I’ve been working in the American comics industry for a while. First, from my birth town, Paris, and now from Brooklyn, NY. In France, for many pros, I’ve always been “the American”. Of course, not a lot of people chose to launch a magazine solely about American comic books before me.
When I decided to switch from comic book journalism, to comic book writing, I didn’t choose the easy way. On the American market, no one was expecting me. No one was giving a rat’s ass of Fabrice Sapolsky, that guy with the strange first name!
In 2004, I had a memorable conversation with one of the Godfathers of comics, Richard Starkings. He told me “you want to succeed in comics here? Stay French!”. This was almost 3 years before I even thought of Spider-Man Noir.
Since then, I published a few things as you know. But there’s always been some people, here in America, doubting that an “alien writer” could make it. “Because English is not your first language, it’s hard for us to consider you as a regular writer”. That could’ve hurt. But it doesn’t.
Because… Well, I don’t think that’s a problem. I’ve always had people around me. My english is strong, but, of course, there are some things I can’t possibly know. So I raise a hand and I ask when I don’t know. And it’ll make my comics way better after that.
But since I moved to America, I’ve been thinking a lot about France.
I may have left, and I have many reasons for that. But it’s still my culture. I’m a French citizen and I like it. So instead of trying to melt into the big pot, I think I’ll follow Sir Richard’s advice.
Knowing that, what could’ve been seen as a weakness is now a strength. It’s added value. I had to come up with a visual signature for my new motto. So you’ll now see this logo at shows and on my comics. How many French comic book writers in the industry? Two. Three at best. Myself included. And none living here. That makes me some kind of “curiosity”. And I like it.
As the excellent Kelly Sue Deconinck would say, I’m #NonCompliant.
I’m ready to kick ass and taking names. I’m here to stay.
And if you don’t like it, hey… Bash me… I’m French (I can handle it with style). 😉
See ya in the funny books!