Vacation time is almost over now, and I can't find a way to start this article without remembering all the sand that got stuck between our toes (almost exclusively), the sun that burned our skin and hid our pimples for a while, and all the time we spent doing nothing. We'll miss you, procrastination. For now, let's focus on today's artist. He's young, funny, talented, and I just can't find a reason not to like him. I even forgave him for being Canadian. Need I say more ?
-Jean-Frederic Koné you're today's special artist. Do you have any idea why I labeled you "special"?
-Humm... Maybe because I mixed a toilet joke with a Legend of Zelda reference?
-You nailed it. Let's not talk about the comic you did, first tell us more about you. How's life in Montreal?
-Right now, very hot !! We had a heat wave recently. Generally pretty cool. Montreal is a very dynamic city with a lot of young folks so it's pretty fun to live there.
-Are you a student?
-Yeah ! I'm a Communication Student at the Université de Montréal. I just graduated (bachelor degree) but I'm starting a Master degree next year.
-So you didn't study Art... at all? (Can you feel the emotion/amazement in my font, readers?)
-No, never! I learnt everything reading comics and watching cartoons, I never took a real Art course.
-So, Michelangelo, what are your next projects?
-Besides that, finally publishing something! I'm currently working on comics that I won't post on the Internet, to send them to publishing houses. It's time to start doing something significant with my drawings! Besides that, I'm also working on a webcomics with a friend of mine, comics-artist Elosterv, it's called Trout & Salmon.
-Tell us more about it (yes, we're sort of curious).
-It's kind of an experiment; we have two characters, Karl Trout and Abby Salmon. I draw Abby's life and Elosterv draws Karl's life. It's about their lives and their friends, families, co-workers. We're still working on it but the feedback has been good for now. As for my personal projects, I'm working on an absurd comedy about young folks, who are kind of freaks... There's even a character with a dog's head.
-How would you describe your art style in a few words?
-I'd say it's a cartoonish mix of manga, American comics and "Franco-Belgian comics" because all these styles have been very influential at some point for me.
-Do you have some webcomics you'd like to share with us ? (Random incidental words)
-So, I read A LOT of webcomics but I really really enjoy Darwin Carmichael is going to Hell, the story is fun and the art is original, I like it. I've recently discovered Tune which is about an aspiring artist, so I can relate, obviously, but also some kind of sci-fi comedy. Finally, I'd say if you read a little bit French and you want to get a glimpse of what Montreal's life is like, you should check l'Ostie d'Chat about the lives of twenty-somethings in the city. There are a lot of other ones though ^^
-And, final question (yes, the interview is already coming to an end, don't cry, next week we're welcoming Michelle Chen) why did you choose this FML story ?
-Because when I read it, I immediately thought about an epic battle, with the prize being something as trivial as just going to the bathroom ! Then I thought I could make a parody of something and the name "Leak" came to mind. So that's that...
-As I said, you nailed it. Thank you for your time Jean Frederic !
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ILLUSTRATED FML
Jean-Frederic's websites : http://kjf.ultra-book.com/ & http://newarchcomics.wordpress.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DA. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!