Talking with R.M. Guera
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Rajko Milošević a.k.a. R.M. Guéra has been drawing comic books professionally since 1982. He debuted in the Yugoslav comic book industry and has since been published in Spain, France, and of course the United States. He has worked with Jason Aaron on the critically acclaimed series "Scalped", which is one of top 10 favorite books. He has also collaborated with Aaron on " The Goddamned", a book set in biblical times before the Flood. That book while only having one volume out, is another solid book, and I can't wait for the next chapter.
Comic Lounge: How did you first get your start in comics?
R.M. Guera: If you mean “at all”, I was just drawing abundantly since I knew about myself; and if you meant when aiming to go pro, in late seventies there were comic book magazines in Ex-Yugoslavia (“Yu Strip”, “Stripoteka” & many more...). Although pretty young, I just went there, presented myself & it started. Instantly. From smaller to bigger stuff.
Comic Lounge: Scalped is one of my favorite books, I've read the whole series at least 5 times. What was it like working with Jason Aaron on "Scalped"? Were you surprised it was as successful as it was?
R.M. Guera: Many thanks mate. It was superb of course, we’re still working together as you know. Maybe the best word would be ‘natural’ & from the get-go, some kind of instant chemistry. We’re different by nature, so it could be said, twas like a coin finding its other side.
Success was a great consequence, but the main thing was that everyone gave all they had all the time. Nobody
measured anything, we had great time working hard, so when Scalped gained general acceptance, it was more like a feeling of relief. Admiration came through enjoyment, gave peace.
Comic Lounge: Did you go on location for referencing for the book?
R.M. Guera: I've been asked that various times & I still consider it as one of the biggest compliments. No, I didn’t. There’s an eventual secret to that & it’s that I was drawing what I saw while spending time among Serbian gypsies – the whole thing, poverty, constant smell of violence, dirt, pointless existence, hierarchies... Things like those, I took that feel. And western is in my blood stream (maybe IS my blood stream). I saw “Wild Bunch” in a number that could be worrying...
Comic Lounge: What character did you enjoy drawing the most?
R.M. Guera: All of them, really. It's not just a phrase.
The only one that can be considered as special is Granny Poor Bear, as it is an actual portray of my own grandmother from my mother’s side. She also was like that – very decisive, adult, tough, aimed... Charming in that adult way that seems like it's disappearing from society in general and I miss it a lot.
Comic Lounge: I know there are plans to adapt the series for television, what are your feelings about that?
R.M. Guera: Good, but seems like the whole thing came to a stop. They made a pilot, but I’m not sure it’ll come to be.
Comic Lounge: You also work on "The Goddamned" with Aaron, are there any plans to continue that book?
R.M. Guera: Yes, I’m working on the second book as we speak.
Comic Lounge: Which artists influenced you the most when you were younger?
R.M. Guera: It’s a peculiar mix, and it’s the old guys all the way. Real heroes.
Probably the most important influence of my life was Joao Mottini, he came early, before my teens, and definitely made my skeleton, my essence. I really doubt I could put in words the impact he had on me. At the same time, but with lesser importance came Ruggiero Giovannini and Alberto Breccia (as I said – peculiar. They’re not generally known, sorry to say).
From my puberty onwards, there came people who made my muscles:
Jean Giraud and Franquin as most important, but all the time mixed with very, very strong presence of people like Frank Robbins, Jack Davis, Wallace Wood, Noel Sickles... It is difficult to puzzle it all out. Even with age.
Comic Lounge: Do you ever plan on working on other characters like Batman, etc.?
R.M. Guera: Yes of course, I’d love to, that’s always present, but I really have difficulties with clichés. I’m bit awkward on doing expected. Script is the key.
Comic Lounge: Are there any projects you're currently working on that you can talk about?
R.M. Guera: “The Goddamned” obviously, as the main project; I’m also at the final stage of western book “Golden Gun” (album sized “Tex Willer” series) for Italian “Sergio Bonelli”, tho I’ll try to avoid doing two books at the same time in the future. It really can be exhausting.
Next year is almost sold-out, some US aimed, some European, but for the moment it’s better not to say too much, as schedules can be hard on verifying one’s word.