Lakes Festival Focus 2019: Illustrator and Graphic Artist Pierre van Hove

Lakes Festival Focus 2019: Illustrator and Graphic Artist Pierre van HoveEvery year, in the countdown to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October, we bring you a series of interviews with guests at the event. This “Festival Focus” for 2019 is with  Pierre Van Hove, an illustrator and graphic artist whose credits include Memoirs of a Book Thief, written by Alessandro Tota, who is also a Festival guest.

He is the co-founder of Enfin, a production company that works in the fields of audiovisual production, animation and short films. In 2003, he wrote and directed the series of erotic cartoons Un peu d’amour, which was broadcast on Canal+.

Please note: Pierre’s answers are translated from French. Any translation mistakes are entirely ours – we have included the French responses as well!

What are you working on, comics-wise, right now, and when will it be published?

Pierre van Hove: At the moment, I’m working on an album, a comic reconstruction of the professional and personal journey of two investigative journalists from the daily newspaper, Le Monde. They’re writing the script, I’m drawing it. The album should appear in the course of next year – but I am already very late.

Pierre van Hove: En ce moment je travaille sur un album. Il s’agit d’une reconstitution en Bande dessinée du parcours professionnel et personnel de deux journalistes d’investigation du quotidien Le Monde. Ils sont au scénario, moi au dessin, l’album devrait paraître dans le courant de l’année prochaine mais je suis déjà très en retard.

Which comic project you’ve worked on are you most proud of and where can people see it or buy it?

Pierre: I started to make comics very late in life and I have not done a lot of albums. I’m therefore very happy with the two I did, Memoirs of a Book Thief with Alessandro Tota and this year, Algues vertes l’histoire interdite (Ed Delcourt) that I made with the journalist Ines Leraud – a totally different job.

Memoirs of a Book Thief

Pierre: Je commence à faire de la Bande dessinée très tard et je n’ai pas fait beaucoup d’albums. je suis donc très content des deux que j’ai fait, le voleur de livres avec Alessandro et cette année, une enquête dessinée, “Algues vertes l’histoire interdite” (ed Delcourt) que j’ai réalisée avec la journaliste Inès Léraud…un travail totalement différent.

Memoirs of a Book Thief

Memoirs of a Book Thief

Memoirs of a Book Thief

How do you plan your day as a creator? (Do you plan your day?)

Pierre: I know what I have to do every day and I try to do it. At the moment, I am very late and I have to do more than one board a day. Therefore, I get up, I work and I go to bed. I live alone, I have only that to do. It’s terrible.

Pierre: Je sais ce que je dois faire chaque jour et j’essaie de le faire. En ce moment je suis très en retard et je dois faire plus d’un planche par jour par conséquent je me lève, je travaille et je me couche. je vis seul, je n’ai que ça à faire. C’est terrible.

What’s the best thing about being a comics creator?

Pierre: To draw, to read and to write, to go to the swimming pool, and escaping being simply a wage earner – and the prospect of poverty.

Pierre: Pouvoir dessiner, lire et écrire, continuer d’aller à la piscine, tout en ayant échappé au salariat. le vœu de pauvreté.

And the worst?

Pierre: Deadlines – and in general all the anguish of money, administration etc.

Pierre: L’angoisse du terme et en général tous les soucis d’argents, l’administration etc.

Pierre van Hove - The Poisoned Beach

What most distracts you from getting your work done?

Pierre: Sentimental stories, wine, anguish…

Pierre: Les histoires sentimentales, le vin, l’angoisse…

Do you think it’s easier or harder for young comic creators to get published today?

Pierre: I think that it is easier to be published today, but more difficult to be published, to be able to live from publication of your work. In comics, as in all areas, there is crisis of overproduction.

Pierre: Je pense qu’il est plus facile aujourd’hui d’être publié, il est par conséquent plus difficile, en étant publié, de pouvoir vivre de ses publications. Dans la BD comme dans tout les domaines il y a crise de surproduction…

Art by Pierre van HoveHave 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?

Pierre: I have to confess, to my great shame, I have never been to England. I’m a little scared – I don’t know what I’ll be able to tell you…

Pierre: J’avoue, à ma plus grand honte, n’être jamais venu en Angleterre. j’ai un petit peu peur, je ne sait pas trop ce que je vais pouvoir vous raconter…

Which one comic creator would you most like to meet, and why?

Pierre: I prefer that meetings happen naturally and I do not have a particular desire to meet authors whose work I appreciate. Their books are enough for me.

Pierre: Je préfère que les rencontres se fasse naturellement et je n’ai pas un désir particulier de rencontrer des auteurs dont j’apprécie le travail, leurs livres me suffisent.

How do Festivals and other comics events help creators most, do you think?

Pierre: I do not really know, sharing a good time?

Pierre: Je ne sais pas vraiment, en partageant un bon moment?

What one piece of advice do you offer people looking to work in the comics industry?


Pierre: Je n’ai pas beaucoup de conseils à donner, si ce n’est de faire de nécessité vertu… Ce que je ne suis pas encore capable de faire mais j’y travaille.

Pierre: I do not have much advice to give, except to make a virtue of necessity … Which I am not yet able to do – but I am working on it.

What’s your favourite comic right now and where can people get it?

Pierre: I read quite a few comics or so at a time. One of the albums that struck me the most when I started re-reading comics and that I re-read often is I Never Liked You by Chester Brown. I learned a lot, it’s one of the most beautiful graphic novel of all time.

Pierre: Je lis assez peu de bande dessinée ou alors par période. Un des albums qui m’a le plus marqué quand je me suis remis à relire des comics et que je relis souvent c’est “I never liked you” de Chester Brown, j’y ai beaucoup appris, c’est une des plus belles graphic novel de tous les temps.

Pierre, thank you for taking time out of your very nusy schedule and answering my questions. I hope you enjoy the Festival!


• Web:

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is back in Kendal in the Lake District 11th – 13th October 2019: Podcast | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |Youtube

• Want to receive news about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival? Then sign up for their newsletter now 

Interview questions by John Freeman

Categories: Comic Creator Interviews, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Features, Lakes Festival Focus - Comic Creator Interviews

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading