Debuting in comic book shops and wherever books are sold in a few weeks are two “killer” books from Archaia! After several delays, The Killer Vol. 4: Unfair Competition and The Killer Omnibus Vol. 1 finally make their way into shops and on to your bookshelves! We ringed artist Luc Jacamon at his home in France to ask him a few questions about working on this popular noir series.
This is your fourth volume of The Killer. What aspects of the character and the world keep you coming back?
LUC JACAMON: It’s sometimes difficult to maintain the same energy level throughout a long-running series. At some point, I felt the need to take a break. But then I felt like coming back. I’d say that the character of The Killer worked his way back to me. He has occupied such a large part my imagination over the last few years that his existence seems almost real. He’s not someone you get rid of easily! Also, there is something rather pleasant about drawing a character you know really well—a kind of familiarity that allows you to work without asking yourself lots of unnecessary questions.
JACAMON: There hasn’t been much change. After over 15 years of collaboration, we know each other extremely well. If there’s something I feel like drawing, Matz will take that into consideration when he writes. Since The Killer has been consistently successful until now, we have never felt the need to change the way we work. It’s a collaboration that is based on freedom. Each of us has full liberty to do what we want in our own field of expertise. I don’t get involved with the writing, and Matz lets me handle the pages. This doesn’t keep us from talking about specific issues or how to approach to certain subject matter every now and then, but, in the end, we trust each other to solve problems that arise in our own fields.
In volume 4, there is a lot of ground covered and a wide variety of locations and nationalities illustrated. What kind of research do you enjoy the most?
JACAMON: I don’t really have preferences, except for the fact that I try not to depend too much on documentation, which sometimes takes away your freedom. I’d say that I really like the variety of locations because, in my opinion, it’s important to be able to change the subject matter. That way, I don’t get bored, and I assume the readers don’t get bored either.
JACAMON: I dislike whenever very precise documentation is necessary. For example, maybe there’s a city I don’t know, haven’t been to, and can’t visit. In that case, I have to do research. Also, drawing a motorcycle or a boat from various perspectives is very difficult for me, even though I can just go on the Internet and gather the necessary documentation. Sometimes I wonder how things were done before the Internet!
Your environments are so lush. Which has been your favorite to illustrate?
JACAMON: I enjoy doing outdoor scenes, like the rainforest, as they allow me a lot more freedom than, let’s say, a city, where the architecture is much more tightly organized. But experience has taught me to be careful with sticking to what I enjoy drawing, as I can sometimes have nice surprises with settings that I did not feel like drawing at first.
Has the digital age changed how you approach your work?
JACAMON: To me, it’s been a fantastic opportunity. At first, I was rather curious about it, intrigued you might say. But I very quickly understood that it would allow for a lot of creative freedom, as it eliminated a lot of technical constraints. The transition to digital was an exhilarating moment for me, even though I soon realized it had its downsides and some corrections were needed. For instance, the art could come out looking too cold, and I would need to adjust that. On the other hand, the infinite choice of colors and lighting allow you to maximize the impact of the images, if you make the right choices.