The grand slam this year! For the first time in four visits to AngoulemeEnzo Berkati will stay for the four days of famous cartoon festival, at the end of next week. Usually, it was more like two or three maximum. “But there, everything is paid for, I don’t have to look for hotels then…”, laughs the 23-year-old illustrator author from Baldersheim, near Mulhouse. Who is preparing above all to live his first big meeting of the comics on the other side of the stands, at Glénat precisely. It is he who will be seated to present bad monster and hold the pencil!
“My goal has never been to do autographs. Even when I went there before, I didn’t ask for it. I preferred to observe, go to exhibitions, listen to masterclasses, etc. I still have trouble projecting myself, I don’t realize,” he continues, acknowledging that he was “looking forward to discussing with the other authors”. His idol Naoki Urasawa will not be present, but many others.
Enzo Berkati may then be able to tell them about his journey. That of a kid passionate about comics since elementary school. “I was already reading a lot but my parents didn’t have too much. I had discovered my first comic strip at my grandmother’s. It was The Cure of the Daltons, of Goscinny “Recalls the Alsatian, who then did not really pick up. With in particular a true love dedicated “to the Spirou and Fantasio by Tome and Janry”. So much so that “from sixth grade”, the schoolboy wanted to “become an author”.
Already among the “young talents” in 2020 in Angoulême
The dream took a few years to come true. A little over a decade, the time to pass the baccalaureate and then to integrate a specialized private school, The iconograph in Strasbourg. “I drew a little in class, with for example caricatures of teachers, but I needed training because I didn’t have the level”, laughs the young man. “I had to progress in the narration, in the illustration too, everywhere! “Not too bad since Enzo Berkati had been invited, in 2020, to the young talent competitions already in Angoulême. Without winning. This had not prevented him from meeting a few people, notably at Glénat.
“I had met a local editor but my twenty-page ghost story didn’t appeal to him. It wasn’t consistent enough. ” Not as much as bad monster which was therefore retained last year, thanks to the same contact. After “a year and a half of work”, the comic strip was published in early January. It is aimed “rather at a young audience” and tells the adventures of a young girl, Éloïse Meyer.
“Each person gets an egg when they are born and this one hatches when they are teenagers. But his has powers, ”explains the author, who did not choose the surname of the heroine by chance. “It’s the most common name in Alsace! “References to his region of birth are also present in the illustrations, with “page 19, a landscape reminiscent of the Rebberg, a district of Mulhouse that I like”. Or the CDI of the book college, directly inspired by that of its former Albert-Schweitzer establishment in Mulhouse.
These references should continue to be penciled. Enzo Berkati has “already signed for volume 2” and could continue this series for a long time. “Maybe up to 6 or 7 if I have the opportunity to do so. I can pretty much see what’s going to happen but I don’t know how yet”, explains the man who does both the narration and the illustration, except for the colors! “I hope people will like it…”, modestly admits the designer. He should have some answers in Angoulême.