It is my honour to bring you an interview with this amazing artist from Italy that has worked on a few recent Disney comic books from Frozen to Big Hero 6 the Series from IDW Publishing coming out this July. She is also known to many as a frequent artist on other IDW series such as Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony and Hanazuki.
Tell me a little about yourself ?
Since I was a child, my dream was to become a comic book artist. I moved to Rome to study at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics. It took a few hard and long years full of studies and determination, but at the end, here I am!
How did your love for Disney first begin ?
My unconditional love for Disney started with the movies, mostly the “classics” such as The Little Mermaid, The Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. When I was
4, I recorded Snow White on a VHS tape from the TV, but it was my father’s VHS of “First Blood”! So my father at that time had to face the wicked witch rather than Rambo !
Usually, at the end of an animated movie, I took some paper and pastels and started drawing what I had just seen, but with my own ending! The goal was to work for Disney, one day. Sometimes, writing it in my resume seemed to me like a dream.
What was your first assignment with Disney and how did it feel doing your dream job ?
I started with the official Frozen Magazine. It was exciting but also a challenge drawing notable characters as Anna and Elsa. The comics were usually short and funny. Anyway, when you had to draw for the children, it’s not as simple as I believed: you have to “respect” the characters, not changing them too much but keeping them as the original ones.
You need a “soft” direction, and diversify the shots but not too much, in order to introduce the reader to the world of the story, trying to give that “magic” you’ve seen in the movie.
Could you tell me some highlights of your career so far ?
Shortly after I started working with Disney, I began to collaborate with other US publishers. Hasbro called me to work on an upcoming project, Hanazuki :Full of Treasures. For them I also designed a very big Hanazuki illustration for their stand at the San Diego Comic Con in 2016. Soon after, I started working on characters for the animated show.
In the meantime, I started working with IDW too. I started by illustrating covers and then I moved to interior pages, working on new projects such as Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony, Transformers, Star Wars and on other Disney properties.
How does it feel to leave a positive impact for young female readers with your work on Powerpuff Girls and Hasbro’s Hanazuki and My Little Pony franchises ?
I’m not sure I can easily describe that feeling. Usually you’re at home, working hard and trying to hit the deadilne, then you see a post on Facebook. It’s a young girl who holds your comic book, or it’s a video on Youtube. You smile and your heart soon fills with joy.
My greatest gratification is something like that!
How does it feel to have American readers discover your Frozen stories for the first time last year through Joe Books’ Frozen series ?
It’s wonderful, and it makes me happy. These are the kind of things that make my work so magical , and also pushes me to give every project my best!
Tell me about how you got to draw Hiro and the gang for Big Hero 6 the Series ?
Everything started in a summer afternoon. IDW e-mailed me to start working on the BH6 project. So I put aside my flippers and mask (I love snorkeling!) and immediately went to work. I just loved the original movie and wanted to do my very best in order to understand the characters, their moves, their feelings and their friendship.
Who was your favourite character from Big Hero 6 The Series to draw ?
Gogo! Since she isn’t the classic Disney princess archetype. She’s small and she has tiny legs! She’s always a bit angry, how can anybody not love her?
Who was the hardest character for you to draw ?
Honestly, I haven’t had any particular difficulty to understand or draw the characters. I’ve had to stay focused on the armours however , sometimes I lost some pieces of the armour and had to re-draw certain panels !
For the rest, everything seems working quite well
What Disney characters would you love to draw in a comic if you were asked ?
This year, looks like I’ll get my wish, since I worked on the Incredibles 2 graphic novel from Dark Horse . When I saw the first movie so many years ago, I thought “Wow, I DO want to draw them!”. So it was the greatest gratification to me!
Thank you so much Nicoletta for taking the time to talk with us and to all our readers at DISKingdom about how you got into comic books and some of your upcoming Disney projects.
On top of that, she was kind enough to make us this lovely sketch of GoGo Tomago enjoying some Disney comics. I cannot wait to enjoy her work on Big Hero 6 the Series launching in July 25 from our friends at IDW Publishing.
What are your thoughts on this interview and this amazing artist ? Do you have additional questions about her work ?
Hello ,My name is Mathieu Leblanc or you can call me Mat for short
I am a comic book reviewer here on DISKingdom but I will also cover cruises and vacations at Disney World or other Disney destinations for the site.