On June 22-25 Italian artist Christian Cornia will be joining Europe Comics in New Orleans for the ALA Annual Conference. We used this opportunity to ask Christian a few questions about himself, his work and Brina (written by Giorgio Salati, and originally published in Italian by Tunue), the latest and cutest addition to the Europe Comics collection.
How did you decide to become a comics artist?
When I was four years old, my mother often read me Topolino, a comics magazine with stories about Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. That stuck with me, so I decided to become a comics artist, despite my other friends who wanted to become firemen or astronauts!
How did you achieve your goal?
At 20, I went to a year-long comics course in Bologna, and following that, I tried for a few years to become a professional comics artist. But at the time I hadn’t yet found my artistic style and was unsuccessful, so I decided to move to children’s illustrations to pay the bills! Then in 2015 I was contacted by a Disney writer, Giorgio Salati, who was looking for a comics artist for his project Brina, and I decided to return to comics.
Which other artists inspire you?
There are so many… But in recent years I’ve started to look to character artists from animation, especially Stephen Silver and Sean Galloway.
Who would you consider to be your role model?
I’ve never thought about that… But I’d say anyone who can maintain a regular daily work schedule… I’m always trying to improve mine and I often lose myself!
Tell us about Brina. How was the idea for it born?
The idea comes from something that actually happened to Giorgio, the scriptwriter. During a vacation in the mountains he lost his cat and he promised himself that he would write a story about it if he found her… And he found her obviously!
What was the creative process behind it like?
First I studied my cats a lot, and the cats drawn by Milt Kahl in Disney’s movies. Then when Giorgio sent me the script, I started first of all to work on all the layouts. I don’t like to work and finalize small groups of pages as I go, because I’m afraid of changing style over the course of the project… So I prefer to work on all the pages together for every step — first the layout, then the pencils, then the final coloring.
What are you currently working on, and what are your future creative plans? That is, if it’s not a secret!
I’ve just started to work on a new Brina story, then I’m working on a new book for Insight Editions about Star Trek — while I continue to try to break into the animation world as a character designer.