economically unbearable, many incredible yet hard to find books. Since then, Carabas has refocused, just a book from time to time with friends.
In the meantime, I have turned to the press – mainly for a young audience, under license, because it’s still the fastest way to get some notoriety. Then in 2012, it was the beginning of the Semic adventure. First with Marvel and then with Studio Ghibli. I have moved away from paper for resin, vinyl, textiles… in order to create derivative products of all kinds, on all supports, in all forms: from mugs to statues, from key rings to piggy banks, from paintings to stuffed animals… Lots of new experiences, new jobs to learn, and always lots of people to meet!
Why so Gryyym ?
Well, Gryyym is an opportunity to come back to stories and books. In a new way, with several people, even together I would say. An horizontal association of seasoned professionals. Gryyym is the publisher, not a man behind his desk. Gryyym in the service of Gryyym, stories inside Gryyym. A different way of publishing, of putting artists at the centre and the rest around. It changes a lot, this reversal of perspective. And it’s less lonely.
Also with Gryyym, I am satisfying an old desire: a comic strip adventure review. From comics to cool daddy, rock’n’ roll that we don’t know or don’t want to do on this side of the Atlantic. A genre and a form a little moribund, a little old-fashioned, but which sounds so right, an endless mug of a tipped yet deeply satisfying beer.
And then it’s the opportunity to build a hut in the shade of Corben. A grinning totem pole that has been with us for quite some time.
And what do you do in Gryyym?
I fix, I ease up, I polish. Figures, legal and administrative stuff, manufacturing. Exchanging, observing, listening, staying the course.
Your favorite horror comic?
BPRD. Without hesitation. An apocalyptic fresco of unprecedented scale. A gooey, terrifying despair that goes as much through the moods of the office agents – through little stories of a daily life that derails into nightmare – that easily goes epic, up to downright mythological. Dead people we can’t forget and monsters we’d do anything to forget. The Earth splits and men, civilizations disappear, engulfed by creatures the size of a continent. And above all with seriousness and total commitment. There is (sometimes) humor, but the guys are total believers of their stories and characters. No one ever giggles over your shoulder, no distance, no mockery. This is beneficial. Graphically, between Guy Davis’ vibrant and disturbing horror and Laurence Campbell’s tragic darkness, it is absolute happiness. And it’s been going on for 17 years.
I have to add Hellblazer. God save John Constantine!
More recently Redland (Bellaire, Del Rey), three witches in the sticky south, three powerful women sinking.
And also the terrifying adaptation of Lovecraft’s hallucinated Mountains by Gou Tanabe. He succeeds in the unspeakable.
Among all the people to whom I would like to say “thank you”, I would especially like to thank David Lloyd and Tommy Lee Edwards. We didn’t know each other 20 years ago when they agreed to participate in the first “Vampire” collective published by Carabas. And now 20 years later, they are still there.