An interview with Laura Peréz Vernetti

You are author of the book “The Majakovskij case” published by Coconino Press and you are also the inventor of the ‘’Graphic Novel’’. Why did you decide to tell the poetry using comics?

For a long time I wanted to illustrate and adapt to comics the poetry of Pessoa. I thought he would be a very difficult poet until I finally convinced myself. I chose those poems that  could be narrated in sequence considering that there are some verses which are not drawable. It is like working with a scriptwriter who cannot visualize anything, who cannot see any picture.

I tried and I realized that certain poems tend to follow the narrative sequence of comics and I decided to choose those poets that I could adapt especially to graphic novel, so I published ‘’Pessoa & Cia’’ and later the book on Majakovskij for Coconino, and in October it will be published a book on Rainer Maria Rilke.


I read that you usually employ a lot of research in your work. What happens in your studio when you are working on a book?

I take months searching for material. For example, about Pessoa: the Portuguese Avant Guards in the early 1900s. With Majakovskij: all the revolutionary period, the constructivism, the suprematism. With Rilke: the art at the end of 1800s. It is a very interesting work, really exciting because leads me to create a graphic style in harmony with the art of the period, the images which represent the poetic world of each poet.


All poets you are dealing with are men. Have you ever thought to work on a poetess?

I Have just published in Spain a graphic novel entitled ‘’Eight Poems’’ in which there are four poets and four poetesses. I have illustrated poems by Julia Ochoa, Miriam Reyes, Isabel Bono and Menchu Gutierrez who are very famous, contemporary and from different generations but very talented poetesses. Unfortunately there is a debate in Spain, since the poetesses do not want to be called ‘’poetesses’’. That is why today we prefer to say ‘’male poet’’ and ‘’female poet’’.


Still talking about feminine, there are very few female comic-book artists in Europe and in the world. Why does the access to the ninth art is still so arduous for women?

The discussion that took place at the Angouleme Festival in 2015 I think may be a signal for all readers and publishers in order to take aware that women have great abilities in the sector of comics and graphic novel. Coherently with this awareness, after Angouleme publishers are giving more opportunities to female authors compared to the past.


In ‘’I Rilke’’ you have used some different colors compared with your other works, more fluorescent, more gaudy, how do you work on the choice of the color?

On Pessoa I worked with watercolour. On Majakovskji with the computer, all the illustration is drawn with brush and ink, Indian ink and felt-pen and well-refined with the computer.


Which tecnique do you prefer? 

I prefer creating by hand as I find the computer a bit boring. Computer is useful to recompose all the sketches instead of past them on the paper. I prefer to draw the first phase by hand with ink, Indian ink and brush. 


Speaking about your origins, were you born as  a comics artist or does one become a comics artist?

When I was a child I have been the opportunity, since my mother was Italian and my father was Spanish, of reading Italian, Spanish and even French comic-books as I learned French since the childhood. It was a daily experience for me reading these three cultures of comics. Since I was a child I used to draw characters of comics inside my books while the teacher was explaining the lesson.




Laura Peréz Vernetti a #RomicsXX