We resume the activity with an interview with Santi Casas, one of the regular authors of the magazine Manga Planet, with stories as diverse as The witch or Pigüi. Do you want to know a little more about his career? Here are some brushstrokes …
How did you get into the world of illustration / comics?
I always knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to drawing, specifically to comics, illustration and video games. At that time, the training in Fine Arts did not contemplate direct contact with those professional sectors, only very slightly that of the more traditional editorial illustration, which is where I started. Later at Escola Joso I was able to come into direct contact with professionals who dedicated their lives to the world of comics and that showed me the way. Contact with the world of videogames came later when he had already been able to create a suitable portfolio and a certain trajectory in other fields.
Your first contact with Planeta Manga was …
Since the first decade of 2000 I have collaborated with Planeta on different projects, building a solid relationship with the editorial team. This probably meant that it was around from the beginning of the project, when the idea was still maturing. When I was asked to participate, it was clear to me that I wanted to develop the short story format, since it has always been one of my favorites. So I can only thank you for the trust you always place in me.
How did the plot of your magazine stories come about?
Since I got to know the manga, among the many peculiarities of its narrative, one of the things that most impressed me was the way in which its authors took popular legends and traditions (not only Japanese, but also Western) and turned them around a and again to continue presenting them with a brutal freshness and with a very contemporary vision to their readers. I always thought that in our traditions there were stories and characters that deserved that treatment and with enormous potential. From there is born Rondallas.
Pigüi and his world instead are a reinterpretation of an old project that we developed at Ikari Studio when we were working on projects for a younger reader. Children's comics are the foundation on which many reading hobbies are built and for us it was very important to do our bit.
What do you do first: character creation or script? How is your usual work circuit?
Sometimes neither one nor the other, sometimes it is more the feeling or impression that you want to make on the reader that takes you to the story and the character. Others it is the story or an anecdote that asks you for specific protagonists. And many others is the design of a character that tells you his story and asks you to get him into trouble and adventure. In the case of Rondallas the stories usually lead me to the characters, in the case of Pigüi it was the characters who arrived first and then "told" us their stories.
How do you rate the reception that the magazine has had and what would you highlight about it?
I think I have repeated it a thousand times and I never tire of doing it. After more than twenty years in the world of drawing, it is difficult for me to remember a project where I have received so much love from readers. That shows us that it was probably time to launch such an initiative and that it is undoubtedly a symptom of the maturity of our market and its readers.
Your favorite Planet Manga series is …
I look forward to each installment of Gryphoon. From the moment I met Luis's work, I thought it was destined to be a full stop in the national manga publication.
Then I run to read Good game, Kaoru and Blanca's work that always leaves me with a smile. Too Backhome that raises the level of each issue of the magazine to that of its Japanese counterparts.
But I also have to highlight the short stories, my favorite format and that has allowed me to enjoy Withered Lionel, Uroboros and so many others. And this only to this day, with a lot of new stories that have just started and that I think will win us over.
This year I hope to continue combining collaborations with Manga Planet with the work that I do on a regular basis for the American comics, role-playing games and video games market.
Instagram: @ santi.ikari