the Chronicles of Fenmere, the Worm - My Interview with Michel Gagné
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Thu, Oct. 11th, 2007 09:43 am
My Interview with Michel Gagné

I wrote an article for the Whatcom Independent. And in the course of writing that article, I got a chance to interview Michel Gagné!

Gagné is a wonderful guy to talk to, and an inspiration on so many levels. I got to shake his hand at Emerald City Comic Con a couple years ago, and his manner quickly diffused my sense of being star struck and gently reminded me that I was talking to a fellow cartoonist, albeit a busy one!

Since I only was able to include a portion of that interview, I thought I'd post the rest of it here:

How many cons have you been to and what kind?

MG: I’ve been to quite a few cons ranging from fine arts, computer graphics, animation, comics, books and games. There was a period when I exhibited and made guest appearances at about a dozen cons a year. I sort of burned out. About a year and a half ago, I decided to slow down a bit. This will be my third con appearance this year.

Why do you attend cons?

MG: I attend cons to meet fans and friends, promote my work, lecture on relevant topics, take part in discussion panels, and interact with my peers.

What has helped you the most in making a booth work for you?

MG: My wife’s advice. She has good intuition for this type of things. We strive to be open to discuss the work with the fans and we don’t make selling our priority. Having fun is the main focus.

Have you ever attended a con as a regular visitor? If so, what did you enjoy about doing that?

MG: I used to go to San-Diego Comic-Con before I started exhibiting there nearly 10 years ago. I enjoyed buying old comics and books.

What do you see as the primary purpose of a comic convention?

MG: To create a venue where fans, artists and publishers can inter-mingle.

What are the side benefits of a comic convention? For the creators?

MG: Expanding your fan base and making good personal and business contacts.

For the readers?

MG: Meeting your favorite artists and writers; getting your books signed; getting original sketches; discovering new work and artists.

For the industry?

MG: It brings attention to the comics medium, increases appreciation for it and promotes the local comics scene within the community.

For the community?

MG: Conventions that promote art, whether it is sculptures, paintings, comics etc., contribute to the cultural enrichment of the community.

What do you enjoy about living in Whatcom County?

MG: The weather, nature and the proximity to two major artistic hotspots: Vancouver and Seattle.

Do you work from Whatcom County as well?

MG: I do all my work here in my home studio but all my contracts so far have come from outside the county. Recent contracts include production design on an Opera for the Victoria Philharmonic Choir (performances October 30th and 31st), Animation for Pixar’s “Ratatouille” and comics work for Random House (Flight series) as well as illustration work for Seattle based trading card game, XEKO. I’m also consistently busy pursuing personal projects including books, animation, fine arts, comics and my video game, “Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet”.

How much traveling do you do?

MG: I do some business traveling, mostly to California, although I’ve been as far as Singapore recently. As a matter of fact, I’ll be in Los Angeles in two weeks to work on my upcoming videogame and a few days after that, I’ll be leaving for England to go discuss plans for a feature film.

Have you worked or spoke much with Darren Davis and Blue Water Productions? And if so, in what capacity?

MG: We’ve talked a little bit as peers, and hinted at the possibilities of doing work together, but we both seem to be extremely busy all the time. We usually run into each other at out of town conventions.

Thank you, Michel Gagné, I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions!

Edit: I just attended a lecture by Mr. Gagné at the Whatcom Museum of Art. I never mentioned in the article his credentials or history, which maybe is OK by him but not very good journalism. Please take a look at his bio and the rest of his website. He's got some really neat things cooking up!

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