Interview mit Charel Cambré und Marc Legendre

Üblicherweise finden Interviews mit Comic-Künstler*innen auf Veranstaltungen statt. Mehr oder weniger geplant hat man einen Termin, quetscht sich in irgendeine halbwegs ruhige Ecke und spricht miteinander. COVID-19 hat leider auch dem einen Riegel vorgeschoben; Ausstellungen, Börsen und andere Events sind abgesagt oder finden online statt. Ich bin daher sehr froh, dass Charel Cambré und Marc Legendre bereit waren, meine Fragen Corona-konform schriftlich zu beantworten.

Marc Legendre and Charel Cambré at the harbour
Charel Cambré and Marc Legendre

Wer ist …? Die Künstler

Wer comix-online bereits etwas länger folgt, wird die beiden Namen bereits das eine oder andere Mal gelesen haben. Sie haben drei Geschichten unter dem Titel Robbedoes special miteinander entwickelt. Sie waren allein für den niederländisch-sprachigen Markt vorgesehen und hatten Spirou und Fantasio (um die hier in Deutschland gebräuchlichen Namen zu verwenden) in eine modernisierte, aber doch mit Reminiszenzen an die klassische Serie gespickte Version verwandelt.

Cover Robbedoes spezial 1

Parallel dazu hatte Charel über die Jahre an einer mittlerweile 17 Bände umfassenden Serie Jump gearbeitet. Diese war im letzten Jahr namensgebender Inhalt für ein neues, auf Kinder zugeschnittenes Magazin. Daneben veröffentlicht der Belgier unter anderem auf facebook strips, die sich mit der königlichen Familie oder Fußballer beschäftigen. Marc, 1956 in Antwerpen geboren, war bereits 1993 Chefredaktuer des Suske en Wiske weekblads und textete unter anderem neue Abenteuer des Roten Ritters. Er hat also eine lange Verbindung zu Comics von Willy Vandersteen.

2013 war es dann soweit: Das erste Abenteuer von Amoras erschien bei Standaard. Suske en Wiske für Erwachsene in einer dystopischen Welt im Jahre 2047 mit all dem klassischen Personal der offiziellen Serie und als Reminiszenz an das erste Abenteuer der Reihe von 1945 das auf der Insel Amoras spielt. Innerhalb kurzer Zeit hatten die beiden die geplanten sechs Bände abgeliefert. Wegen des großen Erfolgs wurde die Reihe um die folgenden Kronieken van Amoras erweitert. Hier stehen einzelne Akteure oder Themen im Vordergrund. Aktuell ist der Band sieben.

Making of Amoras Cover

Das Interview

c-o: Marc, Charel, readers of comix-online know you because of Amoras, Robbedoes special and Jump, but the typical German comics-reader does not. Do you have any reason for not being that well-known on this side of the border?

Charel: I had a lot of series here in the past and still have now. They always are quite popular series, so I guess that’s the main reason.

Marc: I think there’s no real reason why our books are well known in Germany. Of course we ‚d like to be well known on your side of the border, but it’s never easy to sell your products. Biebel was an overwhelming succes in Holland and Flanders, it sold well in France, Italy, Greece, Turky… Everyone who sees Biebel, loves the character, but I don’t know why it never appealed to a German editor.

Das Königspaar mal anders
Das Königspaar mal anders

c-o: Charel, you create a lot of stuff around Dutch and Flemish celebrities and the Elftal. How important is it for you to live in the same setting as your stories?

Charel: I follow what happens in the media, but nowadays that’s possible everywhere, I guess.

c-o: Marc, you are doing another series from Willy Vandersteen, the Red Knight, currently. How is it to work in someone else’s ideas?

Marc: Well, I read this books as a child and me and my brothers were huge fans of these series. I could never dream that one day I would be making this stories myself. So it’s a Wonderfull feeling. The heritage of Willy Vandersteen is enormous. The characters, the world in which the adventures take place, their way of acting and speaking… it’s a real joy to get the opportunity to collaborate and to introduce these classic series to a new generation of readers.

Die Zeit mit Robbedoes

c-o: You stopped working on Robbedoes as the character was not open enough to be added by own ideas. But then you started drawing another very classical group of characters, although modernized and twisted. How did you assure your artist’s freedom on the one compared with the other?

Charel: The main reason why we decided not to work on Spirou anymore is because I expected more from the project. Also, Dupuis wouldn’t publish the albums in French for some mysterious reason, call it the huge gap between the two cultures in our country. I can’t see another reason. A shame I think, so we moved on.

Cover Robbedoes special 3

Marc: For the first album, Happy Family, we got carte blanche and we could do whatever we wanted. It felt as a present and we enjoyed ourselves. But from the second album onwards, a lot of people interfered. For some mysterious reason we could not use the southcoast of France anymore. A complete idiot in the story should become less idiot, France should become Holland etc. Also we got the message that it could not be just amusement, they literally proposed us to change the Far West for Mesopotamia in a story that I wrote. There it ends.

Die Zusammenarbeit

c-o: Charel, how is your collaboration with Marc Legendre? Are you involved in storytelling or is your work strictly divided into story-writing and artwork?

Charel: Sometimes the Idea for a Kronieken album comes from me, sometimes from Marc, but Marc always decides how the story goes. Amoras was our first big project together, since then we worked on 3 Spirou Family albums and now, we’re working on yet a few other projects. We are like a married couple, sometimes I hate him and vice versa, but we work great together.

Marc Legendre and Charel Cambré on the beach
Charel Cambré and Marc Legendre

c-o: Marc, what would you add from your perspective?

Marc: Like Charel says, sometimes we use his ideas, sometimes mine. We have different opinions about comics and storytelling. I believe readers are intelligent enough to understand the story we’re telling while Charel likes to explain everything. So we’ve regular clashes. Sometimes he wins, sometimes I lose hahaha.

c-o: Amoras is some sort of Science-Fiction and you did already a piece of illness with the Killerbacterie. Have you ever thought of a situation like the current pandemic as a setting for a story? Or has reality outperformed thinking?

Charel: Hahaha, no, that was a total coincidence. We are working now on a new project called “Fresh Fish” which has a bit of that element in it. It appears in the Eppo magazine in Holland.

Marc: I’m not sure readers are looking forward to more stories about covid and corona. They want their normal life back.

Preliminary page from Fresh Fish
a first glimpse on the new project Fresh Fish

Amoras kommt nach Deutschland in das ZACK

c-o: It is already announced that ZACK will start Amoras in August. What would you like to tell your German readers?

Charel: I really hope they like the drawings but even more, the story Marc has written. We think it gives a new dimension to the Suske and Wiske universe, without touching their DNA.

Marc: Enjoy reading as much as we enjoy making it!

Danke für dieses Interview! Natürlich wird comix-online die beiden Künstler weiter im Auge behalten und auch die Veröffentlichung im ZACK begleiten.

(c) der Abbildungen 2013 – 2016 DUPUIS, 2013 – 2021 Standaard Uitgeverijj, Charel Cambré und Marc Legendre; Fotos by permission of Charel Cambré und Marc Legendre

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