Chema Peral is a spanish ilustrator who made last year a comic book based on Jean Michel Jarre, called “Esperando a Jean Michel” (Waiting for Jean Michel). Fairlight Jarre talked with Chema about Jarre and more…
– Tell us about your beginnings.
I can’t remember easily my beginnings… I mean , for me, my beginnings were the first time I did a drawing and do not think I can ever remember. Anyway, I ‘ve always drawn . I always read comics because my family was giving me many. A great help is that I grew up without a computer or TV in my room, which, by that time, the 90’s , used to be in many homes of my friends. You were going to visit them and they were there in the room with the cmputer. In any case, my only hobby was reading comics since childhood , drawing and listening to the radio.
– I understand that before entering an editorial, we think you made a lot of early works. Which is your favorite early drawing?
The truth is that a whole series of opportunities to help your work evolves. Based on that participate in all sites , you go tanning as a cartoonist , illustrator or designer. My favorite is an illustration I did for a poster for a jazz festival in 2010. Did not win, but the effort I put made me appreciate my work, especially the creation process, as not being awarded I could see that illustration from another point of view.
– Tell us about the artist whom inspired you…
Not just one but several . Perhaps that is ranked number one is one of the most important artists who have been in Spain in recent times, Max . On the other hand, if I have a touch of Francisco Ibñez , or Bruguera school in details ( a cigar in the corner of a bullet, the appearance of the characters run … ) . I’ve also read a lot of manga, and that will always be in my subconscious. And of course, all the people who draw now , acquaintances, strangers, friends . The bombing of powerful people out there now makes your mind will absorb a huge amount of information at one time or another you will use in your work .
– We now that you discovered the music of Jean Michel Jarre recently. Tell us about your discovery…
The truth is that it was something very magical, one of those little connections you usually have with a close friend If we go back to the root of the issue , I was trying to arrange a video with some friends, a kind of playback songs of the eighties, with much synthesizer and keyboards. I mentioned it to my friend TEO. His exact response was, ” If I have to leave a keyboard playing , I want to be this ” and immediately gave me the video of the performance of Jarre at La Defense, when they play “Calypso”. I was shocked , it was too much information for my brain. So many musicians, the stage , the sound, all that public. I was fascinated, and the image of Jean Michel smiling, with red raincoat and keyboard from side to side of the stage, I was repeated every other day in my head. I do not know how many times you get to see that video, I was very flawed. Back then I was still picking on what character use for my comid, had clearly had to be a real musician, and to get a bit out of jazz, and I chose Jarre withoout hesitation.
– In tthe comic appears heavily Ron McNair. Why did you choose Ron McNair to be the sidekick of Jean Michel in the comic?
As you know, after discover Jean Michel I had to start making the comic, and so quickly I could not investigate all his career. I was reading a little about it, and the history with Ron was so moving to me, so I felt with the power to make they finally met ech other, to play together , even fictitiously.
– And also you created fictional characters but the have no causal connections with real people on the Jarre environment . Tell us about them.
Every Batman needs his Robin. A JARRE you had to put a character that contradicted his theories, to give more emphasis to the character of the protagonist. In this case , Eric is a child that helps Jean Michel, and of course, I imagine that in his career, Jarre has had many ” Erics “, so before choosing one in particular, I thought that inventing a new character could represent them all .
– There is a romantic element in your story ” Waiting For Jean Michel ” and is the value of the music as an art. Do you feel the same passion for music that your characters?
Music has always accompanied me. I ‘ve grown up surrounded by music thanks to radio and my sisters, who lived his teenage years in the 80s and collected many albums I ‘ve been enjoying later. All this plus the fact that most of my friends are musicians, and collectors made me be into musical environments. I always work with music, I’m down the street with music, read with music … I need it, it’s like a voice that will say, ” Everything will be okay , everything is fine, do not worry , I’m by your side.” It’s that perennial friend who accompanies me wherever you go , it is an echo of the deepest serving so you do not feel alone .
– Will you ever make a sequel or continuation to this story ?
Not at all . The continuing evolution is the only thing that moves me, I want to do new things whenever you have the chance. “Waiting for Jean Michel” exists by itself, is a comic that tells a story in a context somewhat in a fictional frame but explains something very real, and it is the fear we have of failure, all is lost . Once told this and that it is possible to “pull his head ” would be futile to continue to telling things using Jarre as a main character. Always something new and different is what I try to do, although it is always more or less framed in the world of music and moods.
– Did you listen Jarre music doing the comic?
Obviously. The music is powerful, so listening to Jarre, especially in the first phase of the project, I felt that energy and helped to create the overall argument of the comic, the essence and ambience.
– Have you contacted Jarre to present your comic inspired by him?
Now I wish I could send him a copy of my comic. I conceived the comic , first, to test me with my first story more or less long, and second, to talk about a subject that interested me. It may sound cruel, but Jarre was no longer an ” excuse” to explain what I wanted to communicate.
– Imagine you work for one of the historic Jarre concerts. How will you make the projections if you were responsible for the design?
Jean Michel takes a lot of care of the image projected either on his concerts or album covers. It is true that the entire atmosphere in the performance of La Defense influenced me a lot, even down to the colors. In the unlikely event that I had to take care of the projections, it would focus much on something synthetic, lines and colors, stains, geometric shapes, perhaps something more abstract than what I usually do when drawing.
– I think that today you are updated about Jarre career . What is your favorite album and concert?
Well, I prefer the soundtrack for ” Les Granges Brulées ” , because in my opinion it is a disc with a different footprint, although perhaps a more concrete with the undeniable signature of the Jarre sound. As for the concert, a classic, the album ” Cities In Concert” … that end with ” Rendez -Vous ll” , ” Ron ‘s Piece ” and ” Rendez -Vous IV ” is very moving.
– Have you designed a alternative cover for any Jarre album, just for your particular collection?
No, but in the 90’s I use to decorate cassetes that I recorded from the radio and make a cover made with cuts and several drawings. Something that has nothing to do with the question but with an album cover of Jean Michel, is that the two penultimate pages of my comic, one double-page illustration, is an homage to the cover of the album ” Jarremix” .
– We assume that the backup media that has had this delivery you will open new possibilities. We have also seen a famous person acquiring ” Waiting For Jean Michel” . Somehow your professional projection must have suffered a change , is not it?
I have noticed the amount of reviews I found on various blogs and websites about comics. Most reviews was in Spanish territory but some also came from abroad, specifically Jarre fan club in Brazil. Overall this first comic book has helped me to say “hey, I draw comics ” . The comic has been sold, and even today, a year later, there are still events related to it.
– Also you are a DJ . Where can we hear your work in this field?
It was inevitable, therefore if the music had always accompanied me, I had to share it. Basically, when I put discs for other I move a lot in the soul- funk scene. I like very much disco music and the evolution that it made towards electronics . I have a page on Facebook where I share black dance music. You can search Superchema, that’s me.
– What other projects are you working on ?
I am now working on my second comic, and I’m in Angouleme, France, developing it. Here’s an organization called “La Maison des Auteurs” I’ll be here until October 2014. Also I collaborate regularly in print and on- line fanzines.
– In what channels can people follow your work?
You can see everything I do on my blog, follow me on Facebook, on Twitter and stay up to date on my French adventure www.lostinangouleme.tumblr.com
You can purchase the comic here…
And what better way to end this interview by asking you to make us an exclusive dedicated drawing for Fairlight Jarre. Do you dare?