The album Le triangle rouge
is an hommage to the American architect
Frank Lloyd Wright
(1867-1959). Architecture plays an important
part in it. The book is filled with architectonic masterpieces, for which
Andreas was inspired by the work of Lloyd Wright.
And yet the story isn't
about FLW, as Andreas calls him for short. "But its hard for me to explain
what its about exactly", Andreas says. "I've just finished Le triangle rouge
a couple of months ago, I haven't taken enough distance from it to
be able to talk about it elaborately. The main thread is FLW dreaming about
a person who dreams about a person who dreams - etcetera. In this way I
play with the codes of dreaming, and I connect those dreams by all kinds
of hidden things that occur in them, like a mysterious box with a red triangle
painted on it."
This box contains red, triangular capsules. Taking in these capsules
causes hallucinogenic side effects. At the end of the story it becomes
clear what kind of stuff this is. Then the architect Lebeau Wood, one of
the book's personages, appears to have shot himself through the head. He
is in a coma, but is waken up with the help of the medicin Serondan. Andreas
seems to suggest that the box with the symbol represents the medicin, and
that this is the cause of all those dreams. But, as has just been noted,
the story is still too fresh for him to go into all kinds of layers of
He does want to say something about Frank Lloyd Wright
years I wanted to make a strip relating to his work. I admire him very
much, since I was young, when I still wanted to become an architect. Mainly
the forms with which this architect worked and the way he handled the division
of space fascinate me. Like positioning windows at very odd places, they
are too high; you can't look through them, yet a fine light is coming through
it. The interiors of Lloyd Wright are special too, they contain so much
power of the imagination, it touches me."
"The forms and buildings he designed I used as a source of inspiration
for my own drawings. Further I used his initials and his signature, a red
square, in the story. For example, I play with all kinds of cubic forms.
Further, I use as a reference to his signature a red triangle, a form that
plays a central part in the book. The long format of the book, the yellowish
paper, the light colors, all refer to Lloyd Wright's work. But for the
remainder, it's my story I tell. Though I've never seen a house by FLW
for real, I would like very much to live in one. They are not boring average
houses, but living creations. I found it a great challenge to draw such
buildings. The examples for these I took from books with pictures
and drawings by FLW that I keep at my home. I don't like to copy, altered
or not, from others. In this case I could agree with it, since it was my
tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright
Andreas chose to do Le triangle rouge
with crayons, something he had
never done before. "I wanted this for a long time and I was pleased by
it. Before I could start with the definite version I must have thought
about the concept for two years. First it was going to be a detective novel,
but later I got the idea of the Droste
-effect. When I'm working
I get ideas regularly. I saw, for example, when I started my story, different
racing cars before me, I don't know why. It came from my subconscious.
The story changed, but the cars stayed. The same goes for the pilot and
the planes. Whether this can be associated with the Wright-brothers? Maybe
so, maybe my subconscious has made a link between FLW and these aeroplane-pioneers
Le retour de Cromwell Stone
is the sequal to the book Cromwell Stone
that was published by Sherpa as well. This cycle can be considered
a kind of history of the creation of the universe. The creation is endangered
because a sense loses its balance near the earth, which causes a creator
with his senses to land on earth. This creator does his utmost to be able
to return to the stars again. For this he has made an instrument for him
with which he can realise his goal. This key is stolen, though, and 'Cromwell
Stone', at first one of the suspects, gets the assignment to determine who
has the key in his posession. But the coast is not clear. In Le retour de Cromwell Stone
several groups fight for the lost object.
"The story runs for years", Andreas says. "The first part I finished
at the end of 1982. I wanted to start this second part directly after the
first part, was it not for publisher Deligne (Michel)
to go bankrupt.
Only twelve years later was I able to finish Le retour de Cromwell Stone
I want to make a third part; maybe it will take me another ten years."
"Le retour de Cromwell Stone
has a different angle and a different style
than the first part. Cromwell Stone
is about a man alone with his fear in oppressing situations ("The oldest
and strongest emotion of man is fear", a quote of H.P. Lovecraft
is the motto of this book. RS). The second part is the opposite: it deals
with a cosmic entity that cannot be controlled by man, things happen that
are too big to understand them by man (with the motto a quote of 'Harlan
Ellison': "Because we are tiny creatures in a universe that is neither
benign nor malign - IT is simply enormous and unaware of us save as part
of the chain of life." RS) In the first part Cromwell doesn't see through
that cosmic power, he tries to get away from it. In the second part Cromwell
does understand and accept it and he lets himself be taken over by the
events. The second part is really the explanation of the first part. The
third part will in some aspects be the opposite of the first two parts
"The style of the second part is clearly different from that of part
1. Le retour de Cromwell Stone
has a dark, grand style. The menacing
landscapes, using black gridlines, the great survey pictures - I have written
the story in a way that I could make such drawings. Furthermore, I have
placed a certain division of time in the narrative structure. I have used
white pages to indicate the present of the story. White pages with pictures
in black frames refer to the time before that and the black pages refer
to the period preceding that again. Looking back I think have pushed this
style too far. The strip is too grey, too little transparent."
"I consider Le triangle rouge
to be a reaction
to this second part of Cromwell Stone
. Le triangle rouge
has a more simple construction in comparison to the
complicated story of Le retour de Cromwell Stone
. Le triangle rouge
is light, while Le retour de Cromwell Stone
is dark, too dark actually."
A recurring theme in Andreas' work is the existence of parallel worlds,
controlled by higher powers, and leading characters that have access to these worlds.
Rork is the best known example, but it is present also, be it less prominent than in Rork,
in Cromwell Stone. Andreas doesn't give a clear explanation for his preference for this
theme at first. "It must be my mystical side", he mutters. After which he continues
by noticing that he just happens to work with cosmic elements. "It happens almost
automatically. I don't like to make realistic stories. I prefer to make worlds out of my fantasy,
in which impossible things are possible. For reality has its boundaries. I get my
ideas from my subconscious and I commit them to paper. I create for it a background,
that's easier, more direct. Worlds of fantasy are easier to draw than the real world,
for which I should have to document too much. So my choice for this theme has a practical
reason as well, really."
"Readers or fans often think that I'm some kind of a dark figure who knows all about occultism.
I notice that when I meet them at fairs. And this isn't the case at all. I stand with both feet
on the ground. I am not religious, I am a practical and reasonable thinking human being.
It doesn't keep me awake at night, you know this image that they have of me; for that
I do not meet them enough."
The apparent separation that Andreas makes between his personality and his work seems
somewhat forced: he calls himself down to earth, while in his strips he keeps referring to
other entities, world, supernatural powers. Wouldn't there be something of a mutual influence?
Andreas: "Look, part of my personality is reflected in my work, that is my spiritual side,
but that doesn't mean I have live accordingly. It's an interest that is expressed in my stories,
but not in my normal daily life. I don't go to church, I don't look at the stars at night to see if
something is written there."
"I don't believe that the truth is somewhere up there, I believe that the truth is inside us,
it comes from within, not from outside. I don't believe in God, but I don't believe that God
doesn't exist either. I just don't know. I hope there is something, that something happens after
death. But I won't claim that it's like this or like that and that Jezus has preached it. I
also don't have mystical experiences that tell me that there is something supernatural or
extraterrestrial. It's an attractive thought, but it doesn't convince me as a fixed, rational
belief. It does interest me, though. I am, for example, a great fan of tv-series like
Twin Peaks and, more recent, The X-files. A beautiful series. Not so much because of subjects
like werewolves and voodoo, but because of the secretive atmosphere around ufo's and aliens,
and secret agents who once again have to cover up a government experiment."
Andreas likes to play with reality. Events turn out just somewhat different from what
they appear at first sight. Main characters struggle with chimeras, reality is often an illusion.
The reader is disguided regurlarly. He himself calls it an inclination to hold a mirror in front
of the reader in which strange things take place. "It's a projection of my imagination, the same
proces as the creation of different universes. I am more free when I can draw what I think, in
stead of drawing things that I perceive. I draw what I imagine myself; the consequence is that
things deform, I tend to caricature events. I like that. I never go out and copy things. I should,
but I don't. When we were at the academy of art we had to do it, but I didn't, I hated it. I
prefer to sit at home, behind my drawing table and get started with my thoughts. I used to copy
photographs, but I don't do that any more. It's too obvious. Now I look at a photo, put it away,
and make my own interpretation or use a different perspective. Or I put many details in it that
refer to favorite books and tv-programs or people that I admire."
"In Le retour de Cromwell Stone
I refer with certain details to Breccia, Moebius and Twin Peaks. Sometimes readers
find out these references, but often it's about something obscure or a personal note."
"I consider it a sport to think of anagrams. In Le triangle rouge
appears a FBI-woman named
Anderson. That's an anagram for the medicin Serondan. Unfortunately, it's my experience that
anagrams drop out during translation."
In Andreas' strips people are always looking for something, the detection of a murder-offender,
a key of the entrance to another world. Andreas calls them mysteries and suspects that he
won't make different kinds of strips any time soon. "All my projects have the same base:
people are looking for solutions. I love mysteries and fantastic tales. I have read many
books in these genres, and I have sought intensely for literature that I didn't know yet.
Until I discovered H.P. Lovecraft
, then I stopped, that was the top for me. The mystery,
the greatness, the dark forces of his stories, that has influenced me. Almost simultanuously,
and it probably wasn't a coincidence, I started the Rork
"I am a fast worker. At present I give myself half a year to think out and make a story.
Only Cromwell Stone
takes very much time, because of the drawings and the way it is
"At the moment I work on a series for Le Lombard
about 'Capricorne', a personnage
. In 'Rork' I introduced 'Capricorne' because of
copyright reasons and to see how it would work out. So I liked it.
"Further Le Lombard
told me that, when I felt like it, I could make new one-shots
for Collection Signé
. It will turn out to be something mysterious."