Article Information
TitleAndreas. In grey and in colors.
AuthorJean Louis Lechat
Context Information
Magazine PublicationTintin/Hello BD (fr); Kuifje (nl) (1983, number 45)
Thanks to Hans Heltzel.
Article Contents
from the article "Andreas. In grey and in colors. (1983)":
Of all our young stripbook authors, Andreas is doubtlessly the most controversial. Noone is indifferent to his work, and that is a sign of quality. Everyone agrees about his drawing talent, however, both fans and professionals. "And yet, I would have never reached this level if Jijé had not strongly critised the few plates I dared show him. I hadn't expected any compliments of course, but these were complete bashings! Enough to discourage the most stubborn beginner. To me this was an enormous shock. I have to say that what I drew at the time did not match what I felt. I had not yet succeeded to determine my own original and personal style. Yet, rather than to give in to despair, I went back to work. I did my best to find my own way. At first as a draughtsman I was strongly influenced by people like Franquin, but eventually I chose a more realistic approach, inspired by certain American draughtsmen. The unconventional way they treated a scenario strongly matched the way I wanted to tell my own story for so long."
In Bruxelles Andreas mastered the art. In Sint-Lucas he takes a course by Claude Renard, and later, in Sint-Gilles, the one by Eddy Paape. "In Germany, where I was born and made my first drawings, the comic strip did not evolve the way it did in Belgium and France. There is not a single school where you can learn about it. I dreamt a long time about the trade and saw only one solution: to emigrate. The Belgium school of comic strips had an international call and therefore it was logical that I moved there. Afterwards I settled in Paris... and eventually I arrived in Bretagne. I like the misty coast in that region. The landscape is fantastic and the people are both reserved and warm. There I find the rest I need for my work. Actually, this may be because of my northern upbringing, I never felt drawn towards the sun. But this Brettonic grey breathes an athmostphere of mystery strengthened by the countless remains of its Celtic past."
Mystery...that is what pervades his stories.
"Even as a boy I was fascinated by everything that had to do with strange and paranormal phenomena. And later, in my trade, I never felt completely well if I did not work with these subjects in my text and images. I say: text ànd image, because to me the one can never be without the other. In general scenario writers are much too talkative. They tell all kinds of things that can be expressed more clearly and often better in a drawing than that it can be said...That is why I prefer to be my own scenario writer.
Opinions about comic strips vary widely. Some say that a good page is best created in black-and-white. I on the contrary think that color adds a lot. Not just esthetically! It was no coincidence or joke that in La caverne du souvenir the story began in shades of grey, then turned to bright colors, later to return again to grey. It all has to do with symbolism. The colors speak their own language. Especially when it comes to the expression of feelings. I hasten to say that my fantastic story always start from explainable situations. By characters remain humans, who are suddenly confronted with something unusual."