Interview with German Nobile, artist from Argentina

Interview with German Nobile, artist from Argentina

German Nobile, illustrator and artist from Argentina, tells us about his career and his first professional work for US Editor Avatar Press, with Caligula, a mini series wrote by David Lapham actually edited in Italy by Panini Comics.

Bio info from website:
Like most artists, drawing had always been part of my life, when I was 16 years old (1995) started to learn drawing with Ariel Olivetti (now working at Marvel), I never stopped drawing and years later (2004), when I was 25 years old I start my first steps as a Illustrator and comic Artist, and since then my work was increasingly able to live up to only draw. I love this industry and I always Feeling very lucky to be able to live of drawing warriors, Magicians, Dragons, and Good characters. German Nobile Website:
German Nobile page on Deviantart:

Your name clearly indicate your Italian origins; are you second or more Argentinian generation of your family?
Yes, I am very proud of my Italian origins, but the Italian in my family was my grand-grand father from my father side, my grandpa told to my father was a duke or count or something like that. But I never have the chance to know if that it’s true. But he sounded very serious when he talked about it. Last year I was searching my heraldic shield to make a tattoo. I couldn’t find anything very accurate so I make my own with a few elements that I saw on the “Nobile” shields. Obviously I like pasta a lot, pizza, etc. The Italian food is awesome. Also I cheer for Italy on the World Cup when Argentina is not playing.

Would you be so kind to resume shortly your previous jobs in comic book business?
Well. My background is mostly on the illustration side.
A lot of illustrations for cards or RPG books such as: A game of thrones, Call of Cuthulhu, UFS Shadowar, Warhammer 40,000, Mitos y Leyendas (Chilean tcg) etc.
I made covers for local companies and lots of comic coloring. So Caligula is my first attempt in the comic business doing all the artwork.
I am also working as an art director for a local company in a TCG called Inferno.
And as teacher of Concept Art at Image Campus. A great school of visual arts here in Buenos Aires.

Did you have the chance to study or read something regarding Caligola historical period before this job?
Absolutely, I read some Wikipedia articles of course, and also I saw the film from Tinto Brass, and Spartacus (I love this show) and Rome from HBO (great show also) I saw Gladiator again, and Centurion and Spartacus with Kirk Douglas, was great for the racing part in issue 2. Also Ben Hur, obviously. I am a cinema fan and I am always watching something on the secondary monitor when I am painting my pages.

Which images and sources did you use to imagine that period?
Was great to look over the Masters like J. L. Gerome or Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
I use a lot of google images search, the people that actually lives in Rome and do Ancient Roman parades, I don’t know the exact term. Was very helpful!!!
Besides, David Lapham is a very pro-writer and the script have already a lot of references.

Do you think that the horror style of the book is something you like to draw? Is something you will love to draw again?
I am huge fan of horror movies, I like drawing scary details, but I am very sensitive when kids are involved, I have two kids so… you know. But you need to be professional and draw everything what the writer needs. Horror or terror genre is very evolutive. A comedy or a romance movie works now and in the past. But with Horror you need to find something new in order to scary people. Only a few movies like The Exorcist are scary these days. But pick another movie from 70’s or 80’s even early 90’s and now are funny. Not horror anymore… Is all about the visual effects. So when you draw a comic you need to put something new to look scary, to try to shock when the horror comes. And in order to do that, my approach is being very visual on the details.

How it was your working relationship with David? Did you need to keep in touch frequently or his script was “enough” to go ahead with the job, and you didn’t have the need to keep in touch with him?
No contact with David. And it’s a shame. I would love to ask a few questions. But you know, time in the US comic market is very short. So no time to feedback. Also David Lapham is working a lot! He is everywhere!
Instead I work with William Christensen (Avatar Editor) trough my Manager. Is not very direct, but William always gave me good feedback. His criticism was very accurate, regardless his very direct way of saying things. I have no problem changing one or two things.

Thanks to artists like your friend Ariel Olivetti it seems that your style can be used also in mainstream US comic book market. Actually what are you doing and did you ever try to work for the French market?
Ariel was my teacher back in 1995 when I was 15! So, we are not real friends, but always is a great joy when we see each other. About the mainstream market, I have one step inside Marvel I think. Last year a scout talent from Marvel, the great C.B. Cebulski came to Argentina and I was lucky enough to past his portfolio review. When Cebulski gave me his business personal card, the exact moment when I step out of the meeting room I cried like a child. So I made a few attempts with one of his assistants, Bo Alimagno, now out of Marvel. I have to start all over again. I don’t know. So when I have a little more time I will try with another sample for Marvel, In the French market I was working as colorist for a BD called Homo-Superior for Ankama Editions. Unfortunately the book was cancelled because the publisher was no happy with the penciller. With the same writer of H-Superior I made a sample of a zombie story that the writer showed to many publishers in Angoulême. Was picked up by publishers 2 or 3 times, but no lucky later. But I am very happy working for Avatar. I am doing Caligula 2. So this year is already set up.

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