The Director inside: interview with Igor Kordey

Soldier XKordey removal from Marvel left me amazed and a lttle bit disappointed. I always believed that authors far from “classic superheroistic style” should be nothing more than source of renewal and detachment from negative stereotypes connected with the genre itslef. But are too many still lied to these stereotypes to accept these renewals?
I have talked with Igor about his removal and about Marvel future. Igor showed himslef like an author really willing and I hope that, far from superheroes suits, he’ll soon find his best consonant dimension. The right one for an artist.

It’s hard to classify Igor Kordey; a versatile illustrator, able to offer his immediately recognizable personal way of drawing to the most disparate kind of comics: from superheroistic one, in which he had the chance to prove himself on Grant Morrison’s and Chris Claremont’s X-Men (the past and what it seemed to be the future of the series), to French one with Jodorowski on Diosamante, no less, from Star Trek and Star Wars to the adventures of Tarzan.  Kordey style is built oilt on powerful drawings, statuesque poses and framing so wonderful for their efficacy and originality. A style not suited for mainstream products of the House of Ideas? Someone among the executives seemed to think about it in this way as Croatian author thor has been fired in a quite insensitive way just while a new series written by Claremont and drawn by Kordey was ready to start.

Hi Igor, let’s start with latest bad news, your removal from Excalibur books! What did it happen?
They fired me “suddenly”, four months after I was officialy appointed as Excalibur artist and cheap jerseys (I) already finished the first cover, the book and half of interiors. Their official explanation was that my style doesn’t fit to their “core” books. Judging by new cover made by other artist, circling the comic-websites just two days after i got fired, this decision was not so sudden, it was planned before. They just let me working to keep my mouth shut.

Who did decide it? What role did Joe Quesada have in this decision?
Joe Quesada was actualy protecting my ass for three years, and thanks to him I wasn’t fired sooner. He doesn’t have actual executive decision power. It was decided by guy from management – he is in charge of finances and he’s a head and half shorter than me; he disliked me first time he saw relacja me. That’s about primal male instict of supremacy, and my look doesn’t provokes compassion, that’s for sure. If certain people have power, they will use it in many different ways. It was not about poor sales – Xtreme X-Men were steady on top 20 charts, with 76-78000 copies sold for every issue.

Do you know the actual editor of Excalibur? Have you ever worked wuth him?
Yes, I know the guy, that’s Michael Marts; I worked on New X-Men with him before. But, as I said before, editors are not directly responsible for what happened to me. I can only blame them for lack of vision; even if they have it, they are doing what they are told to do – most of those people have families and none of them will risk their heads for a guy who doesn’t want to fit, like me.

Did you speak with Chris Claremont about what happened? What did he tell to you?
He was very surprised when I told him about what’s going on – he didn’t had any idea about new decisions. Management likes to keep people in the dark and treat them like sheeps. People may say about his stories whatever they want, but they suffered mostly because awkward editorial interferences…

Do you think it’s only the first sign of a new mentality in Marvel?
Of course, Marvel just reflects what’s going on with american globalisation politics and extreme conservativism of american government – big steps backward with supressions like in ’50-ies – McCarthy era – when comic books were about to be banned, first sign of totalitarism; here I can draw paralel with late ’40-ies in SSSR influenced communist Yugoslavia, when comics and jazz music were banned. After everything positive achieved in last 30 years in american literature, film, music and comics, things are going down again. I’m talking about New world order freedom of mind – that’s the last step into slavery – to conquer your mind. Those gentlemen, Huxley and Orwell were sooooo right!

Will you be the last big name that will go away?
I would lie if I’d say that I don’t care – I DO. Except 2 or 3 books, nothing is interesting anymore in Marvel Universe. And they are digging their own grave, completely neglecting growing body of readers – women. Girls are the only one who still read the books (fanboys are into cellphones, porn-sites and video games), and unlike the boys, they are not into saving the world with cheap nfl jerseys super powers, but into caracters and their interactions. That’s why they are into manga so much, and what’s most important, manga stories are FINITE. That’s something big publishers like Marvel and DC will never let to happen – they care too much too keeep existing market (which is rapidly shrinking) instead of open the new ones.

Don’t you think that your style is too far from superhero mainstream comics?
You know what, I think they don’t deserve me. Yesterday on ComiXfan I saw preview pages for Excalibur, same story, but done by other artist. and there is my comment (again a Croatian proverb): jumping from horseback to donkey. More and more i have a feeling that i was throwing pearls before swine. I actualy got pemission to show my cancelled penciles on my website after first Excalibur book is published, in may; then you’ll see what i’m talking about…

What will you remember of this experience at Marvel?
That you can not do headbutting with a horny-one; they are just another corporation. The fact that they produce comics doesn’t make them less malign.

What are your feelings about their behaviour? Are you disappointed?
Oh yes, I have a lot of stuff goin’ on with them… For example, they breached my exclusive contract last summer, with the cheap jerseys China comment “…screw the contract, it’s just a piece of toilet paper anyway”, or what they did with censoring my art… ah, whatever. If I didn’t have big family to support, I’d tell them to go to hell a long time ago. “Corporations doesn’t have loyalty, Corporations have needs”.

You actually did work with the most successful writer of X-Men comics, Chris Claremont, and with probably his best successor, Grant Morrison. What do you think of their works?
Now when I’m fired, I could tell a lot of crap, but I won’t. One thing is a fact – they are good in what they are doing.

I know that you’ve worked with Morrison without having almost any kind of contact with him: how did you felt working in this way?
Bad, neglected… for me, only good way of working on project is mutual interaction. When it doesn’t exist, what remains are half-results, like when you jerking it off instead of having a real sex.

What about Claremont? What do you think about him?
Claremont is a person with big knowledge and culture, very open to ideas and suggestions. It was extremely nice to work with him. I always had a feeling that we would do beautiful projects out of Marvel Universe and limitations. This guy has great ideas!

And now, what are your next works, your upcoming projects?
Right now I’m working on lots of book-cover illustrations and (I’m) spreading my tentacles on European market again. My general future project is to be independent from American market as much as possible.

Would you work with Marvel again?
Only if they would accept my conditions in prices and how to make a realy good contract in terms of humanity, and that is not likely to happen…

How did you decide to became a comic book artist?
I never needed to decide about it – I always knew that I’m gonna be an artist, there was never doubt about it. I started to draw, when I started to think about myself as a person and that was realy early – probably when i wes 3 years old, and actualy first pictures I remember properly were the pictures from comics.

Rivers of BloodMost important artistic influences on your work as penclier…
First, I never considered myself as a penciler but as an artist. My early education in public and art school was clasical, so influences are wide, from clasical artists like Brueghel, Duhrer, Caravaggio, Dore or Ruebens to comic artists like Foster, Hampson, Bellamy, Maurovic, Radilovic, Jacovitti in early days, to Corben later. I need to mention influence of amazing artists like Toppi, Battaglia, Breccia, Pratt, Munoz and Crepax in my artschool days. Me and my gang used to collect italian magazines like Alter Linus, and all of those guys had extremely high and sofisticated levels of graphic language. I would say that this period of “golden age” of italian comics has extremely important role in my shaping as a comic artist. Second great influence in art school were artists who used to work in old MAD magazines, like Kurtzman, Elder, Wood, Davies… They helped to develop quirky sense of humour and different approach to subject. Good humour is something I always love in comics. I mentioned a giant of absurd, Jacovitti before – I used to read him when i was 5; that’s something you never forget, something having permanent influence on your point of view.

How do you work? What’s your work timetable? Which instruments do you use?
I work 10-12 hours a day, no weekends and holydays. I never use references for human beings or animals – I use my memorry; that’s result of my training in art school and art academy. And my artistic atitude is, that only this way you can create something realy yours, unique; only if it comes directly from your mind, whether is good or bad, but it’s yours. I usualy use pencil only for rough sketches, everything else I do with pen and brush – line work with pen, and finish, like shadows and such, with brush.

What is the difference being a comic book artist in Europe and in USA?
I think Hello you still have more freedom to express yourself as an artist in Europe. There is more money in American market, but this is not most important, right? And broader audience is into comics in Europe, nut just geeks and funboys like in US. Artists are treated with more respecct in Europe, at least it was like that when I was working more for European market; there is more McDonalds all over Europa than before; I wouldn’t wonder if influences in bad attitude happened too…

You worked at comics of one’s of big icon of fiction: Tarzan, Star Wars, X-Men, Star Trek… What did you fell to draw them?
I still fill the most for Tarzan, I grew up with him so it’s understandable… for me he’s still one and only genuine super hero.

Your french works: what’s difference with other esperiences?
Well, it was late ’80-ies when I used to publish a lot on French market. Much more freedom than today, that’s my experience….

Jodorowsky is one of the big comic writers of the world. How is working with him?
I met him personaly and I’d keep my opinion for myself – I was not to happy with our colaboration – he is a real celebrity and he knows how to use that fact…

Talk us about I.N.C.I.D.E.N.T. studio: what was it? Who were its members? What is now?
That’s my Company; I sometimes hire people to help me out, but is basicaly only me. I created it on the begining as a potential factory of talents who would move mountains with creativity (I.N.C.I.D.E.N.T. is acronim for “incorporated identities”), but people are not into such team work anymore – too selfish and too greedy.

How much is your site important for you?
I love to comunicate with my fans and to find out about feedback of my comics- after all, I’m doing all this for them. On the other side, through my site I found out how many idiots live out there, and that is my biggest frustration.

Your approach at drawing are very readability, your storytelling are one of your best characteristic. How did you form your style?
That’s hidden movie director in me – I always loved to make my caracters to be alive in this media as much as possible, to move and act, to be convincing and logical in their movements. Today, after 30 years, I don’t think anymore about story telling- I just know what to do (well. it was about time…heh)

Are there other writers that you want to work togheter, and why?
There is 2 guys i’d like to work with: Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and that is my secret dream.

What are your secret dream as artist?
And other one is to be so rich, that I would be able to draw and publish whatever I want, without limits.

Have you ever been in Italy?
I know Italy pretty well – 10 years before I moved to Canada wholesale nba jerseys I spent in Istria, 10km from Italian border. But I’ve never been on South, further than Rome…

What do you feel about your birth place? Do you think you’ll became one day?
You cannot imagine how much I miss my homeland. I certainly don’t plan to leave my bones in Canada – that’s part of my plans for the future- to return to Croatia.

Why do you choose Canada?
Canada choose me – I was OUR invited to work here as a creative director in a Company dealing with color design for American market. It happened in ’96. After the war was over in Croatia and economical situation was disastrous, so wholesale nfl jerseys I didn’t think twice should I accept the offer or not. Then I was thinking “somebody is watching over me”, but today I wish that I left somewhere a bit closer to Croatia…

What role has your wife, and your family, in your work?
Well, they are always the biggest motif, the focus off all my efforts. I always wanted them to be safe and to give them as much as possible. So, there is a big difference between situation now and times when I was a bachelor – I never worked so hard before, and was more laid-back. I need to admit, I miss those “golden age” sometime – it was the age of freedom and foolishness…

Very thanks and best wishes to Igor Kordey. You can visit his site, www.kordey.ca, so know his artworks and his future works, or talk with him on his forum.

(traduzione Davide Occhicone)

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