Moebius it was called “Richard Mozart Corben”. The museum of Fine Arts of Angoulême in showing off any virtuosity. Sacred grand prix of the comic festival last year, Richard Corben is seen to devote a dazzling exhibition. The retrospective Richard Corben, give body to the imagination, – rich than 250 works, between boards in black and white, gouache, wash drawing, or oil paintings, precipitates the public in the work of the one who made the fantastic, horror and science fiction, the engine of his art.

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time Travel, universe postapocalyptiques, rifts in time and space, aliens, or witches, are the favourite themes of a work, nourished by the influences of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Poe and Lovecraft. His universe fantasy would you agree eroticism unbridled and not devoid of humour, has set the stage for the instincts, the most primitive of humankind. His women buxom, his heroes to the muscles enlarged, his sets are relayed by a drawing, mind-blowing, a scientist working on the colors and the light allies mastery of printing techniques. Richard Corben commands respect by its graphic power.

“Richard Corben is a mystery”, recognizes the great Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy (brought to the screen by Guillermo del Toro), who has worked with him. Revered by his peers, no one has tried to replicate Richard Corben. Fascinated, too, by his work, Joann Sfar devotes a real cult to the drawing and the technique of the master that he has discovered a teenager. For Le Figaro , he unearths his memories of the young reader to bring his expert eye of designer.

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LE FIGARO. – Fascinating, disturbing, strange… The words are not lacking to describe the work of Richard Corben. How would you describe it?

Joann SFAR. – It is difficult to talk about Corben without talking about his method of work, it has a relation to the design very special. It usually makes sculptures before drawing. He models his characters in the earth, he enlightens himself with his small desk lamps, and draws from nature. This explains the volume exaggeration of his characters, absolutely unique in the comics. The sensuality that emanates from his creations, both in erotica and in horror, is extreme. It was very far in the technique of printing, in BD it multiplies the experiments, in particular on the color, tests the limits. It falls under the mad scientist. His work is totally singular. Moreover, he has not done school.

what is this singularity?

“Corben is the modern heir of The Greco. Read Corben, is to be confronted with a visual shock, morbid, or erotic”

It is amazing. Her work is a know-how a painter and a sculptor who could come from the time of Michel-Angel. And at the same time, as soon as there is a new technology, he seizes it and makes something that could only be on the Corben. He has attacked since the beginning of his career in the heroic figures and monstrous, and has delivered an interpretation that is totally personal.

It is a mixture of technical virtuosity, sophistication, and primitive, of totemism: it is as if a totem atoning met michelangelo. The erotic content of his works, for example, is annoying, even disturbing. It causes of discomfort. In its sex scenes, it is not love, it is torn, we get devoured. It is the modern inheritor of The Greco. When the painter represents his figures ecstatic there is always something morbid, spiritual and terrifying. Read Corben, is to be confronted with a visual shock, morbid or erotic.

“A Gorilla with Wings”. Richard Corben

Himself was nourished by the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft, and their influence underpins his work. How is the is it appropriate?

a Great reader of Baudelaire and Edgard allan Poe, he stayed in the feeling of the one who discovers the horrors and translated them into BD. It is very difficult to make you feel the horror in a comic book. Those of Corben blood run cold, because it managed to find images that have the air let out of a nightmare. They are both very realistic and very weird. It is particularly great when it comes to inventing monsters. We wonder if they are from the Middle Age or of a sect-degenerate. Everything is scary. Corben has put the finger on the terrors and deepest desires, related to adolescence. His work seems to be permeated by the distorted images by this period. It gives faces to nightmares and does not understand how he does it. This is the most mysterious of them all. For me, it is one of the greatest cartoonists alive, in which the method is absolutely not reproducible.

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