Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Miguel Peres, an emergent Portuguese comic book writer. As a chunky Portuguese kid born in the late 80’s, I used to read a lot of comic books, fantasizing with the day I could write them. 2011 was the year when the dream came true, starting out in the world of comics as writer and co-editor of the Portuguese anthology Zone BD, focused on discovering young Portuguese and Brazilian artists. Since then, I have written a dozen short stories in national and international comics anthologies, as well as 4 graphic novels published in Portugal and Brazil. In the worst year of our recent lives, I wrote my first literary short novel, realizing that not every story is suited for this medium. I live happily in a semi-isolation state with my wife and newly born daughter in a small village by the sea.
How long have you been writing?
My passion for writing is old (can I say this at 34? I think I’ve earned that right), however, until I moved from that to something real, it took time – I started writing comics in 2012. I have to say that this is not my full-time job, although I would love for it to be.
What inspired you to begin writing?
Books have been a part of my life since I was little, as at my parents’ house they were the most common thing to see. A great source of inspiration was my father, who played two essential roles: he encouraged me to enter and read the world of characters like Tintin, Lucky Luke or Asterix; and as he also writes, he ended up influencing me to follow the same path. I think it also contributed that from an early age I was convinced that I was creative (I am yet to find out if I am) and that led me to believe that I really had something to say and do with my imagination.
What do you love about the medium of comics?
Recently, I stumbled upon this quote from one of my all-time favorite writers, Grant Morrison: “We’re all superheroes in our own stories and in comics we get to see our heroes wrestle with Guilt, Fear, Commitment, Love, Loss, in very direct, imaginative and entertaining ways.” I guess for me, this is what writing comics means: creating new worlds and characters that entertain the reader, but at the same time reflect our view of the different realities we live in. This medium has the particular aspect, which I love, of creating stories that are truly cinematic, but whose budget is the artists’ imagination. However, the creative process of writing comics is paradoxical for me: I love to see how the artist captures what I’ve written and reinvents the images with their imagination. It’s something magical and depends a lot on the creative chemistry of the team that’s working. But at the same time, my impatient side often clashes with the delay this process naturally has to take.
What are some comics that have inspired you?
Jeff Lemire was definitely a big inspiration for this story, particularly his graphic novel “Frogcatchers”, as well as “Royal City”. Another influence was “Toutinegra” by André Oliveira, one of the best Portuguese comic book writers who, unfortunately, has not yet had the international recognition he deserves.
What inspired you to write Fishing Memories?
Memory is a subject close to my heart. On one hand, I have a terrible memory and I forget things I wish I didn’t. On the other hand, one of my greatest fears is that me or my work will be forgotten when I die. Although I know that this eventually happens to most people, it is something very present in my mind. I think that unconsciously this subject came up because I met the woman of my life and now my first daughter is born. In other words, the importance of family bonds and not forgetting the good moments, was definitely an inspiration.
Did you find it difficult to write?
Not really, the story flowed naturally. I think that of all the stories I wrote so far, it was the one that came out best, but it was also one that I took special care in all of its details.
How long did it take you to write?
The story took about a year to write – it wasn’t a very long process this time.
How did you go about looking for an artist?
Since 2016 I have been working with Brazilian artists on a daily basis. By entering this market, my network got wider, discovering new talents by word of mouth and instagram – and that’s how I met the great Majory Yokomizo.
What made you choose a graphic novel to tell this story?
Although I am an avid reader of american comics, this medium is not very common in Europe and Portugal is no exception. In other words, when I write I hardly think about it as a limited series or ongoing format in the first place. The graphic novel ends up being a more solid genre, which often allows us to have more careful editions.
Miguel Peres Links
Miguel Peres Blue Fox Comics Work
Fishing Memories – To be published
Blue Fox Publishing Limited
As well as comics, Simon writes plays, poetry, (award winning) film scripts. He also acts, directs and produces films, too, because why have any spare time…