Women In Comics Month: Interview With Laura Zuccheri
Feb 23, 2016
In honor of Women in Comics this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with artist Laura Zuccheri!
PREVIEWSworld: Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are you currently working on?
Laura Zuccheri: I'm currently working on an adaptation of Robert Silverberg's book Downward to the Earth. Additionally, part of my career is dedicated to painting and I have a collaboration with an Art Gallery in Milano, Salamon & Co.
PREVIEWSworld: How long have you been working with sequential art? What titles, companies, and creators have you worked with over your time in comics?
Laura Zuccheri: I started my career in 1992, working on an Italian comic, Ken Parker. During that time I was Ivo Milazzo's assistant. Gradually, I developed as an artist and in 1996 I worked on another Italian comic for [publisher] Sergio Bonelli Editore called Julia. In 2006, I began working on the French comic project, The Swords of Glass for Humanoids which I completed in 2014.
PREVIEWSworld: Did you have a mentor or hero in the industry that inspired you to pursue a career in comics?
Laura Zuccheri: I have no mentors but several inspirational artists: Moebius, Alex Toth and Sergio Toppi. For painting: Andrew Wyeth.
PREVIEWSworld: In your opinion, how has the comic book industry evolved in terms of gender?
Laura Zuccheri: To be honest I can't see many changes concerning gender in the comic industry. Of course nowadays there are more women in comics, but it remains a very restricted number of female authors. Creating comics is a hard job, it requires a lot of practice, absolute and total dedication, great self-confidence and mental agility. In addition, being a comic book artist is a solitary job and the loneliness that comes with it, it can be something really tough to stand, and quite often women prefer doing something different. Another fact is that we have to be much better than men in order to have the same chances. It’s hard, really hard condition.
PREVIEWSworld: What stereotypes do you see surrounding women in comics? How could people of all genders go about breaking those stereotypes?
Laura Zuccheri: I always see all kinds of stereotypes surrounding women, but it is so in every field. People, and I mean both women and men, think that women don't have the same drive and talent as men. In order to break those stereotypes, our society needs to change its education system. Girls are taught differently than boys, so that it's rare to see women with a strong sense of independence and freedom. Consequently, not many women pursue a high level in their career. In my opinion there is still a lot to do.
PREVIEWSworld: How do you want to see women represented in comic books 10 years from now?
Laura Zuccheri: I would like to see an equal treatment concerning opportunities and I would like to see women with greater self-confidence.
PREVIEWSworld: If you could give advice to any aspiring editors, executives, writers, or artists, what would you tell them?
Laura Zuccheri: It's important to avoid the trends and put something really original into your work...You have to be yourself and keep an open mind.
PREVIEWSworld: And lastly, are there any up-and-coming women creators who you would recommend readers check out?
Laura Zuccheri: There are a few comic creators, I'm thinking of Barbara Canepa and a very talented artist, Sara Pichelli.