Lorenzo Mattotti on Monsters
In this excerpt from an interview with Lorenzo Mattotti, one of my favorite comic book artists, Mattotti gives Guillermo Del Toro a run for his money in the Cool Quotes About Monsters Department. The interview was posted on the Fantagraphics Books blog site in conjunction with Fantagraphic’s release of The Raven by Lou Reed and Mattotti, a book that adapts works by Edgar Allan Poe.
Eric Buckler: The book is full of creatures. Can you talk about where some of these come from, how you craft those creatures?
Lorenzo Mattotti: Creatures are always our insides. It’s part of a long work that I have always done in my sketchbooks. I think in 30 years, I’ll continue to make drawings like that in my sketchbook. They are always drawings about my insides, so they are metaphor, they are symbols, symbols of our natural inside. So, I don’t think they are different creatures from us, they are not animals, they are us. They are our brains, they are our ideas. The drawing gives us the possibility to change the form to make signs that interpret the reality. They are the concretization of our imagination. So, maybe sometimes they explain much better than a realistic image would. So, the creature from inside you. You may think that they are creatures of another world but they are creatures of our world; the spider, the monster, the stranger, the character. The distortion is the distortion of our brain.
Buckler: So, you lent the creature inside of yourself to this work to help translate it?
Mattotti: To what?
Buckler: You said that the creatures were a concretization of the creature inside of you?
Mattotti: They are a concretization of ideas, of sensations, of emotions. I don’t have an animal in my brain, I have emotion, contradiction, tension, pieces of sensation and emotion. And when I draw, my creatures are the concretization of emotions. I do not know before I draw what will happen on the paper, they go out in a very natural way. They are the symbol of sensations that I have inside.
For What It’s Worth Department:
My USC Film School adaptation of Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” can can be viewed here.