Hi Lise, how would you introduce yourself?
I’m Lise Myhre, Norwegian cartoonist who lives in Oslo with my husband and two year old son.
How did you start to write Nemi?
Nemi was my first attempt to draw human beings, before then all my characters had been rats and crocodiles. I was balancing like 17 different jobs at the time, but after a few months with guest appearances in the “The Far Sides anthology” I was offered a daily strip in one of our national newspapers, I’ve been working full time as a cartoonist ever since.
Why did you choose this name?
I wanted a name that was different, but still easy enough to pronounce, a name that people could write down without checking how to spell it. I don’t know how well it works in french, but for Norwegians it’s perfect ;) I found the name in a book about myths, lake Nemi really exists, and is absolutely beautiful.
Nemi had a great success all over Europe and in the US. How do you explain this comic hasn’t come earlier in France?
I’m only one person and so is my agent, we’re not this big corporation, so we’re taking one step at a time... that said, I’m very excited to finally be published in France!
Why Milady graphics?
My agent is the one who works out all the deals, but I’m extremely happy to be working with this particular company, they’re wonderful people who have put tremendous amounts of work into keeping the french book true to the Norwegian original.
Nemi is well known also among the metal music fans; your husband is a metal musician, I have heard; does he influence your work?
Haha, no. Well, he makes me happy, so in a way he does. But we hardly ever talk about work, and although my husband was in a black metal band for years and I have many friends in that scene, I’ve never listened to that type of metal myself. I’m more of a WASP kinda gal ;) Besides, we’ve only been married a year, and Nemi has been around for a lot longer ;)
You’ve come recently to France to present the first Nemi edition in French. Which reception did it get?
I was amazed to meet several people who not only already knew Nemi, but who showed up in Nemi t shirts, same day the first book came out :)
In France we don’t know much the artists from your country, except Jason. Do you know his work?
Oh, I love him.
When we met we spoke about “Rocky” from Martin Kellermann, who is Swedish. Would you say that Rocky and Nemi could be friends?
Sure. They’ve even met a few times, in our strips.
When Tori Amos accepted to write the preface to Nemi, you must have been so happy?
I’m still having to pinch myself about that. I adore her.
Do you still work on Nemi today?
What do you mean, right now? I work with Nemi every day, seven days a week, sometimes more.
Do you have some others projects?
Yep. But it’s bad luck to talk about unfinished projects!
Interview réalisée le 16/12/2009, par Spooky.