Home Comics Indies The Indie Index - Interview with Bruno Oliveira

The Indie Index – Interview with Bruno Oliveira

Bruno Oliveira is a professional comic book artist from Brazil. Having worked for several publishers like IDW (Drones), Arcana, Oliveira has most recently donework for Marvel (Amazing Spider-Man Annual, Gwenpool Holiday Special, Mosaic). Bruno has been trying to find the right time to do this story for a long time. A story about working as a comic book artist and juggling all the important things in life…in an entertaining way. It’s a realisation of how an artist’s tragedies are only tragedies until he writes them down, and suddenly they’re funny! It’s Bruno Oliveira reduced to 64-pages!


What Now, Bruno? is currently on Kickstarter, what made you decide on using crowdfunding to make this project come to life?

It’s mostly because you can get a better understanding of your audience, you can get in touch with them and build a sort of relationship during the time of the campaign (and hopefully after as well). Besides, I wanted to have control over the quality of the printed material.

If you were to pitch What Now, Bruno? to a publisher in one sentence, what would it be?

It’s a good TV show in comic book form about the life of a comic book artist with his girlfriend.
What Now, Bruno? focuses on various aspects of your creative career along with your personal life. If What Now, Bruno? were to become a biopic, who would you like to portray you and why?

Oh, that’s interesting. If it was shot in Brazil, I’d like to play myself, get fired and then do auditions. If it was made in the U.S., maybe Josh Gad if he lost a few pounds (I’m not that fat yet).

Personally, what is your definition of “breaking in”?

That’s a fantastic question and I asked myself that before doing the campaign. I think it’s a personal definition, it’s what you consider that stage in which you feel like a professional artist (even though most people see you as a professional before that, it usually takes a while before you see yourself like that). To me, breaking in happened the first time I was published at Marvel.
How did your big break come about?

It was actually because of my girlfriend. I have been sending samples since 2006 to Marvel but only started to get some attention around 2009. However, nothing happened. I kept sending samples and something weird happened in 2011. They stopped telling me to fix things. It was like they liked the art, but no work was coming.
So finally in 2015 my girlfriend said: why don’t you get a table at an artist alley somewhere? Because I never felt like a pro, that honestly had never crossed my mind. I told her I wasn’t ready and she said it was nonsense. So I applied to get a table at Comic Con Experience here in Brazil and as it turned out, the guy I’ve sending my samples all these years (Rickey Purdin) happened to come by my table, remembered me and we started talking a bit more. About 3 months after the con, I got my first work for Marvel.

You’ve worked in both indie and mainstream comics, what’s the difference between the two in regards to creativity and boundaries?

Honestly, I got a lot more freedom from Marvel than small projects. Basically because most small projects are someone else’s dream you’re working with. So they tend to give a lot more instructions and sometimes ask for changes. With Marvel, the most important thing is the deadline. Quality should be a given because otherwise why the hell would they call you? So you have to deliver great work on time. If you can deliver that, you don’t have a problem and it’s such a joy to work!!
What creators should we keep an eye out for and why?

That question makes me feel like a veteran and I’m certainly not even close. But I’m a huge fan of Daniel Johnson! The guy is amazing! Now when it comes to writers, Felipe Cagno! That guy is getting bigger and bigger and it’s not gonna be long before a big publisher grabs him! And they would be very lucky to do so!
I normally ask interviewees what advice they’d give to aspiring creators, I’d like to ask you: What advice would you give to creators wanting to break in?

Doing this story about myself I had to revisit a lot of concepts that we say but take for granted. I think we need to ask ourselves a bunch of questions before we say: I want to break in.
That meaning to everyone is different. But assuming you mean getting into a big publisher, I would say do your own work and put it on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere. Try to get noticed from your own work. Publishers see the recognition you’re getting without big name characters and think: imagine what that guy can do with our Spider-Man?
And one other thing if I may, try to think about your career. What do you want it to be? Learn how to talk to editors, writers and artists. Be polite to everyone and remember everyone.
Plug your work:

Currently I have a campaign on Kickstarter to launch my comic book called “What Now, Bruno?”. About the life of a comic book artist and his girlfriend. And if you want to see more of my work, my instagram is @bbrunoliveira and my tumblr is bbrunoliveira.tumblr.com
Interview by Mike Speakman.

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