Penny Dreadful Remains Immortal: Louie De Martinis Interview!

This is an interview I have been so excited to post, and even though I hit many delays, I was lucky enough to have this artist be patient with me and let me pick his brain about his work. I could'nt of fan girled harder for this one, as this interview is with the artist of the PENNY DREADFUL comics - Louie De Martinis! Yes Velvet-ians, PENNY BLOODY DREADFUL. Many usual readers will know I am a huge fan of the show and had a mild breakdown when the series ended; however fans were happy to find out that we could stay in that Dreadful universe with some of the most loved characters in these awesome comic books. 

The artwork of these comics are to die, and possibly come back to life, for and I asked the man with the hands behind it all, a few things about his work! First, of course, I wanted to know how this gothic illustrator got into illustrating in the first place; 

VF: How did you get into drawing and comic art? and how did you find your style?

LDM: I was always a fan of animation and comic books from as young as I can remember. As a kid I was always trying to draw or copy the Saturday morning cartoons that were on at the time. As I got older, I wanted to continue to draw and learn how to better my technique. I went to school and graduated from 2D animation. Once out of school, I got my start as a layout artist and background designer for a local animation company here in Montreal. Eventually I transitioned from animation to comic books. I now work from my home Studio. In terms of style a lot of it is trial and error.  I love creating mood and atmosphere so I like to focus on lighting and texture which I feel adds some depth and feeling to the work. 

I was desperate to know how Louie got into comics and drawing, but it took literally seconds for me to move onto the Penny Dreadful comics;

VF: Your work includes the Penny Dreadful comics, were you a fan of the show before hand or did the comics introduce you? 

LDM: Along with the Penny Dreadful comic book (prequel mini series), before the show aired, I was fortunate enough to have been asked to provide some spot illustrations for the classic Frankenstein novel that was released as part of the merchandising for the Penny Dreadful TV series. The show itself was incredible! The entire production, from the cast, the crew, the writers etc. was top notch! I really enjoyed the whole process of working on the comic books (prequel mini series) and producing some art for the merchandise line.

VF: Which character from the story do you enjoy drawing most and why?

LDM: That’s a tough one to answer because I really enjoyed working on all the characters. But I must say, there’s a real toss up between Vanessa and Sir Malcolm.  Eva Green’s portrayal of Vanessa’s character was incredible! She had such a range of emotion and expression and Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm…the intensity in his eyes and face was so real. You can’t ask for more when you are drawing than to already have all that emotion displayed in their face. Every time I worked on those characters was a real treat!

I will always be a Victor Frankenstein gal, I mean I am always bias when it comes to Victor as Frankenstein is one of my favourite stories and has made Victor my favourite character EVER. Saying that, you cannot deny the sharp beauty that is Vanessa Ives be her on screen or paper. 

Penny Dreadful is loved for so many reasons, but one hands down is the grouping of all these famous and much loved monsters, so I wanted to find out what monster was in Louie's heart;

VF: Penny Dreadful is based on some of the classic monsters of all time, do YOU have a favourite monster?

LDM: The classic monsters are the most frightening to me. They’re all based on the basic idea of good vs evil.  Maybe I’m biased when I say this but Frankenstein’s monster would have to be one of my favourites.

Okay, so Louie is a Frankenstein lover after my own resurrected heart! 

It's been a while since I have posted an interview and if you travel back a little bit you'll remember I always ask an artist or actor or filmmaker, whoever, what inspiration or advice they have for you guys and so, here are a few wise words from Louie - 

VF: Do you have any quick tips or advise for aspiring comic artists?

LDM: Work on your craft daily, and don’t ever give up!  You need to get yourself out there, attend comic book conventions, show your portfolio around and talk to the artists. Listen to their advice, there’s always something that you can learn and apply to your work. But, don’t only spend time looking for others to hand you that dream job or project. You also need to create your own work and that means you don’t stop at one project. You should be constantly creating new art. This way you’ll be working on your craft daily and drawing and developing stories that you’re passionate about. That’s when your best work will be created!
Go and check out the Penny Dreadful comics if you haven't already and keep on eye out for more of Louie's work coming this year in the form of a new comic series! 

Follow Louie on Twitter to stay updated: @LouieDeMartinis

I want to say a massive thank you to Louie for this interview, even though I took so long to do it all and for keeping the darkness alive for us Penny Dreadful fans! 

VF.

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