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Judit Tondora - Hungarian Comic Artist
Today's Guest: Judit Tondora - Hungarian Comic Artist
Hi, who are you? Introduce yourself in your own words, please.
Hi! My name is Judit Tondora. I’m a freelancer comic book and graphic artist from Hungary. I usually illustrate comic books and graphic novels and I work with small publishers like Outlaw Entertainment, Bluewater, Zenescope etc.
You can see my works here: http://judittondora.deviantart.com/
How did your liking of comics start?
When I was child I was fond of graphic novels, illustrated tale books and comics so I started to draw characters and illustrations and I won my first drawing competition when I was 3. Actually it was unequivocal that I’m gonna be an artist so I attended art schools and did artist jobs. This was not a question because this is in my blood or dunno in my DNA. Haha.
I did my first comic job in 2008.
A small studio asked me to draw their first book, it's title was Dead Contract but this was a typical ‘nomen est omen’ situation cuz the studio couldn’t publish their books. So our agreement ended... actually died.
Luckily I got a job from the Outlaw Entertainment a few months later and I did a series: We the People. It was a great story about three students who wanted to act like superheros. The writer was Jason M. Burns who did an amazing job to create these characters and interesting actions and hilarious everyday situations. Later it turned out I wasn’t so lucky because this publisher was not really stable.
They had financial problems or some similar thingy and they also couldn’t publish this series.
So I had to find new works and I did it and I’m doing pretty good comics now.
What subjects do you like in books and comics?
I like fiction, poems, fantasy, novels and my favourite theme is the personality’s changes. I read horror and superhero comics sometimes but I prefer to draw it not to read it. I like the IDW’s horror books and the Top Cow and the Aspen Comics' series. I often read Vertigo, Dark Horse and Image comics but I especially enjoy the French comics and graphic novels.
What is your aspiration, fame?
Absolutely not. I’d like to work as an illustrator as long as I can. And if I could do comics until I can that would be awesome.
How do you judge whether a comic is good or bad?
I’m an artist and I bring the art into my focus.
If I want to be honest that’s not easy to me to like a comic if it’s not well- drawn. But there are exceptions of course.
The story itself it the main thing naturally and if I can read a good comic and a well- drawn adaptation of the script that’s the best thing in comics.
What are comics to you?
My work and the most interesting genre what I’ve ever done.
Do you feel there are readers for what you do?
I draw superhero and fantasy comics usually and those are fairly popular. So yes. There are.
But I’d like to draw more fantasy and horror stuff and I hope I’ll do once.
Do you have any favorite e-zine?
Not really but I often visit the comicbookresources, the projectfanboy and a few similar sites.
Is there any contemporary writer you are the follower of?
I like the work of Neil Gaiman, Steve Niles, and a few Hungarian contemporary writers and poets.
Who is your favorite writer?
I can’t say only one cuz I love a lot of writers but my all time favourites are Marquez, Babits Mihály, Kafka, Örkény, Vonnegut, Frank Herbert, Oscar Wilde, Byron and Poe.
In your opinion, do comic writers help each other or are isolated individuals?
I think this depends on the work. If they have to write a series like Batman they have to stick to the original storyline and characters but a new and independent work is an other thing. That has more freedom. I know a lot of writers and I have to say I don’t know a single person who doesn’t ask for reviews or help if they can’t get on with their story. The comic is the best example of the teamwork. You can’t draw without the writer and without your drawings the writer can’t express him- or herself.
What do you think of illustrators ?
I love them. They’re my people. Haha.
Is it important the diffusion of new developments in comics?
Of course. Think of the digital comics. Easy to use, practical and cheap. If there is a new technique to spread your stuff or there is a new idea or a new hype everybody wants that.
What do you think of self publishing?
It works and works well so if you can’t find a publisher you can choose this option. But the copy’s number depends on your purse and actually that’s not a cheap thing to publish a comic. Especially the self- publishing.
Would you dare to give an opinion on a publisher?
To share the ideas about the work can help to make the books better. And I think this is the most important: to create good books.
Do you watch television?
Not really. I don’t like to watch TV and actually I have no TV. Haha. I like only a few series like the Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Game of Thrones, Borgias and The Walking Dead.
And the documentary channels like National Geographic or Discovery Channel.
What do you think of daily- life technological improvements?
This is the part of our world and if these improvements are useful they’ll spread all around the world. A lot of people can’t live without computer, telephone, TV and so on but I think to be moderate in using these things is very important. The people shouldn’t be so addict of these because our life is much more than to sit and watch the TV or browse the net.
What do you think of the new forms of communication? And of social networks?
These sites are very useful in the sense that you can find personal and business relationships easier and useful informations about your acquaintance as well.
These things make the life easier and better sometimes.
Nowadays youngsters follow adventures via videogames or movie stories conditioned by merchandising: do you feel this is going to replace traditional literature?
This depends on the person itself. If they tend to accept the basic knowledges and they follow with attention the higher culture there won’t be problem. But I know that is far easier to play a game or watch the TV or read magazines than to improve the abilities and learn new and useful things. But the laziness of the young years strikes back. There are no employers who like the lazy and scrappy qualified workers.
Why do you think that, for the general public, Comics are so undervalued?
Because there are a lot of comics, which are simply bad. This is not a complicated situation. There are a lot of publishers who want to make only money or they have a series, which is popular but they can’t write new things and adventures and improve the character. And they make a not so bad but not really outstanding book. And this is the reason why is so hard to find a good comic book or two.
Do you imagine that some day we shall conquer space, as Star Trek depicts?
If I want to be optimistic I should say: yes. Totally! We’ll rule the galaxy! But if I want to be honest I think one day we could have the technology but the human kind won’t survive it’s own greed.
If there was a climate or ecology holocaust, what would you do?
We’re in the middle of that and if we’re lucky enough we won’t see a dark end of it.
Which is your favorite comic book or strip -based movie?
The Watchmen. That was a first class comic book based movie.
Do you think that comic writers are nerds or bookworms detached from reality?
If you’re a professional writer and this is your job this means this is your JOB. This is what you do for living. This won’t allow you to push off the real world.
If you’re a ‘wannabe’ well… everybody was a wannabe once.
Which was the last comic you read?
Marvel’s Super Special Dune adaptation of Lynch’s movie. But I didn’t like the artwork. It was too chaotic.
Do you think somebody is going to read this dialog?
Perhaps. Who has lots of time. Haha.