RICH INTERVIEWS: Ana Oncina Writer/Artist “Croquette & Empanda: A Love Story”

First Comics News: How did you get into making illustrated books?

Ana Oncina: Since I was a little girl I liked to read comics, I used to draw my own stories taking as a reference the mangas I was reading.

When I finished high school I knew that the only thing I liked was to draw, so I started to study arts and in my last year of career I made Croquette and Empanada. I never thought that someone could publish it but with the support of my partner and family I sent it to publishers and to my surprise, they published it.

1stWhy use a croquette and empanada as the main characters in your book?

Ana: It all started on a trip to Berlin where it couldn’t get any worse. Croquette and empanada came up as a joke with my partner while we were visiting the fine arts museum. I was tired because the trip was being a disaster and in Spain, we have a joke, when you say that you are empanada is that you are like in another world, thinking and absent. Because of that, my partner called me an empanada and I automatically told him he was a croquette. As the trip was being a disaster I started to draw the story with these characters and so began the first story, which appears in the first book

1stHow would you describe Croquette and Empanada’s personalities?

Ana: It’s strange to describe them because there’s so much of us in croquette and empanada. Although when the story goes on I have felt more identified with croquette and I think my partner with empanada.

Empanada is perhaps more impatient and croqueta instead is patient. Although empanada is more organized with the order at home, it is more chaotic.

1stWhy do Croquette and Empanada belong together?

Ana: Because they love each other.

1st: Will there ever be more books of “Croquette and Empanada”?

Ana: In Spain, there are already 3 books published and a Christmas special.

I’d love it if they came out in English, too.

1st: How would you describe your art style?

Ana: I think my style is in constant evolution and since I made the first book of Croquette and Empanada I have changed a lot. But I think if I had to define it, I’d say it’s influenced by manga and the French-Belgian comic.

1stWhat is “Bola” about?

Ana: Bola is a self-published book with stories published on Instagram from 2014 to 2018.

1st: What else are you currently working on?

Ana: My last comic book came out in November. It’s called The fucking 30 and it’s about the expectations and frustrations that society places on you when you turn 30.

1stAre you at all like Croquette or Empanada?

Ana: Not exactly. I think I have a lot of croquette too and my partner looks like an empanada too.

1st: What is Barcelona like?

Ana: It’s a beautiful city with a lot of history. Also, a lot of comic culture and I love that.

1st: What motivates you to create?

Ana: Especially discovering new authors and reading comics.

1st: What is a day in the life of Ana Oncina composed of?

Ana: A little stressful I think. I work long hours and I’ve been studying Japanese for a few months now. In my free time, I mostly play video games and read comics.

1st: What do you like to read?

Ana: I like to read manga, comics, and novels. I usually read several things at once because every time I go to a bookstore I end up buying something and I end up accumulating reading. I’m currently reading several mangas and Murakami’s book 1Q84.

1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your work?

Ana: I would like to say that I am very grateful and happy that you read and support my work.

I never thought I would be able to draw and tell stories and without my readers, it would be unthinkable.

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