Creator Interview with Gregory Panaccione, part two

Thank you all for the continued success on Kickstarter! It has been great to see Gregory’s book, My Friend Toby, do so well!

If you don’t know already, this 144-page graphic novel is an entirely wordless canine adventure, both written and drawn by Eisner Award nominee Gregory Panaccione (artist of triple-Eisner-nominated A SEA OF LOVE). Fully funded within hours and now inching towards tripling its funding goal! In the meantime, we’ve been working hard on some fun content for this campaign (while also working on the next few projects on the drawing board – and wow, are you in for some treats! But we digress …)

We had the chance to chat with creator Gregory Panaccione and find out all about his process when it comes to storytelling and art. If you missed part 1 of the interview, check it out here.

(Please note, the interview below is translated from French with minor edits for clarity and grammar)

Magnetic: Many of your books are “silent” or wordless — why do you like to create stories without words?

Gregory: Silent stories give me a lot of creative freedom. I’m not very comfortable with dialogue, and when I invent a story without words, I let myself be guided by an image that calls for another… etc. For me, it’s a feeling of limitless freedom. Moreover, it allows the reader to have his or her own interpretation. The reader thus becomes creative, too. I think that you don’t use the same part of your brain when reading a traditional book as you do with a wordless story. Not to mention the fact that it becomes an international way of communicating that also allows children who cannot read to participate.

Magnetic: What is your creative process for writing new stories? Do you know the whole plot or do you like to improvise?

Gregory: For Toby, I’m moving forward bit-by-bit, frame-by-frame, and I don’t know where I’m going. Then, little by little, the story unfolds. Sometimes I touch up parts to make them consistent with another part of the story. I work a lot on rhythm. I read a lot and I try to improve each part when I find that it’s hollow or useless. I try to keep the story as tight as possible.

Magnetic: What is your illustration process? Traditional? Digital?

Gregory: Toby was made totally digitally, in Photoshop with an old Wacom tablet.

Magnetic: What are you currently working on?

Gregory: I have just finished adapting Antonio Moresco’s novel “La Petite Lumière” which will be released on May 10th by Delcourt. A very poetic and profound novel. I did it this time totally in traditional watercolor. Another book will be released at the beginning of June entitled “The Encyclopedia of Tennis” by Fluide Glacial, again featuring Marcel. This book is made up of completely absurd short stories about tennis. Currently, I am looking for a new project, I have several leads in progress.

You can find more information about MY FRIEND TOBY on the Kickstarter page, and more information about A SEA OF LOVE here! While you’re there, don’t forget to add a few of the other all-ages, wildlife, and wordless graphic novels from the Magnetic Press Catalog!