ComicBuzz Chats With Ilias Kyriazis

We got a chance to sit down and chat with Ilias Kyriazis. Ilias is a comics creator whose work can be seen in a number of titles, including Collapser, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Secret Identities, G.I.Joe/M.A.S.K, Melody, Elysium Online and Chronophange. His new Graphic novel What We Wished For is out today from Humanoids.


Hi Ilias, it’s so great to have you here with us.


Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello, everyone. I’m Ilias and I’ve been doing comics for a long time. I started in Greece and for the past fifteen years or so I’ve mostly been working with American publishers. I’m here to tell you about hands down the best comic I ever did.


Can you tell us about the origins of What We Wished For?

It’s actually based on the constant daydreaming I’ve been doing since I was a child. I always liked to visualize that “something” was travelling through space to reach me and when it arrived it’d make all my wishes come true. Whenever I was low I imagined “it” crossing the distance. Well, at some point the writer part of my brain was… “what if this was true but I wasn’t updating my wishes as I grew older? What if they were locked in from when I was a kid?”


How would you describe What We Wished For?

It’s a magical realism story about growing up, reaching your 40s and reevaluating your life. How far are we from who we were as children? Are we going down the right path?
All that along with what any good story needs: sex, violence, cakes and skateboard tricks.


What can you tell us about Angie, Dale, Michael, Patrick, Stella and Thanasis?

Angie is me pulling a Tony Stark of sorts, Lee and Kirby wanted to see if they could make you care about an amoral arms merchant… I’m trying it with the Pick-Me queen of the Men’s Rights Activists. Her journey may be one of my favorite bits of the book.
Dale is me looking at some of our worst impulses and how bad combination bitterness is with power. He’s a man who feels cheated by life.
Michael is a grief-stricken teacher in a pendulum between mourning and joy.
Patrick, a happily married personal trainer, arguably the most well-adjusted of the bunch, is the one whose wish is the most disruptive to the people around him.
Stella is a struggling artist that will have to deal with wasting her wish on something trivial. She won’t sit this one out though and takes center stage in organizing the group.
Thanasis was the golden child, stricken by tragedy and I’ll say no more.


How long have you been working on the What We Wished For graphic novel?

The idea started to take shape in 2017 but it’s based as I said on fantasies I had since childhood. As for the actual writing and drawing part I spent a couple of years on it (among other projects).


What has it been like working with Humanoids?

It’s been a very smooth experience. This is my second book with them and easily I’d do it again.


How did Humanoids get involved with What We Wished For?

It was right after I finished Chronophage for them. I was aching to write and draw a book myself again (it’s been almost ten years since the last time, my crowdfunded Elysium Online) and they seemed like they’d be a great home for my next project.
Actually, at first, I chickened out and I pitched a much “safer” comic to them. A simple genre story, a little by-the-numbers even. Them passing on it was the best thing for everyone because it was what pushed me to be “ok, you want an ambitious monster of a book? I have one for you!”


As a creator, do you prefer writing or creating art?

I hate answering using quotes but “I hate writing, I love having written” perfectly describes my feelings about it. Penciling feels like the backbone of the whole thing, inking is relaxing podcast time and coloring is like scratching a lotto ticket to reveal if you won or not.
Layouts though… that’s the best part!


How did Nikki Spanou and Tom Williams join the team?

Tom was brought in by Humanoids. I knew from the start that the lettering was something I’d have to delegate so I relied on Jake Thomas’ call. As for Nikki she was pretty much the only person I could stand collaborating this closely with, we were back-and-forth-ing the pages all the time.


What We Wished For has a very emotional story; are there many of your own real-life experiences seen in the pages of What We Wished For?

My first major series back in Greece was a much more overt semi-autobio comic that left me feeling quite exposed and since then I’m very vague when it comes to discussing the role real-life experiences have in my work. That being said you kind of have to put pieces of yourself in your work, don’t you? Your experiences are who you are and who you are is what shapes your art.


With What We Wished For releasing on July 9th, how do you feel?

The truth is that I’m confident in the book. I know it’s good work. Still though, I cannot wait to hear the first reactions. Nothing would give me more joy than to see people discussing it.


Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?

Folks, we’re fighting on social media about if we hate lowercase lettering or not. You should find me (@iliaskyriazis) and join in but only if you’re gonna take my side. 😛
(Also, if you like What We Wished For we’re automatically BFFs.)

A big thank you to Ilias for chatting with us; we would like to wish him the best of luck with What We Wished For.

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