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Making Pages Dance

Feb 25, 2013

Brownies earning their Dancer badge will appreciate the work of French writers/artists Bertrand Escaich and Caroline Roque, known together as Béka. Along with their illustrator partner, Crip, they create the Dance Class series about three girls who share one passion: dance!

“For Dance Class, I read lots of books about dance with Bertrand, and we try to see ballets,” Caroline says. But Caroline and Bertrand are interested in lots more than dance, and find inspiration for their graphic novels everywhere. “Be curious about everything: movies, travel, cooking, and art. Everything can enrich a story or give you an idea for a point of departure,” Caroline adds.

For Bertrand, he tries to find the secrets behind writing magical stories. “As a child when I would read the great authors, I sensed very quickly that there was something ‘magical’ there. They weren’t like the others, so I wanted to crack their secrets,” he explains. “By studying the outlines of their books I discovered what technical tricks they used to bring readers into their worlds. It was fascinating! So I wanted to try to find tricks for myself that would allow me to make a book you can’t put down.”

Bertrand also finds inspiration in films: “Look also at what the artists at Pixar have been able to do with simple toys in the Toy Story movies! They were able to see something else in toys we all had in our rooms as kids, and they wrote those three masterpieces of film.”

On The Studio, Béka reveals, step by step, how they create a graphic novel, from writing the script to drawing and coloring the pages. It’s a time-consuming process that takes a lot of thought, planning, and creativity, and ultimately Béka creates their own magic on every page.