Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Carla Berrocal
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Cartoonist Carla Berrocal writes, draws, colors, and letters her comics. She has published comics in her home country of Spain and is a contributor to Vertigo's Dial H and CMYK: Magenta anthology. She is currently at work on an original graphic novel.
ComicsAlliance: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Carla Berrocal: I think every part is fun or in every process I learn something but If I have to choose one I prefer drawing and inking…
CA: Do you work on paper or digitally? Why?
CB: I work on paper -- I like to feel the pencil and the ink. I finish with my hand covered in ink but it’s a process where you transmit part of you to the paper. It has something magic.
CA: What’s your background/training?
CB: Since I was a child, my parents developed my creative aptitudes. They put me in art courses. I did classic painting classes and courses about animation and comics. Then, when I grew up, I studied illustration at the Arte Diez School of Arts and Design in Madrid, and a couple of years later got a degree design in the same place. I also have a Masters of Creative Writing.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
CB: I would like to think that my style is strong and minimalist. I love the basics. "Less is more” is my religion. In my stories I love lyricism and poetry, but also pulp stories and classic sci-fi.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
CB: My last comic was published in 2011 here in Spain. It's titled El Brujo (wich means The Wicked) and it’s a experimental work. Every page was done with a different technique. I was searching for the influence of the technique on the narrative. Since then I did short stories for other anthologies. Earlier this year I self-published one little book with fencing sketches (I love and practice the sport) and this summer I published a short story in the Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK: Magenta. Since then I've been working on a graphic novel, but I’m doing it very slowly because I don’t have publisher, so I use my free time to draw it.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to create a 20-page issue?
CB: Writing the story takes me three or four days. The pencils may take 10 days and inking another 10. Finally, lettering it would take maybe one week. I think one month and one week more or less.
CA: What is your dream project?
CB: I don’t know. Maybe to write and draw a personal version of Batman, as I love that character. Or maybe to publish my own graphic novel with a publisher that can pay me. Spain is horrible… you can’t survive doing comics.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
CB: Some of my influences are Muñoz/Sampayo, Breccia, Philip K. Dick, Lem, Gabriel García Márquez, Jean Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Noel Sickles, Caniff, Hugo Pratt, Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Tezuka, Brüno…
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
CB: Alack Sinner (Muñoz/Sampayo), Fenix (Osamu Tezuka), Corto Maltese (Pratt), Terry and the Pirates (Caniff), Kirby, Nemo (Brüno), Taiyo Matsumoto, Monster (Naoki Urasawa), Dragon Ball (Toriyama), Flavio Colin, Mazzucchelli, Raúl, Federico del Barrio…
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
CB: My own study is already ideal… but if I was rich, maybe in a little house in a small town, near the beach. That would be the best.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
CB: I think that my work already speaks better than me, and it can give them a better idea than my words.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
CB: Website: http://www.carlaberrocal.com/