It’s not everyday that you meet someone who has been designing for the biggest movie and video game studios for the past 20 years, and still finds time to launch his own indie publishing house. That’s Igor-Alban Chevalier, a VFX art director and concept artist that has worked on films such as X-Men and Harry Potter and games like Halo. Under the artist name The Black Frog, Igor recently launched his very own independent publishing company (The Dynamo Press) using Peecho's on demand cloud printing platform. We were eager to learn more about his new venture.
Igor, Tell us about The Dynamo Press - when did you found it? What inspired you to start it?
The name itself has existed for years, more as a fun tag on my old site than anything else. I only really decided to give meaning – and content -- to it last year when I got back the rights to all the series I was publishing elsewhere in full.
I had had enough of spending all my energy dealing with publishers who had no idea where I was coming from or could not understand what I was writing. My vision of what a comic book should be is not always what you would call mainstream.
So for me The Dynamo Press is a place where I can finally be able to let my imagination run wild and where I can publish any kind of story I want, may they be silly, intellectual, poetic, dark, frightening or all of the above. No boundaries. Whatever format I want, whatever genre, whatever style.
Can you tell us more about the products you're currently printing with Peecho?
A 400 page black and white nasty Sci-fi tale/comic experiment I made in 4 days for a laugh. There’s also the 6 issues of a 300 page graphic novel series called “Maggot” which is the Story of a girl in the 1930's who's starting to work for Death to investigate a case which will quite literally take her through hell.
The complete catalogue can be found here.
As someone who's been in the industry for 20 years, how do you think the comics scene and comics publishing have changed throughout the years?
For the most part the comic book publishing industry became like fast food. Any body who knows how to hold a pencil seems to be able to get in nowadays and as much as I enjoy reading for pure entertainment I also like when the art is good and the stories a bit deeper.
Self-publishing has done many great things for comic artists. You can be all by yourself, invent a world from scratch and put it out there without having anyone changing anything to it because you need no permission from anybody.
This is gold.
But there's another thing. In this line of work, we tend to be too remote, too isolated from the readers. And that's a shame. A storyteller should be allowed to know how his tale is received.
The advantage of having an indie publishing company is that the people who like what I do can have a direct dialogue with me on a daily bases... we can create a real relationship if you will. The Dynamo Press is for me a way to exchange with like minded people. And that, above anything else, is very precious.