Interview: Women of BOOM! – Lorena Carvalho
It’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 27th “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.
BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.
Lorena Carvalho is an artist who has provided covers for BOOM! on Steed and Mrs. Peel, and Hellraiser: The Dark Watch.
Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?
Lorena Carvalho: I love drawing and have been reading comics since I was a child. My dream was to become an illustrator so after 10 years it has been an inevitable destiny.
GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?
LC: I grew up reading Japanese comics because of the anime series broadcasted on Catalan TV. Later when I was a teenager I started to be interested in American and French-Belgian comics. Nowadays I read a little bit of everything, but I confess that I like American comics the most.
GP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?
LC: The editor Chris Rosa contacted me after seeing my work on internet and asked me to work for BOOM! Studios.
GP: How would you describe your job for people?
LC: Every time I’m asked about my job, it’s difficult for me to describe it and even more so if the person who asked me doesn’t know about the comic world.
For me it’s lonely work, difficult and with some kind of slavery because it takes a lot of the hours of the day.
You have to face critics in a proper way and you have to be aware of everything that is going on out there. One could say that it’s more than a job it is a way of life.
And every request is a personal and professional challenge.
GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?
LC: Well, although it could sound a typical I’d tell them that if they really want to pursue a career in the comic world, they should never give up, they should keep on practising ( drawing, writing…) until they are proud of what they are doing. No matter what other says. they should never compare themselves, everyone has to find their own tools and style and try to promote the skills and style that makes one person’s work different from other. You should be constant, patient and learn from other. Also you have to be self critic and selfdemanding. However I think that if you are faithful in every aspect you can get what you desire.
GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?
LC: Santi Casas, another professional of the comic sector, has been always advising and guiding me. He was the one who taught me everything I know. He taught me to work with photoshop and help me to introduce me into the comics and he got me the firsts illustration jobs. I’m really grateful because without his help I wouldn’t have progress that much. I admire him very much and nowadays I keep learning from him.
GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry, if so why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?
LC: Maybe ten years ago It was difficult but now I think it’s not. I think that everyday more women are involved in this industry, professionally and as readers. I have to say I never had any problem.
GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?
LC: I don’t know…
It may be because BOOM! Archaia makes it easy to get to work with them. Boom!/Archaia bet by new artists offering various opportunities and large projects from the first moment.
GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry, have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?
LC: In my personal experience I have never been discriminated for the fact of being a woman. Instead, I have always been supported and appreciated.
GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?
LC: The same advises that I have given before, but I would add that If they are so unlucky of being discriminated for being a woman, they should be strong and shouldn’t care. They should keep on fighting and get over difficulties. They should ask themselves which is the origin of this discrimination…Is it that origin that some men now feel intimidated by women making great works in the comic industry? That isn’t an enough reason. Today women are contributing to the world of comics and illustration as never they did before, and this is a good thing!