We had the good luck to interview John Aggs: the one who will draw the CHERUB Graphic Novel based on CHERUB 1 – The Recruit which will come out on August 2, 2011. An opportunity for us to learn more about the hidden aspects of that Graphic Novel and its genesis. Exclusive interview to read immediately :
Hi! Firstly, thanks for accepting this interview for CampusCherub.com. Could you introduce yourself? What is your job?
Hi, My name’s John Aggs. I’m an illustrator and comic book artist. I’ve written a couple of comics too, but I’m not entirely sure I’d call myself a writer…yet.
Why do a Cherub Graphic Novel? Who had that idea ?
Honestly, I have no idea. It was probably Robert or his publishers. The artist is the last person to get brought into these things. First there’s a whole load of arguing with the marketing division, and the art directors- then they find a designer and a scriptwriter to adapt the book. Then, finally, they go on the hunt for an artist. It’s a bit like film. They might have been planning this for years, i’ve no idea!
How have you proceeded to bring off the CHERUB Graphic Novel which is adapted from the bestselling book Cherub – The Recruit?
First of all the writer, Ian, had to cut a lot of stuff from the book and compress a lot of scenes. It’s a pity this had to happen, but otherwise the book would’ve been way too slow and way too long. One page of a book translates as about four pages of comic, so some stuff has got to go. I think Ian did a great job though. He’s managed to allocate the right number of pages to the right parts of the story. In some of the most important moments I had lots of space to tell the story, and in others the action is compressed where it needs to pick up the pace.
You work in collaboration with Ian Edginton, how do you proceed?
Haha, well this is another of those industry culture-shock moments. It’d be great for an interview if I had funny stories of working with Ian, but truth be told I’ve never even met him! We sent a couple of emails back and forth to work things out, but other than that- I just worked from his script without his feedback. That’s the mark of a good writer, though. His script was incredibly easy to work with and the fact that I didn’t need much back and forth is definitely a point in his favor. From an artist’s point of view; a solid script which allows you to get to work quickly and efficiently is often better than a vibrant collaboration.
Have you respected all the informations given in the book by Robert Muchamore or have you let speak your imagination?
Robert is great at being sparse with the descriptions of his characters and places. This allows his readers to insert their own images from their imaginations, but also gives an artist like me a lot to play with. Everything was run by Robert first, though. If he disagreed with anything he has the veto!
Are you worried that some of the fans might not like your portrayal of the characters as each fan has their own way of imagining them?
Oh absolutely. I made the mistake of going on Robert’s CHERUB forums when the first images were released. Man, those are some outspoken fans! I guess I should expect nothing less from fans of CHERUB! What you’ve all got to remember is that the way Robert writes, as I previously mentioned, is to focus on the story, not the descriptions. Your image of James is probably very far from my image of him. Robert has cleverly designed it so that we both insert our own images into the story. Also (and this is something that comic adaptations always run up against) remember that this is a separate and different thing from The Recruit book. It’s not a replacement, just an adaptation. This comic can reach a whole load of people who would never read The Recruit. If they like it they’ll probably check out the rest of the series. I bet there’ll be a bunch of fans who hate what I’ve done, but In a year or two they’ll all be complaining about the film characters, so I get off easy!
Why will the book release in France first (April), then in England (August)?
I think that might be secret so i’m not going to say any more. Actually, I with they’d released it earlier in France. I wanted to show it off at Angouleme Festival de la Bande Dessinee. (to all your French readers, you guys have the best comic book festivals in the world.)
Do you think about adapting the rest of the series if the first book is a success?
I try not to get my hopes up for these things. There are so many things that could happen to make the book a success or failure. Even if it is a success, something may happen with the publishers which makes them change their minds. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, though.
What is your favourite Comic strip?
Oh, I have a list. “Les Gardiens Du Maser”, by Massimiliano Frezzato, “Universal War 1″ by Bajram and “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo are right up there at the top, though!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer.
No problem. Cheers.
You can already pre-order it on Amazon, BY CLICKING HERE.