Interview: Diana Cubo

How would your biography begin? (Where you are from, where you live, etc.)
It would be something like this: “Ana Galvañ, a comic-book creator, and illustrator from Murcia. After studying fine art at university in Valencia, she eventually settles in Madrid, where she now works in her studio”.

When did your interest in illustration start? And specifically in comics?
I think it started under the influence of the comics I read and the cartoons I watched as a child. I spent my childhood in the 80s under the influence of cathode rays, so I spent hours watching series like Ulysses 31, Robotech or Candy Candy. In fact, the first comics I drew were influenced by manga.

What inspires you when making comics, personal experiences or crazy thoughts?

They are mostly crazy thoughts, feelings, and moods, which I want to give expression to and channel into something consistent. And, of course, some personal experiences as well, belonging to both my friends and acquaintances, but always diluted in fiction.

Who are your favourite comic-book writers?
Two of my favorite authors are Josephin Ritschel and Aisha Franz. About Ritschel I like his atmospheres, his obsession with architecture and his tributes to B movies. Of Franz, I would highlight his ability to create complex, strange, dark characters and universes. The two of them succumb to science fiction, and I love that.

What would you say has been your professional milestone?
I once attended the SPX festival as a guest author with writers who I admire like Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns.

Is it possible to live off making comics in Spain or unfortunately do you need to have another job to pay the bills?

I think it’s possible but very difficult and depends on the type of comics you make. I know authors who engage in humour or work for the French or American market, and this is perfectly profitable. What is clear is that it’s more difficult for alternative comics to generate profits even in countries where there is a strong industry.

At present in Spain, many groups and artists support each other. Who have you worked with?
I have worked with graphic-and-sound collectives, fanziners, and publishers like Hits With Tits, Pettirosso Press, Bosta, Fresquito fanzine, Miame, Bulbasaur, Finnegans, Libros Mutantes, Graf, Fosfatina, Apa-Apa, and Ultrarradio among others. Also, I coordinate Tik Tok, which is a platform that supports and promotes emerging comics, either national or from Spanish-speaking countries.

Apart from the endless hours spent at comic and self-publishing festivals, what positive experiences do you get from this?
Festivals are strenuous but fun, with all those talks, parties and concerts. It’s nonstop. And all those endless hours sometimes create synergies and partnerships with other groups that lead to new joint projects, which is very positive.

Would you say that it is difficult to be in the world of comics being a girl?

I think, again, it depends on what area you work in. With fanziners and in self-publishing circles, it is easier, because it is an equal world and there is more awareness in general. But once you step out of there, you can feel the claws of sexism getting ahold of you.

Tell us a little about your current work and upcoming projects.
My last published comics are Más allá del arco iris (self-published) and Luz verdadera (ed. Fosfatina). The first is a story of two teenage pony girls that meet after class in their secret cave, and the second is the story of a group of women living in the forest in a kind of cosmic sisterhood. Right now, I am in the process of creating a long comic book that I will publish with Apa-Apa.

Where can we see your stuff and buy everything?
On my website, you can see a sample of my work and links to my networks and my online store: www.anagalvan.com. Thank you!

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