BELLIES UP! BEAR NERD Interviews DANIEL MAINÉ

We here at Bear Nerd are immensely pround to introduce you to Daniel Mainé, this really cute and super talented Spanish bear who’s launching his first graphic novel, EL ABOMINABLE HOMBRE DEL CUARTO OSCURO (The Abominable Man of the Dark Room). It’s going to be published by Diabolo Ediciones, and here’s he interview e did with him:

BN – First of all, thank you for collaborating with us here on Bear Nerd! Starting with the basics: Tell us your Secret Origin! When did you realize you were a bear and a nerd?

I Knew I was gay since I was a kid, but it took some time to put all the pieces into the right order, so it was not till 17 when I get internet for first time in my home, and find all the information about the “gay bear world” and stuff, and then the puzzle make sense to me.
The nerd in me, manifested way before that, I remember reading my first Marvel Comics when I was just 4, and I have been reading comic books, watching geeky TV shows and drawing since then. It is something about fiction I always loved, so I was always creating and drawing stories, most of them just pencils or incomplete plots. But it was a day in 2008, when I stopped for a second and thought: “Ok, you have been drawing for a long time, are you gonna take it seriously and do something with it?”, So I did it, learned some interesting new techniques, some graphic design, buyed a graphic table, and decided to start using internet to make my artworks “visible”. Created the first blog “Flashes before Your Eyes”, and as a second chapter “” where a spreaded the Flashes” to every available socialnet. Which lead us to my “own little universe”, where gay bear stuff is an important part, this is why BEARTONCITY has his own blog space.

BN – What are your artistic influences?

This is a difficult one, For me my top artist are influences are from the Comic Industry, Carlos Pacheco, Olivier Coipel, Humberto Ramos and Sean Galloway (which were a real inspiration for the final look of the Beartonians), Alex Ross, Josh_Midlenton, Adam Huges, Stuart Immonem, Ivan Reis, James Jean, skottie Young… Not forgetting some cool bear artist as Christophe Jannin, Xbeart, Don chooi, Noel or Ap Bear Gallery, which work is amazing and I have learn a lot from them too.
But At the end, you realize you can learn something from any artist, professional or amateur, I always enjoy watching other people artwork, learning how they handle with their skills, their lines, inks or color skills, way to draw faces, composition, dynamic, inspirations… whatever I can learn something new, the other day, for example I was watching a video of the new ultimate Spiderman artist, David Lafuente, and was watching his lines, and his way to give “light” to some “small eyes” in a pannel, it was a single thing, but thanks to that I learned how to solve a problem in my own panels with small eyes. So as I say, every artist can be an influence.

BN – Is Bearton City something you’ve been working on for a long time? How was the conception and development of this project?

It was an idea I had in mind since 2007, when I wrote the first Beartoncity plot as a story in a “Batman & Robin” way, where Bestia had the beartonian version of Batman as a mentor, a simple 80 page story with a city where almost everyone was gay and they fight crime and just a few jokes with sex. There were some other characters as IronBear or Rainbow Kid, but they just appear in one or two panels…
But for some reasons I left the plot to work in other projects. Two years ago, started with “Flashes” the blog, posted some super tinny tubby characters as “IronBear” or “Green Lighter”, and thought they were pretty funny, so I decided to draw some series with that kind of bear characters as the “Sinister Bears” or the “Angels and Devils”. But it was in 2009, when had the chance to assist to a convention called “Set de Comic” (In Lleida, Spain), where you had the opportunity to show your work to editors and try to get published. I decided trying Beartoncity as a potential gay superhero comic book, rewrite it as something bigger, pick the idea of a Team of bears heroes instead of a dynamic duo, and added some sex scenes (which I have to admit it has been difficult because I was not used to draw that kind of scenes). I was trusted by Diabolo Ediciones, to publish the project and this is how the actual BEARTONCITY was born, which has 140 pag, and will be out next month with the first story “The Abominable Man from the Dark Room”

BN – You’ve been using the Internet to put your work out there for a while now. Has this helped you find a publisher for Bearton City? How is it like to go from web self-publishing to preparing a hard-copy book for publication under a traditional model, with a publisher?

When I started to take drawings seriously, the main problem was how to get “visible and knowed”, when obviously I were not. I needed some easy, cheap and fast way to make people know about my work and using the blog sites and social networks as “hello, this is my artwork” card was the best way, and I really recommend using them.
But as I told before, the big opportunity for me was “Set de Comic, Convention”. Pillar Lumbreras y Lorenzo Pascual, my editors in Diabolo Ediciones, have been way cool with the project since the very beginning, and have give me full liberty to develop Beartoncity the way I wanted, for this I am really happy to publish with them.
And about the feeling…It is awesome! Sometimes I can still not believe it, I am working and though: “hey, you are gonna be published!” and get a little silly smile. And I am pretty sure; anytime I see Beartoncity in a Comic Book store I will feel very proud

BN – What can we expect after El Abominable Hombre del Cuarto Oscuro?

I have always considered BEARTONCITY as a story I do enjoy writing and drawing, and which characters I love, but not as the only story I want to tell. So, now Beartoncity is about to see the light. I will be working on other kind of stories, some with gay bears and some not. There are some cool projects waiting and developing and some collaboration too. But, you can be sure that, if the beartonians work properly; I am plenty of ideas for more BEARTONCITY Comic books. There are a lot of untold stories, parts of the city I would love to explore deeply as the posh Nasgard or the Leather Downtown, secret origins, or maybe something from outer space. So cross your fingers!

BN – Obviously, Bearton City is heavily influenced by the fact that you’re a bear, and many of your illustrations are bear-oriented, or re-inventions of other characters as bears. Was this a conscious orientation of your work, or did it happen naturally? How big of an importance does being a bear play on the development of your work?

Of course there is a lot of gay bear influence in my last drawings or here in BEARTONCITY, it is an important part of my influences and has to do a lot about who I am and me been a gay bear man. For Beartoncity, it’s a full bear gay comic, so gay stuff and situations are in order. But as I said I don’t want to work just gay or humor stories, I would like to work other projects. Maybe there will be gay characters in them or not. But when I think about how I like them to appear, I think the way some Tv-Shows as Doctor Who or Torchwood does with gay characters, as something completely normal, part of the regular lifestyle of people, will be the best way to write or drawing them.

Once again, thanks a lot for the interview, Daniel! Now the floor’s all yours, leave us your final thoughts and messages!

Eu só quero dizer pras pessoas que gostam de desenhar (e sei que tem muito talento bruto por aí), que nunca se rendam, continuem desenhando, continuem se inspirando, escrevendo ou pintando todo dia, por que essa é a chave pra desenvolver suas habilidades artísticas. Desenhe TODO DIA, mesmo que você esteja tendo um dia ruim. Se você quer levar a coisa a sério, é assim que tem que ser! E nunca pare de aprender!

ust wanted to say for the people who like drawing and I know there is a lot of brutal talent out there, never surrender, keep drawing, keep getting inspired, writing or inking every single day, Which is the key to get your art skill better. Draw every day, even if you are not in a good day, if you want to take it seriously, you have to do it that way! And never stop learning!
And of course, say thanks to the people of Bearnerd.com for this nice interview and for posting Beartoncity news in your site, which is a pretty cool web with lots of nice stuff in there! Thanks to Diabolo Ediciones for trust in my project and publish it. And, as I always say: “just hope people enjoy my work as much as I enjoy drawing it”, so I am pretty sure people will love Beartoncity, there will be humor, there will be action, there will be sex, there will be hairy bellies and for Odin! It’s a full city with gay bear superheroes! How cool is that?!

And to close off the interview, here’s an awesome exclusive preview Daniel sent us, along with an illustration he did specially for Bear Nerd:

Click here to see the official site of Bearton City!