With RICHARD CORBEN by Pedro Parralejo
- See the original Spanish interview
I’m writing to talk about the new Corben. And more specifically of the DEN III by Corben. To me the modest way of seeing, you are giving us a hare, or perhaps you have found in this your most significant style, after your time of evaluation and thought. Gaetano Liberatore said that he had spent a lot of time observing each DEN panel (without a doubt he was referring to the 1st and 2nd part), and still with everything, he thinks that it was not enough. Mr. Liberatore must be a great admirer of yours, like me, and he is very right in what he says. More I think that in no way can you say the same when you see the line and the way of doing that Corben uses in this DEN III. This one is a drawing and a very fast color, which is constantly supported in the shadows, to escape from those wonderful filigree to which we were accustomed the one from Kansas. There are no more detailed muscles, no monsters that seem real, no sensation of three-dimensionality, as in his other works, in which we felt that the characters were living above the surface of the magazine’s sheet. Nothing of the before remains. There are no longer voluminous breasts, naked sex of hair and other sexual elements so obvious in your panels, that although it was not essential, if you gave your works a wicked note and liberality, that, after all, nobody did wrong.
Sometimes I think you should not blame yourself. Maybe you’re tired of working so hard on the panels of your previous works, and you take it now with more rest. But at other times I think in a different way, since doing comic book in the manner of the new DEN, before you finish your projects, before you deliver them and before you get paid. I do not know, certainly.
Do you remember (of course you remember) that Corben who started his long works and ended several years later? Where is BLOODSTAR, of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ARABIAN NIGHTS, and THE BODYSSEY, …? If you do not answer me, I’ll never know. As I said, my opinion, as well as my concern, is a very modest element, but what I would like to know is whether there are followers of the comics and Corben who think what I, or if on the contrary they agree with the current way to make comic strips of the teacher Rich Corben.
Nothing more. Sorry if I have extended more than the account, but I think it is an important issue.
Pedro Parralejo (Esplugues de Llobregat)
Thanks for your letter, Pedro. I appreciate and understand your concern about Corben’s new style. I have also received many criticisms from my American readers. Will Corben be simplifying and degrading his work to swindle his fans and the comic market?
In 1986, adult comics were dying. I found myself, suddenly, in the situation of finding a successful project, or completely leaving the comics. My wife and I decided that the best way to know what the fans wanted was to become editors. We publish RIP IN TIME, without prohibited scenes (in U.S., nudity is not accepted in publications for children, and children are the most numerous audience). This gave us moderate success. But being an editor and an artist is not easy. I must produce 20 pages and a cover every two months, as well as promotional material for distributors. This is why I have simplified my style. Although I assure you that I am striving to discover new possibilities in tones and effects that enrich the artistic result. If adults really care about the comics, and go back to them, then we can have those nudes that you and DEN are missing.
Richard Corben (Kansas City)