Saturday 31 October 2020

Interview with new Phantom cover artist - Luca Erbetta

 Q & A with the cover artist of Phantom comics published by Regal publishers in India

The new editions (No.3 & 4) of Phantom comics are now out and no Phan  can afford to miss them.
Exciting stories, improved printing and great cover art by new artists.
We decided to reach out to the artist Luca Erbetta who had done the cover for No.4 edition and he was kind enough to patiently answer our questions  

Q1. Tell us briefly about your background. Are you a professional artist? Where exactly do you stay? Where did you study? etc

I'm a professional Italian comic book artist and illustrator, and I'm currently living in France.
I've done this job for the last 19 years, mostly for French publishers, but also for US, Swedish and Australian publisher. 

Q2. Who were your inspirations? Did you get inspired by any particular artist?

I have many inspirations, from US, Italians, Argentinian and French comics. Joe Kubert, Alan Davis, Ralph Meyer, Hermann, Domingo Mandrafina...The list is too long to do it! I also love looking at some classic painters and illustrators, like Zorn, Sorolla, Mort Kunstler, Dean Cornwell...

Q3. Are you a Phantom fan yourself? When were you introduced to Phantom?

Yes! I don't remember exactly when I've started to read the Phantom. I was probably around twenty-five, but immediately loved the character, and the Idea of a Phantom dynasty.

Q.4 Tell us a bit about Phantom comics publishing in Italy. is Phantom still popular there?

Phantom has been quite popular in Italy in the sixties. He was known as "L'uomo mascherato" (the masked man). It has been published until the nineties, then it has almost disappeared, and now it's just a thing for nostalgic fans.

Q5.  How did you get to draw Phantom covers for Fantomen?

Thanks to a friend, I've discovered that the Phantom was still be published in Sweden, were they produced new stories and also plenty of new covers.
I've sent a portfolio to the editor. He liked it and he proposed me to do some covers.

Q6. Who is your favourite Phantom artist ? Why ?

From the past, Sy Berry, of course. From the actual artists, Henrik Sahlstrom. His covers are amazing. Very powerful and effective!!!

Q7. How do the current Phantom artists compare with the classic ones like McCoy/Sy Barry?

Personally, It's hard. But I understood that I can't do what they did, and that I have to find a way to b get "my" Phantom.

Q8. How did you decide to get to draw the cover for the Phantom comics by Regal?

My dream is to do at least one Phantom cover for each country where is published. So, I've contacted Regal and asked them if they were interested.

Q9. Did you receive any guidelines from King Features to draw the cover?

No. I never have any guidelines from KF. Just from the local editors. In this case, from Regal. They just asked me to do a "Phantom in the jungle". So ,that's what I did!  😊

Q10. Were you able to read the stories before you drew the cover ?

No. That almost never happens.

Q.11 Do you draw digitally now or the traditional way using paper and pencil?

I use both. The Phantom cover I did for Regal was done in ink on paper, then colored in Photoshop.

Q12. Have you also drawn Mandrake the magician ? (other popular character created by Lee Falk)?

No, never. But I love magicians, and it would be fun, someday!

Q13. What has been the feedback so far on your cover art for the Phantom comic?

Astonishingly good! It can happen that sometimes, someone doesn't like a particular cover, but generally I have very, very good feedback!

Q.14 Would you like to do a complete Phantom story someday?

Yes. But I would do it only if all the conditions are good (time, money, and a very good story) So, for the moment, I can't. But we will never know.

Q.15 Do you accept commissions and how can people contact you for the same?

Yes. But, I'm just very busy, so, even if I have very few requests, if someone asks me, it must be veeery, patient. 😊

If you want to follow me online, you can go to my Instagram page:
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Contact Regal publishers for the comics @ 94810 52592 (India)

Also available with Frew in Australia

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