I had the opportunity to interview Spanish comic book artist and author Ibai Canales Benito. He has contributed to horror comics like Necromancer: Tombstone Blues, CU Next Tuesday, and Iron Sights. He’s also helped create sci-fi comics like The Abductables and Decimators.


Tamara Wilhite: Your bio says you’ve worked as an artist, a colorist, a letterer and an inker. How do those jobs differ from each other?

Ibai Canales: Well, artist usually means full art, pencils, inks, colors, all that. Being a letterer is easy, you just have to illustrate the word balloons, and inking is really satisfying, you trace over the pencils (drawn by you or another artist) with a pen or a brush and it can really improve or ruin a drawing.


Tamara Wilhite: How do science fiction, horror and thriller comics differ from each other, aside from the storyline?

Ibai Canales: It all depends on the tone of the story more than the genre, really. If it’s humorous, I try to draw more cartoony. If it’s serious and dramatic, I try to be as realistic as possible. I’ve been told that my ability to go from one style to another depending on the script is a great asset, so there’s that.


Tamara Wilhite: Of all the comics you’ve worked on, which one sold the best?

 Ibai Canales: That would probably be Iron Sights 1, mostly due to the popularity of the writer.


Tamara Wilhite: What are you working on now?

Ibai Canales: I’m currently working on the third instance of Iron Sights, this time with extra martial arts fights, and SOS vol.2 in my spare time.


Tamara Wilhite: You’ve worked for a number of comic book publishers. You’re currently at Splatto Comics. How has the current state of affairs affected your projects?

Ibai Canales: Luckily, I work from home, so my income hasn’t been affected. I have been unable to work elsewhere. (His day job is as a kickboxing instructor.)


Tamara Wilhite: And what has the second coronavirus shutdown been like for Europeans? You’re located in Spain, I believe.

Ibai Canales: Yeah. It’s been devastating. The first one hit us really hard, but most of us still could hold on. The second one is completely decimating the country. We have “hunger lines”, people waiting to be fed by food banks, of a length that the country hasn’t seen since the Franco years. The worst thing is, it’s not doing anything since the figures keep rising. Never let them do this to you.


Tamara Wilhite: What is the general state of the comic book industry from your perspective?  For example, are people buying more comics because they’re shut in or buying less because they’re short of money?

Ibai Canales: That’s a really good question. I’ve been buying more comics due to the boredom, but not as many as I’d like to, because I didn’t have the steady source of income that was my day job at the gym, so I had to spend carefully.


Tamara Wilhite: “Is there anything you’d like to add?”

Ibai Canales: Just that I’ve enjoyed this experience very much.


Tamara Wilhite: Thank you for speaking with me.