Four Questions for: David Füleki

In his autobiography, David Füleki draws himself as a Native American child who lived off refuse and mutated into a comic artist after a career as a shoplifter. Alternatively, he is spat out by a flower and discovers a couple of coloured pencils in a turtle’s vomit. David Füleki, born 1985, moves beyond the pale of convention – combining horror scenes with fairy-tale kitsch and action heroes with comedy elements.

David FülekiIn 2008, together with Roy Seyfert, he founded the publishing house Delfinium Prints, where among other things he is active as artist and editor. In 2005 he won the now-defunct magazine Banzai’s comic contest, and in 2008 the comic duel of the magazine Comicgate at the Erlangen Comic salon. In 2011 he was awarded the ICOM Independent Comic Prize for his series Entoman.

Your comics are a colourful mix of reality and fiction, slapstick comedy and art, fairy-tales and splatter. How did this come about?

David FülekiThis chaotic mixing up of genres has practically become my trademark, since it is really very unusual, and which of course makes me happy. But when I’m drawing I don’t feel it’s unnatural or somehow weird. Basically, where drawing is concerned, everything should be permissible – every emotion, every idea, every genre. In other words: when I’m looking for ingredients for my story, I leave no drawer unopened until I’ve found the right seasoning. And on the whole, my readers seem to like it (which even now is what amazes me most of all).

What inspires your work? Do you have role models to orient yourself?

David FülekiI’ve always tried to distance myself from role models, because such idolisation of a particular artist entices one into merely approximating him or her stylistically. Then you are only a copy and your art has no genuine reason for existing. After all, art should tread new paths that no one has thought up before.

On the other hand, letting oneself be inspired by other artists is indispensable. The entirety of these inspirations intermingles – if you’re lucky – and lays an egg from which your idea then hatches. Sense impressions like the taste of good food inspire me, too. Evil tongues claim my works reveal a certain “lust for gluttony.”

You also produce web comics and combine sound and image. What attracts you to this?

Inter-mediality in comics offers one a wide scope: I can include my readers and let them participate in the production process. Since often more ideas come from readers than I can implement in drawings, I have expanded a few works, with Bewegtbild, sound or an interactive interface. I work with filmmakers like David Brückner or Marcel Hugi Hugenschutt. In this way, a variety of short comic films and music videos emerged that are intended to help us gain fleeting fame, fortune and worldly trinkets on YouTube.

Can you describe how you work?

Most of the time it all starts with sudden flashes of inspiration, supposedly stupid ideas that seem more and more intelligent the more I think about them, until I catch myself playing at putting together a comic with them. While I’m drawing, my mind contributes ideas as well, that if all goes well I can weave in spontaneously and harmoniously. In my experience, stories that arise according to this pattern are the ones that are also best received, because they are unpredictable, easy-going and, well, just different.

The whole thing is implemented with everything I can get my hands on. By now, I’ve probably had contact with every sort of analogue paints – including the non-removable kind, as one can see on many of my clothes, which unfortunately I often use as wipes. I’ve painted with freshly-picked flowers, dirt, coffee, beer or juice spritzers. The “apple juice spritzer colouration” has become a party gag at my autograph sessions. Right now I often work with Copic markers, water-colour and tempera paints, and with my computer.

Rieke C. Harmsen conducted the interview.
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
March 2012
Related links

Weblog: The City of Tomorrow

Comic artists from Germany and East Asia are telling stories from a sustainable future and from our still not quite so ecological present.