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Work / Illustration

Illustrator Antoine Cossé talks about the highs and lows of creating comic books

Paris-born illustrator and cartoonist Antoine Cossé uses a mix of ink, watercolour, markers and pencil to create his delicate, fine line drawings. “My influences started with Herge, Crumb, then Chris Ware,” Antoine says. “I like reading a lot too. I also look at photography, cinema and architecture – I pick a lot from dreams too.”

Over the last few years Antoine has created several, beautifully detailed comic books including Harold, Nwai, Mutiny Bay and Palace 0 with Breakdown Press. The narratives vary from a broken-hearted man taking out his pain on his modernist house in Nwai, to more complex, historically-informed stories taking place in 1519 with Mutiny Bay. “A longer book is a lot more work. You need a routine and discipline. I find that comics, whatever their length, are a lot to do with rhythm,” explains Antoine. “It can be very exciting and fun with short stories. When you work on a longer book, you need to stretch this rhythm a lot more, and it’s challenging. There is also a lot more editing, a lot more research. You need to keep yourself interested. It’s very rewarding but very hard.”

To break up lengthier projects, the illustrator also works on a lot of commercial and editorial briefs for clients including The New York Times, Unicef and The Guardian. Antoine enjoys not working to a narrative, instead depicting one moment, story or idea. “It’s nice to get a break from working in comics. It’s a different exercise. Somehow there is a lot less pressure to it,” he says.

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