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Hello again children!

This Gal is back for another interview, my 12th I believe here on the Moonstone site,
this time featuring fan-favorite artist Zeu!

Zeu has a new creator-owned project here at the ol’ Moon: The INFINITEENS!
The first issue will be coming soon to your local comic shop, so it seemed like the PERFECT time to sit down for a chat.
So, let’s get down to it, shall we?


So what is a Zeu?

Zeus are engines of creation. Plain and simple.
You sit them in front of a drawing board and they materialize the voices in their heads into shapes and forms on a blank sheet of paper. Zeus are very simple, reliable pieces of equipment, low maintenance, easy to operate.
They do have an appetite for world domination but I´ve already said too much :)

Lori:  Zeu, thanks so much for taking the time to chat about a project that is near and dear to your heart, the new superhero book
here at Moonstone: The Infiniteens!  Give our readers a brief overview of what they can expect in your new book.

Zeu: Well, Infiniteens is the story of a group of friends who want to become superheroes. .it ´s a human tale of four naďve kids who decide to change the world and end up fighting for their very lives, struggling to save their small town.
It´s a high octane saga with lots of action, heart, fun, friendship and – dare I say it?- romance.

Lori: Where did you get the idea for Infiniteens? Is this something you’ve been thinking about for a while? How far into the story have you planned?

Zeu: Infiniteens have been with me for a long time, probably as far as my childhood, when I’d hang with my friends and would often go “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had superpowers? Just imagine the stunts we’d pull.”
It’s been a long way since then, but I think that’s the spirit that powers the Infiniteens, friendship. I’ve built the an 8-part saga, a compartmentalized story arc that leaves one or two threads open for a possible sequel, another mini or even an ongoing depending of what the future holds.
I have a few good years still left (no really shoot me right now) in me.

Lori: Can you give us a brief rundown of the main characters? Who is your target audience with Infiniteens?

Zeu: The Infiniteens are formed by four heroes:
Nadia “Tripper” Markov is a shifter, a young lady with the ability to cross dimensions.
She’s the team leader, a resourceful, extremely intelligent young lady whose happy-go-lucky attitude hides a will of steel.

Luther “Dreadnought” Kilmore, resident powerhouse is her second-in-command. He’s a very level-headed young man and the one who keeps the group grounded to reality.

Julian “Visionary” Lerner is the tech-artist, a dreamer able to create the most outlandish devices imaginable.

Last but not least,Beverly “Twinblast” Garcia is the wildcard, a girl with a dark past who was literally hijacked into the team.

Around this core group gravitates a plethora of unique characters, from the Muhler twins who sometimes assist them as a backup team to Chief Barnes, decorated war hero who lost countless men fighting event freaks to Miss Ifwitch, a strange lady who roams the streets at night playing her flute.
I’ve tried to make Infiniteens a story for all ages but I am aware that some plotlines - namely Beverly ´s love life - may go over some heads.

Lori: Is this your first comic that you’ve been able to both write and draw? How has this experience been different than
just being responsible for the art on a comic book series?

Zeu: I’ve had plenty of previous experiences playing all the instruments and I can definitely say that it´s a whole new ballgame, compared to being just the artist.
It´s hard to say which one is more enjoyable since in the end everything evens out .It ´ s cool to be able to tell your own story but it’s also really great to be able to collaborate with writers, see their minds tick, the back and forth of input.
The responsibility is much greater when you sign the credits for both story and art because you re the one behind the
whole operation. You´re not just a minion in the background, you’re in the limelight and the one whose head goes on the platter. But I think it pays off in the end.

Lori: What other projects have you worked on, both in the past, and upcoming projects?

Zeu: My very first published work was Medusa 31, an album which won an award in Portugal. In the US, I started in the pages of the Digital Webbing Presents anthology with a small story written by Joshua Gamon, followed by the one-shot Cloudburst, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray for Image Comics. With Justin I also did Vengeance of the Mummy, published by Moonstone Books. At the same time I got to work with Jim Keplinger on a series for FC9 Publishing called Genie. Presently I´m working on General Jinjur Comics´ flagship title Charlatan, written by Gil Lawson and Project ELohIm for Strange Matter Comics, written by Rebecca Hicks. And of course, I´m polishing up Infiniteens any chance I get.

Lori: Zeu, rather off subject, but I just have to ask you a personal question, is “Zeu” short for something else, or is that your god-given name? Either way it definitely has pizzazz!

Zeu: My real name is Eliseu Gouveia but my friends and family have always called me Zeu for short. When I started working as an artist I adopted it immediately as a pseudonym since it ´s short and to the point, easier to remember than “Eliseu Gouveia” which you’ll have to admit is quite a mouthful.:)
The fun part is seeing how different people pronounce it, from Italians to French, to Portuguese to Americans; everyone seems to have a unique take on it.

Lori: What kind of formal art training have you had, if any? How long have you been earning your keep as an “artiste”?

Zeu: I´m an autodidact, self taught all the way. My academic formation was more technical, in the field of electrotechnical engineering and eventually, time came when I had to make a career choice. I chose to follow my Muse.
I started as a freelance illustrator in 95, drawing schoolbooks first, children´s books, a couple didactic comics, some publicity campaigns...
Been 10 very strange, wild years but I wouldn ´t have it any other way.

Lori: I realize you are not from the States, so can you tell us a little bit about where you are from and what it’s been like being an artist there? From what source do you draw your inspiration? (Ha ha, get it? I said “draw!”-I know, I know, I am oh so very witty, but now back to you Zeu.)

Zeu: LOL. Well, I´m Portuguese, and out here we don´t have a big comic industry yet, being a small country and all. We get comics from all corners of the world, so it´s kinda hard to say who influenced me the most. From American to japanese to european artists, I´ve read everything. It´s terrible, really, when it comes to pinpoint who are my sources of inspiration. From Hal Foster to Byrne to Perez, Buscema, Bilal, Moebius, Charest, Civiello, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Masamune Shirow, Ryoichi Ikegami, Bourgeon, Uderzo, Franquin, Frezzatto, Frazeta, Miguelanxo Prado, Adam Hughes, J.H. Williams III, Brian Hitch, Serpieri, Manara, Hugo Pratt, Masakazu Katsura, Alex Ross, Simon Bisley, Cabanes, Boucq, Russ Manning, Alan Davis, Frank Cho, Romita Jr.,Bissette…… there are SO MANY!

Lori: Zeu, have you always been a comic book fan? What were some of your favorite comics growing up, and what titles do you enjoy reading now?

Zeu: Yeah, as far as I can remember, I’ve always had a comic in my hands. Even before I could read I remember admiring the amazing art and the frustration from not being able to understand what was being said. Growing up I read pretty much everything I got my hands on, from European to American (superheroes, Disney, horror) comics. I remember this Tarzan issue drawn by Russ Manning, “The Secret of the Swamp Barrier”… I must have read it hundreds of time, memorized every line, every brush stroke.

Nowadyas I don´t have as much time as I used to but I try to keep up, Ultimates, Astonishing X-Men, Justice, Wonder Woman… I´m easy.

Lori: One final question Zeu, something I ask everyone I interview: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Zeu: Ooh, good one! Normally, I ´d say flying but lately I got to think about it a bit more and I ´d love to be a “Reality Warper”, like in the Clairmoont/Byrne´ s Proteus Saga. Because if you think about it, once you get a hold of such power, you´re pretty much a god. You can warp objects, people (who wants to have Elle McPherson´s body?), rotate gravity, change the weather…. the only limit is literally your imagination.
And I DO have a vivid imagination.

Lori:Thanks again for chatting with me Zeu!
Ok, Moonstone readers, be sure to pick up a copy of INFINITEENS #1 when it hits shelves in October!
And if you haven’t already, try Zeu’s other Moonstone work, Vengeance of the Mummy #1 and #2; they are specially priced right now!

Until next time…. Moonstone Gal out!

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Friday, October 09, 2015
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