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Tomás took some time from his worktable to answer a few of our questions regarding Conan.
Dark Horse Comics: What is your process when approaching the look of an older, battle-scarred King Conan?
Tomás Giorello: I think the goal here was to make him look not only older but to give him the face and the expression of somebody who’s seen almost everything there is to see in his world. My goal was to also make him look very dangerous at his age and wiser, but keeping his savage essence too!
DH: What did you refer to and what influenced you while you were working on creating an older Conan?
TG: Of course the iconic image of Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting on the throne at the end of the first movie came to my mind several times, but in the story we were going to see him not just sitting there and looking at us (like in the movie) but moving, talking, remembering, and evoking his adventures. The scars were a good element to add for an experienced look, and the shadows on his face helped a lot to emphasize his expressions!
DH: How does the King Conan series in general differ from your Conan the Cimmerian work?
TG: I felt free to make more artistic and aesthetic decisions, a lot more than with Conan the Cimmerian. Also the fact that this was going to be an older Conan gave me the chance to draw him like I’ve always wanted: bigger, rougher, full of scars, and with more of a fighter’s look. The story gave me the opportunity to play with the darkness and light in my compositions. Since he is in a somber dungeon, I was free to shade his face, his body, and the whole environment in a more dramatic, almost theatrical way. I’ll try to get an excuse in future issues to continue playing with that! And of course working on the title for more than three years (and the patience of the readers!) gave me more and more experience and the chance to learn and to get to know myself and my artistic choices better.
DH: What’s your process of making your characters’ faces so expressive and dynamic?
TG: I think there must be a thousand ways to draw the same face. The possibilities are many, and it’s very interesting for me to play with that. To sculpt a face is one of the things I enjoy the most. And then the shading process really helps to get that real look and also to add more to the expressions!
DH: Is there a project of your own that you have always wanted to work on?
TG: I don’t have a finished script or anything, but I’d love to work on a project that can include several ages of mankind (time travel or something like that). That way I could draw the past, ancient civilizations, and science-fiction technology, too! I also love horror stories—gothic, Victorian, and so on...
DH: And one silly question: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
TG: The power to control time!!!! Imagine living a month in a single day!! Deadlines would be so much less stressful!!!!
DH: Thanks so much for your time.