WC: Did you always want to become a comic creator?
CM: I enjoy working in various creative mediums such as music, moving image, and illustration. Wordless storytelling through the use of sequential art is a new area I”m discovering.
WC: What inspires you most during your creative process?
CM: Working late at night inspires me the most.
WC: How would you describe your style?
CM: The style I adopted in my first graphic novel was greatly influenced by Expressionist artist Kathe Kollwitz and by the woodcuts of Cypriot artist Telemachos Kanthos.
WC: How would you describe the scene in Cyprus? Are there any platforms, similar to the Malta Comic Con, for comic artists and illustrators to exhibit their work in Cyprus? Are there any organisations such as Wicked Comics?
CM: Though the Cyprus comics scene is in its infancy, it”s thanks to the local comic book store “Ant Comics” that has become a forum for comic book fans and creators to meet and exchange ideas. This Friday (19/11/2011) Ant Comics will host the second comics festival where various local creators will display their work.
WC: How did you hear about the Malta Comic Con and what attracted you to attend?
CM: I found out about MCC while I was searching for festivals to promote my first graphic novel and thought it to be a perfect opportunity to establish a relationship with our Mediterranean neighbours.
WC: Recently you have worked on a graphic novel called “The Tunnel”. Was it your choice to make such a book wordless?
CM: Since Cyprus has three official languages (Greek, English & Turkish) we had to rethink our approach when we were faced with the high printing costs of a tri-lingual publication. It proved to be an interesting challenge when I jokingly suggested not include words.
WC: “The Tunnel” was co-financed by EU funds and published by the NGO INDEX. The story is about Human trafficking in Cyprus which is a reality almost unheard of in Europe but which is very true for the Cypriots. Did “The Tunnel” help to raise awareness on the issue? How was its publication received in Cyprus?
CM: Human Trafficking for sexual exploitation is a global problem.
The book was well received due to the fact that it used an alternative medium and targeted a young audience. Upon its release it was circulated via a popular local newspaper and distributed through various local and international networks.
WC: Would you work on similar projects such as “The Tunnel” in the future and why?
CM: The main reason I would work on similar projects is because the wordless picture book format fundamentally rises above the boundaries of language and literacy. In the words of US Woodcut Historian, David Berona, it represents “not only our different cultures but also our shared humanity”. Without words we”re forced to look closely, concentrate and interpret the image.
WC: In Malta we face problems related to illegal Immigration. How do you think the Maltese public will react to “The Tunnel” when it will be distributed free at the Malta Comic Con, since illegal Immigration is a sort of human trafficking as well?
CM: I”m very curious to find out how your audience will react to the book since its subject matter is not widely explored in the world of comics. Traffickers are very cunning in trafficking people through legal means. Illegal immigration is serious issue although trafficking people of all ages for sexual or work exploitation is a whole other can of worms.
WC: What projects do you have in the pipeline and what can you tell us about them?
CM: I just started working on my second wordless graphic novel. Not sure when I”ll finish it since I”m working on several other creative projects at the moment.
WC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CM: I look forward to meeting everyone at Malta Comic Con.