Drawing a fa ntasy eco-tale
A real-world setting provided the backdrop to Claire’s successful series of comics, Les Lumières de l’Amalou
The most extensive work in Claire’s portfolio is the premium comic series Les Lumières de l’Amalou, created alongside writer Christophe Gibelin during the 1990s. It comprises five books in total, of 48 pages each: Théo, Le Pantin (The Puppet), Le Village Tordu (The Twisted Village), Gouals and Cendres (Ashes). The five books were later released as an extensive graphic novel.
Throughout the project, Claire was able to let her love of nature take over. “We were pissed off by the destruction of entire valleys with huge dams in places we loved,” she says. “So our characters were confronted by that, becoming homeless after their world was destroyed.
“I had to create that world and I was challenged by every page because I was still learning my trade. What I liked the most was creating a story in a setting that I knew. It takes place in the south of France. It was hard to draw it correctly and everything was challenging, but instead of drawing real human beings Christophe got me to draw fantastic ones. I prefer fantasy characters – they help me handle the real world.”
Iguana Bay, and in 2003 she revisited them, reworking and correcting many of them in pastel or ink. This collection was released as Iguana Bay 2.0 in 2003.
She also worked on the computer game Alone in the Dark IV: The New Nightmare, developed by Darkworks. It was part of one of the biggest series in French video gaming, and came out in 2001. You could play as either the hero Edward Carnby who takes on an action role, or as Aline Cedrac whose gameplay involved more puzzle solving, like the previous Alone in the Dark titles. They delve into a horrifying mystery involving reptilian monsters.
Claire got to work on the title by chance. “It’s a fun story. At first a friend of mine was supposed to create the monsters, but he was too busy and was not as comfortable
I just draw, trying hard to visualise how what I’m imagining would work
drawing animals to do the job quickly, so I told him, ‘Hey, I can give it a try.’
“So I drew the creatures logically enough to be 3D animated. It was fun to create things that the players would kill at first sight. I have worked on a few other games too, like Kaos, but these contributions were smaller and I’m not really a gamer at all.”
From comics to films and on to computer game artwork, the variety of media in Claire’s portfolio just goes to show that if you can draw well and can apply yourself, there are endless opportunities. She sees her own approach as highly adaptable, and even as she recovers her health she’s talking about developing her style.
“Generally I try to adapt the style to what I want to express, and that’s the biggest part of the job,” she says. “I’m still passionate about learning too.” She continues: “When I have something in my head, instead of finding a reference I just draw, trying hard to visualise how what I’m imagining would work. When I’m done with that, if I’m not convinced, I’ll check some references to make corrections. I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t take academic drawing lessons at school. I did it my way.”
LO VE A rare glimmer of the sinister appears in Claire’s artwork for the book Aphrodite.
SS Fans are hoping that
now she’s recovered from her illness, Claire will return to her Alice in Wonderland project.
S Captain America and the other Avengers took part
in this Marvel mini-series alongside Peter Pan.