Firstly many thanks Nicolás Daniel Selma for this interview for Tomb Raider Collection is a pleasure to have you and you devote a few words.
How would you describe Nicolás Daniel Selma?
It is a difficult question (laughs), but I would describe it as a seeker, a person seeking to achieve their dreams and goals, being persistent
How did you discover your interest in art?
Art was always an interest in my life, I think it starts from childhood. I remember that I liked just reading a book if I had drawings inside. My interest in art would describe the interest to detail and shapes.
What are the artists who have most influenced you? Do you have any favorites?
In the comics I have several, but the one of the most important for me is John Romita Jr, Joe Madureira and now Stuart Immonen. As for the animation, I was always inspired by the art of Disney.
What other artistic genres are in your interests?
The cartoons are of great interest. Overall I like art that tells stories, any kind of artistic way to tell a story, interests me.
What is your preference? Traditional drawing VS digital drawing
In recent years I have forays in digital drawing and I find it very interesting because it gives you speed unlike traditional drawing. That speed means it can deliver on time work. On the other hand traditional drawing is irreplaceable.
Tell us about your career
My professional career began in the field of cartoons about 10 years ago, I was fortunate to work on several film productions for Argentina and Mexico, among the best known were "Una película de Huevos" (Mexico) and "El Arca" (Argentina). At the same time I worked for animation projects in the comic industry as a freelancer. Then I traveled to Comic Con in San Diego and New York where I started getting contacts in the comic industry. In the 2012 Dark Horse opened the door for me to fulfill one of my dreams to be an artist of comics.
How did you get the job in the comic: Tomb Raider The Beginning? Why this comic was drawn between two different artists? (You and Andrea Mutti)
This request came from my great editor Dave Marshall, who gave me this great opportunity to work on this project. Originally this comic was going to be just a web comic, then he changed his mind and ended up being a book that was to be given to those who pre-order the game. When you have to print the comic there are less time to delivery, for this reason this comic has two artist working to meet deadlines.
How do you prepare when you assign a new comic, in this case Tomb Raider? Do you make several sketches to test your vision of the character, setting, clothes...
Yes, it was a challenge to develop the drawn of Lara Croft, because it´s a character in 3D, is very different to capture her in 2 dimensions. The good news is that the company (Crystal Dynamics) gave me a lot of material from the video game to be as faithful as possible to the original model
How is the process of creating comics of Tomb Raider?
The process is divided into several stages, I receive the script approved by the company, which must be analyzed and then I start making layouts. The layouts are sketches of each page, which you are viewing the camera and the action is happening in each panel. This is the part that requires more thought, composition and narrative, everything must be understood and flow with the story. Once the layouts are correct pencil stage begins, in which one defines these sketches and leaves as the final product.
How long it takes to generate a page of comics
All the layouts of a comic in about 5 days. Then the pencil of each page depends on the complexity, but the average is about a page per day
Did you like the character of Lara Croft before embarking on the design of her comics? Have you ever played her videogames
I always liked Lara Croft, did not consider myself a fan, but I always found her a interesting character. The previous games did not have the opportunity to play them, for various reasons I could not access one, but I played and completed Tomb Raider Reboot and think it was one of the year's best, maybe the best.
Did you know the comic book series Tomb Raider that was published in the late 90's and early 2000? What is your opinion?
Yes, I know about these comics, but I never read them, just saw some drawings and not much else. So I can not give you a definitive opinion
Do you know a estimated number of comics for the new series of Tomb Raider?
To my knowledge there is defined the amount yet
Receive the artist freedom to imagine the type of planes, locations, secondary characters, costumes of the characters ... or are details that are pre-set in the script?
It's fun because they give a lot of freedom in that respect, then one can imagine how Lara would dress in every situation. Same with the secondary characters in the comic, always have a description obviously, but the visual look is free within those set parameters
Have you ever felt that your creativity has been inhibited by the script of a comic book and you could not translate your idea freely?
Honestly, not every comic is a challenge and you learn to draw new things all the time, I think that is a rich and creative, overcome every challenge
Is there a lot of material discarded drawing compared to what gets published in a comic Tomb Raider? (Sketches, deleted scenes ...)
Not really, as I mentioned before, the stage of layout is very useful to avoid such problems, everything is clearer when this process is well defined
As an artist, What would be your dream for the future?
It's a very good question and difficult to answer, I think I'd get to draw characters that I like and also have the opportunity to create good stories. What I would like is to continue to grow and improve on what I do.
Nicolás, Thank you for your time. We wish you well in your life and in your career.
INTERVIEW: NICOLÁS DANIEL SELMA
Penciller in the new Tomb Raider comics published by Dark Horse since 2014.
Interview and translation by Rodrigo Martín Santos. Review: Kai Kaiky Gough. © 2014 Copyright Tomb Raider Collection. All rights reserved.