Saturday 6 July 2019

Interview with James Bond Comic Artist Germán Gabler

Germán Gabler was born in Santiago, Chile in 1942. He graduated from the Catholic University of Chile in 1966 and began working as a professional comics artist with the help of Jorge Carvallo, who introduced him to the publishing house Zigzag.  After starting as a script writer, German became a regular writer and artist for the James Bond comic adaptations.
In his own words: “From my early childhood (I learnt to read at 5 years old) I went through tons of comic books. About 10 years old I started reading books about war, cowboys, pirates, FBI, CIA, heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Bill Barnes and so. I also included classic novelist as Dumas, Verne, Conan Doyle, Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Poe, Salgari. You name it, I red it. Hundreds of books.

While at the university I started reading sci-fi. Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, Sturgeon. etc.  Add to this a couple af movies a week (at least) for twenty years and you get a complete library
of plot elements in your mind.

To complete these, my father brought home three different newspapers daily, so I was very aware of what was happening in the real world.”

What materials did you use?
For sketching I used a mechanical pencil (Staedler) with 2B leads. Brushes 3 and 6 for inking. (Windsor&Newton or Ocean) Sometimes a pen for slim lines. Paper was Schoeller or similar. Ink was Pelikan or Higgins. A good eraser (Staedler mostly). White tempera for corrections. I also used colour temperas and watercolor for magazine covers.

Your black and white artwork show red numbers. What are they for?
Numbers are the colour guide for the printing stage. 1 is yellow, 2 magenta and 3 cyan. The x denotes dotted colour, i.e. light yellow, light pink and light blue. All of these form the colour palette, added to black and grey.
Who did the colouring and how?
The colouring could be done by ourselves. But since I wrote and draw 007 and other comics, I gave this job to a colourist. Sometimes they put a transparent piece of paper over the original and paint it with real colours. But the use of numbers was preferred (although they spoiled in some way the original) because there were not possibilities of mistake at the printing stage. Before this stage, a set of transparencies were taken from the originals. One was for black and the other three were for colours. In this stage, a "mask" was added to the transparencies eliminating the other colours. So there was a transparency for yellow, one for magenta and one for cyan. Then they were ready for the printings or "pressing stage".

Germán has several of his artworks for sale and also a complete set of the Zig Zag comics. 

He can be contacted here:

Timothy Dalton Artwork

Timothy Dalton as Bond”, Original watercolour painting by Gerry Wadsworth.

Check out Gerry's other work here: