Last time we talked with Noah Dorsey, the writer of Saint Chaos, an upcoming comic book series about a dying man who decides to do some good in the world before a hit man he himself hired kills him. The person behind the awesomely eccentric artwork of Saint Chaos is Zsombor Huszka. He doubles as a comic book artist and a 2D animation director. Luckily, I got to find out more about what Huszka does and why he does it with this interview. Enjoy!
What are some tricks you learned to help you with your work at Budapest University of Technology and Economics' Department of Architecture?
I tried to take full advantage of the classes I could find at the University that could be useful in my artist career. Classes like freehand drawing, animation software class, graphic design...etc. Other than that the whole education gave me a complex and constructive point of view that I find very useful in my artist career. Developing a comic book project or a film from scratch to the final product is very similar to how you think as an architect. You have an idea that seems brilliant at first but then you have to work through tons of obstacles and put many pieces together to bring it to life. It becomes a challenge...it is like you have to wrestle with it till you win.
You were chosen to participate in The Hungarian National Exhibition of Digital Artworks. Can you explain in a bit more detail what that is and what you did for the exhibition?
This exhibition happened when I was still searching for myself as an artist. It was an honor and it felt great to get such positive feedback at such an early stage of my career.
You have a very unique style. How did you develop the type of artwork you do? Were you inspired by anyone?
I love unique pieces of artwork. My goal is to have a style that stands out. My first inspiration was Frank Miller's "Sin City" and "300". I was also inspired by Dave McKean – In "Batman – Arkham Asylum" - , and Eduardo Risso in "100 bullets". My style is constantly developing and changing with every new project that I do. I guess doing such a broad range of work has really helped me create my unique voice as an artist.
What comic book projects are you currently working on?
We recently finished R.E.M. with Ryan Colucci. It will be available soon, but for sure at the New York Comic Convention in October. I'm really excited because I will be at ComiCon for the first time ever.
We have another project in production called Chasing Rabbits, which is a genius piece from the writer that I'm very excited about. Hopefully it will be available at the convention in October. Both these books are thick graphic novels.
My other associate is Noah Dorsey who we're doing Saint Chaos with, which will be a series of comic book issues. It is very exciting to build our own superhero-like character, plus the story is amazing. We have finished the first issue already which will be out in May 2013.
I consider myself very lucky to be able to work with these excellent writers.Can you talk about some of the differences you've experienced working on R.E.M. versus working on Saint Chaos? R.E.M. was the perfect piece to be my first graphic novel. I learned so much. I had to wrestle with it a lot, but the outcome was totally worth the effort. It is not a typical full of action, bloody, superhero comic, but something that makes the reader think. It's about a twisted mind, and both Ryan and I wanted to reflect it in the artwork. It was a great challenge.
Saint Chaos is a fun comic to draw. It's full of action and twisted on many levels. If I had to pick a genre I would say it's horror but spiced with a twisted sense of humor. I love the fact that they are so different. It's great to be able to switch styles from time to time and experiment in new techniques.
In both Saint Chaos and R.E.M. your artwork is in black and white (with the exception of the blood in Saint Chaos), which definitely adds to the creepy and surreal vibe of the titles. Do you prefer your artwork in black-and-white? Can you see yourself doing artwork in the future with color?
R.E.M. is truly B&W but Saint Chaos actually has very vivid colors. The preview pages are b&w with red blood, but it is for the mood of that sequence. Readers will see full colors in the rest of the issue. I felt more confident in b&w techniques in the beginning but both Saint Chaos and Chasing Rabbits will be full colored books. I prefer to use colors as mood setters other than giving things their actual colors. You're not only an artist but a 2D animation director as well. Can you describe what that kind of work entails?
Cartoons were my childhood passion that led me to the comic book industry. I only directed a few short clips. My longest and most complex work was the promo video that I did for the hit single "Love is overrated" by Linda Király.
Animation is definitely not a one person job, but I love doing it, and it is something I plan to pursue.
What 2D animation have you directed?
One tv commercial for a medical product, the promo video I mentioned above, several stage background animations, a short film called "Tango" that I originally made for a school project, and an adaptation of my very first comic book that was published in Hungary "The Sultan's Beast" is in preproduction.
You were a member of the Hungarian National Fencing Team and train daily in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Could you tell us a little more about these interests of yours? How/why did you decide to start these activities?
I started fencing when I was eight. I had become a member of the national team at the age of 17. It became my life, I travelled around the world, I lived in training camps, it was all about fencing then. It was a huge decision to stop fencing, but now I see it had to end for something else to be born, and for me to rediscover my passion for art.
However my need as an athlete for sports and physical challenge did not die down. So I decided to try something very different from fencing that I can do like a hobby and not as a professional. So my brother brought me down to the dojo and I've been obsessed with Jiu Jitsu ever since. I practice daily.
What inspired you to become both an artist and a 2D animator?
As I child I always wanted to be a cartoon director, but for some reason I always felt that art could only be a hobby until I met my fiancé whose passion for music showed me that it was possible to live your childhood dreams, and do what you love to do for a living. But just to mention a few names whose works I admired as a child: Genddy Tartakowski (my number one inspiration right now mostly for his phenomenal Samurai Jack), Chuck Jones (for his unique style he brought to Tom and Jerry and Looney Toons), and I think I should mention Walt Disney here for many generations like mine grew up on his cartoons. I would also like to mention my favorite Hungarian cartoon "Cat City" made by Pannonia Film Studios in the 80's.
What inspiring words do you have for people interested in those professions?
What I learned as an athlete is that all I can truly believe in is my hard work. I wasn't particularly talented as fencer but my desire to be just as respected as the talented ones took me further than them. I worked harder than anyone. I learned that diligence is also a talent. I use this same mentality in my artist career. Another very important thing that keeps me moving is what I learned from my pop star fiance, Linda Király: Dare to dream big. Have a goal and reach it step by step.
Something specific for artists: Make sure your next work that you put out there, is your best.
Thank you for your time Mr. Huszka! If you're interested in checking out more of Huszka's work, check out his official website here.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.