Women in Comics – Alexia Othonaiou

Our women in comics spotlight really is international. Meet Alexia Othonaiou, who answered all our questions!

How did you get into comics?

I read comics as a kid but I had no idea about adult comics till I was 17 when my boyfriend’s friend introduced me to the Sandman and the Preacher series, which I loved. At the time I was already an art student so apart from the fun of reading comics I was also very intrigued and inspired by the artwork. I became a regular comic book reader and soon I wanted to write and draw my own stories. Comics as an art form is a very strong, very direct medium which gives you the opportunity to tell stories just the way you want to. And storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

Tell us a bit about the projects you’ve worked on:

I have created short stories, series, strips and illustrations for magazines, newspapers and comic book anthologies, the comic book album “Bleeding Hearts” (a collection of short horror stories) in collaboration with Spiros Derveniotis (published by Jemma Press in Greece) and drew an issue of comic book series “Syndrome” (published by Comicdom Press also in Greece).

Currently I’m writing and drawing a comic book series for a monthly literature magazine and putting the final touches on my 64-page graphic novel which is going to be published this year by Jemma Press. Its title originally was “Night of Falling Skies” but I think I’ll have to settle with something else since it’s going to be published in Greek and the title doesn’t really translate. “Night of Falling Skies” is a “frame” story about a businessman, a veteran hitman, an escort, a bar tender, mortality, loneliness, a road trip, death, London, life changing experiences, adventure, love, sex, a rooftop, fear, happiness, despair and second chances.

What is your favourite work that you’ve done so far?

I can’t really say. All of the projects I’ve worked on reflect different parts of me and are connected to who I was and what I wanted to say at the time. Although I think that the project I feel as most personal is my graphic novel, “Night of Falling Skies”.

Did you ever get advice about the field that you’d like to pass on?

A really good advice about storytelling is something Robert Rodriguez once said. If you have a dog, say a story about a dog. Don’t say a story about a cat, or a pig.

Also a friend once said “Write the stories you would enjoy reading and draw pictures you would put up on your wall”. It’s amazing that if I think about it there are very few pages I am so content with that I would actually proudly put on my wall.

What is your favourite thing to write or draw?

I have a thing for “frame stories”, stories in which an introductory main story is composed for the purpose of setting the stage for a fictive narrative or organising a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story. The frame story leads readers from the first story into the smaller one within it.

Also I have a thing for creating characters with interesting psyche and background and then making them interact with each other and see what happens. It’s like fooling around in a chemistry lab with different elements not really knowing what will come out in the end.

When it comes to drawing I love drawing dangerous women, city scapes, animals, pinups in general and a bunch of other stuff I can’t really think of right now.

In an ideal world, in what direction would you like to see your project evolve?

In an ideal world I would get paid really well for writing and drawing graphic novels. When I had writers blocks Neil Gaiman would ask me to illustrate his stories, Joss Whedon would want me to write a couple of Buffy issues and from time to time I’d do pinups for other titles. My graphic novel “Night of Falling Skies” would become a movie and I’d get to pick the cast and co-direct. Also I would work in a circus as an acrobat for at least three months every year and my boyfriend wouldn’t be allergic to cats so I could have 5.

Links to your work:

www.alexiaothonaiou.com
www.alexiaothonaiou.blogspot.com

And finally your last thought:

Gals keep up the good work!

About Dee

Officially a Canastralian. Longtime comic fan, and lover of the graphic medium. Grey up with the X-Men and Avengers, and moved to the world of DC and independents shortly after. Cosplayer, Costumer, and all around crafty person. Loves to travel and works her butt off for a number of conventions here in Oz.
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