LAST MAN Blog Tour Interview w/ Bastien Vives, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak
Today we’re pleased to be able to share an interview with the creative team behind The Last Man graphic novel series, Bastien Vives, Michael Sanlaville, and Balak. Martial arts, magic, and adventure await in this series about an underdog young tournament competitor and his mysterious new fighting partner.
Are there any anime/manga stories and artwork that have been influential in your work?
Bastien: Miyazaki’s work as a whole…
Mic: Yukito Kishiro’s Gunnm and Battle Angel Alita.
Balak: My first big shock as a kid was Rumiko Takahashi’s work (Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, Urusei Yatsura). Then, when Akira was published in France in 1990, I was eleven and my head exploded. I love Mitsuru Adachi’s storytelling too, and Naoki Urasawa’s Happy. I’m also a big fan of Japanese animators such as Norio Matsumoto, Toshiyuki Inoue, or Hiroyuki Imaishi . . . and my fav hentai artis ever is Kotoyoshi Yumisuke. And yes, I’m a proud dirty otaku.
Without spoiling too much about Richard Aldana’s past, can you tell us one thing we don’t know about him that we should?
Richard had a very complicated past, and some personal trauma he hides behind his cool one liners. He always had a big mouth, but when he was seventeen he was not as muscular as he is now, quite the opposite. And he really has some issues with women, he’s not very good with long term relationship.
In Adrian’s world, fighting and the tournament are pretty much the center of his world. If Adrian grew up in our world, what sport/hobby do you think he’d be obsessed with?
Balak: I think he would be a Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson fan. Is there anybody on earth who’s not a The Rock fan?
I love the dynamic fight scenes – do you have any real life experience with fighting?
Mic: I got my ass kicked at school when I was thirteen.
Balak: Bastien did some Judo when he was a kid. My only experiences in fighting involved alcohol and bad decisions. Not sure if it helped in creating the fight sequences in Last Man….
If you could cast magic like the competitors in the tournament, which kind of magic would you choose?
Mic: To be able to strangle my opponent at distance, Darth Vader-style.
Bastien: I’d like to fly. Like Batman.
Balak: Ok. I would be facing my opponent and go: “choose a card.” And he would choose a card and even if I CAN’T see his card, I would be able to guess what card it was. With MY MIND. That’s some gangsta magic here, my friend.
About Last Man: The Stranger
The Games are already underway when Richard Aldana arrives in town. This mysterious stranger seems to have more in common with our world than the world where the Games are held. He smokes cigarettes and wears a leather jacket while everyone else in this medieval realm is casting spells and weaving tapestries. Nobody knows what to make of him, but when Aldana enrolls in the games he quickly becomes a top contender. Eschewing magic and using only his martial arts prowess, Aldana also befriends and protects a small boy for reasons as mysterious as his origins.
Who will win the games? Who is Richard Aldana, really? And what is the ultimate purpose of this gruelling gladiatorial contest?
With its intricate fantasy setting and heart-pounding action sequences,Last Man has become the smash hit comics series in France. Combining compelling character-driven storytelling with fast-paced adventure, Last Man is an addictive series with a cliffhanger at the end of each volume that leaves readers panting for more.
About Last Man: The Royal Cup
Richard Aldana, the mysterious stranger who entered the Games in the first volume of Last Man, continues to defeat all of his competitors, despite his outlandish refusal to use any magic, and to rely solely on martial arts. With young Adrian fighting at his side, he’s beginning to look like a likely contender for the Royal Cup.
But in a breathtaking twist, everything changes: this world is not what you thought it was, and Richard Aldana is certainly not who he claimed.
With the same fast-paced action-oriented storytelling and gorgeous art asThe Stranger, the second volume of the Last Man series changes all the rules, and will leave readers eagerly awaiting book three!
Coming on June 23rd!
About Last Man: The Chase
Richard Aldana, the mysterious stranger who entered the Games in the first volume of Last Man, continues to defeat all of his competitors, despite his outlandish refusal to use any magic, and to rely solely on martial arts. With young Adrian fighting at his side, he’s beginning to look like a likely contender for the Royal Cup. But in a breathtaking twist, everything changes: this world is not what you thought it was, and Richard Aldana is certainly not who he claimed.
With the same fast-paced, action-oriented storytelling and gorgeous art asThe Stranger, the third volume of Last Man changes all the rules, and will leave readers eagerly awaiting Book 4!
Coming in October!
About the authors:
Bastien Vives studied illustration and animation at the Ecole des Gobelins. After movie-making classes, he dived into comics, and his first title came out in 2007.
Balak (aka Yves Bigerel) works as a storyboard artist, 2D animator and TV show director in France. He works with Marvel Comics on the new digital Infinite Comics brand, as a storyboard artist (Avengers VS X-men with Mark Waid, Guardians of the Galaxy with Brian M. Bendis, Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour).
Michael Sanlaville graduated from the Emile Cohl school, and later the Gobelins, after which he followed twin careers in animation (at the Xilam studio) and in comics with Casterman Publishers.
Check out the rest of the stops on the tour for more interviews with the authors!
Good OK Bad, 6/15 http://goodokbad.com/
Supernatural Snark, 6/16 http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com/
The Book Wars, 6/17 https://thebookwars.wordpress.com/
Alice Marvels, 6/18 http://www.alicemarvels.com/
Comics & Cola, 6/19 http://www.comicsandcola.com/
Fleen, 6/22 http://fleen.com/
Graphic Policy, 6/23 http://graphicpolicy.com/
The Book Rat, 6/24 http://www.thebookrat.com/
Graphic Novel Resources, 6/25 http://graphicnovelresources.blogspot.com/
Women Write About Comics, 6/26 http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/