Every year, in the countdown to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, we bring you a series of interviews with guests at the event. This “Festival Focus” for 2018 is Tomáš Kučerovský, one of the weekend-long event’s Czech creators.
Born in 1974 in Brno, Czech Republic, Tomáš Kučerovský graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Technical University, Brno and is co-founder of Aargh! comics magazine. He lives in Brno and works as a freelance illustrator (book covers, editorial illustrations, advertising, storyboards, board games, game concept art, etc.).
He is a self-publisher and editor-in-chief of comics magazine Aargh! since 2000, together with Tomas Prokupek, and has participated on several comics anthologies in the Czech Republic, Poland, Macedonia, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Belgium.
In 2006, Tomáš participated in a comics workshop in Singapore held by the Asian – European Foundation. In 2012, he was one of the participants of the Brussels in Shorts comics project and Comixiade international comics project.
Since 2012 he has been publishing a comic strip in the Czech street paper Nový Prostor. A comics monography of his work ZOOOM No1 was published in the Czech Republic in 2012.
Tomáš has participated in more than 30 exhibitions both in the Czech Republic and abroad, including Poland, Russia, Romania, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Korea and Singapore.
Tomáš, hat are you working on, comics-wise, right now, and when will it be published?
Tomáš Kučerovský: Short comics – reportage from Bergen festival in Norway, which will be published in Aargh! comics magazine, sadly only in Czech language.
Which comic project you’ve worked on are you most proud of and where can people see it or buy it?
Tomáš: My comics travelogue from Singapore and workshop held there in 2006 I’ve participated on. I published it in 2008, again only in Czech. And of course one-page strip called “Wrong Century”, which went viral several years ago, to my own surprise. Just Google it together with my name!)
How do you plan your day as a creator? (Do you plan your day?)
Tomáš: I try and fail, everyday. With my daughter born four years ago, I’m still struggling to return to my usual workday schedule, wondering how other people manage to do it.
What’s the best thing about being a comics creator?
Tomáš: If you ignore constant lack of time and money – everything.
And the worst?
Tomáš: Knowing the work you’ve worked on for months will be red in minutes, with the hope of best comment like “Hmm, it’s fine…”
What most distracts you from getting your work done?
Tomáš: The need to sleep from time to time, and outside world in general.
Do you think it’s easier or harder for young comic creators to get published today?
Tomáš: I believe the possibilities of being seen are much wider than in the past, not only in print. At the same time, the audience you can reach is narrowing, which are two sides of the same coin.
Tomáš: Have you ever been to the Lake District before and if so what did you think of it? If you haven’t, what are you expecting?
I’ve been to the Lake district for two days as a part of a larger trip to Scotland, almost twenty years ago, as a tourist. I’m looking forward to see it again.
Which one comic creator would you most like to meet, and why?
Tomáš: Dave McKean, who changed my mind about what comics could be, Andreas, who most influenced me as a teen, and Francois Schuiten, whom I admire deeply.
How do Festivals and other comics events help creators most, do you think?
Tomáš: Meeting other like-minded people, helping to understand we are all much more alike than we think.
What one piece of advice do you offer people looking to work in the comics industry?
Well since I still don’t have the feeling I’m working in comics industry, I’d probably ask them to take me with them. Please? Pretty please?
What’s your favourite comic right now and where can people get it?
Tomáš: My Vinnetou Book, by my fellow Czech friend Toy_Box. She’s at the Lakes Festival as a guest as well. Translate and publish it, someone, it’s really worth it.
Tomáš, thank you very much for your time and we look forward to seeing you in Kendal.
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be back in Kendal 12th – 14th October 2018. Tickets for the Festival are on sale now from: www.comicartfestival.com