by Sherif Awad
-I was born and raised in Milan. Drawing in general has always accompanied me since I was a child although I did many jobs as a teenager not related to arts. For example, as a bricklayer or a plumber. Yet with these works, I succeeded to pay for the school of arts, and I took it from there to venture into advertising, magazines, comics and various collaborations.
-From I remember, I have always loved reading books mainly, which was a habit I developed through by my mother. While also reading comic, I was watching films with no genre preference: thriller, horror, action, gangster, fantasy, etc… For me, the important thing was the plot that hit me with twists or leaves me thinking. I was consuming a lot of Japanese, Disney and American animations in general and many comic like Le Garage Hermétique, Blueberry (Jean “Mœbius” Giraud), Mort Cinder (Alberto Breccia), Sharaz-de/Blues (Serigio Toppi), Hellboy (Mignola), Asterix and many others. One of the characters who accompanied me as a child was probably Conan the Barbarian, a few words (perhaps he could not express himself) but many actions.
-Maybe I will say a banality but I always think fortify one’s practice is continuing to draw while also looking at the greatest illustrations of the past and present. I think we are all students who need to learn constantly. Research and perseverance, I would say, are an excellent mix, and last but not least, to always read and read everything. Also, not to give up and always keep the interest active!
-I worked for some American publishing houses, such as IDW, Ape Entertainment and during a short period for DreamWorks years ago. I then moved to the Franco-Belgian market that I love deeply … I worked Delcourt with Les jardins de Babylone and Wilfrid Lupano’s Les sept nains. I am now finishing asecond book for Dargaud, “Le masque aux mille larmes”, a beautiful story set in the samurai era, written by the phenomenal David Chauvel.
-Unfortunately in my country Italy, the same recognition of comics doesn’t exist compared to France or Belgium for example, even if it lately are opening up a little.
One of the largest publishing houses here in Italy is Bonelli, with its Tex or Dylan Dog for example. But the average reader is very much turned to American manga or comics or still faithful linked to Bonelli’s publication.
-For the future, I had some proposals, yet to be evaluated. The important thing is to work with a good team in my opinion, this is what matters and I consider myself very lucky in this. I have my opinion that in every story and genre, there an interesting dialogue and discovery of something that previously you did not know that it exists in your own strings.