Get Graphic: Enid Balam Shows You The True Meaning of 'ExtraOrdinary'
Nov 23, 2021
Art by Enid Balam
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
Artist Enid Balam may be from Mexico, but you'd be forgiven for assuming that he's a European comic book artist. Since 2015, the colorist-inker-penciler's work has touched French publishers Delcourt and Humanoids, Sergio Bonelli's Italian studios, and more recently British publisher, Titan Comics. Despite the fact that Enid Balam's career in comics is just six years deep, the Mexican artist is clearly on a trajectory. Not too shortly after the release of his first graphic novel, Someday Comes Paradise, Enid took up the art duties on V.E. Schwab's ExtraOrdinary.
In the following interview, PREVIEWSworld talks with Enid to find out more about his craft and the challenges of visually adapting V.E. Schwab's ExtraOrdinary novels to comics.
Tell us about ExtraOrdinary? What’s it about?
The Villains novel from the masterful V.E. Schwab, expands on the [The ExtraOrdinary] series' concept of near-death experiences [that results in characters] coming back to life with strange abilities. Titans' comic adaptation, ExtraOrdinary, follows Charlotte Tills as the main character, the event of her powers, and her as an "E.O."
How did you get involved with ExtraOrdinary?
Strange enough, the script came in the middle of the pandemic, so when I read what it was about I found myself carried away. [As I mentioned], V.E. Schwab's text is quite elegant. I admire writers so much for their sensibility and descriptions. As an illustrator [and] storyteller, I have to be very [aware of] changes from the written word [of a novel] to images [in a comic book]. But, above all, I need to pursue the writer’s vision.
How did you get into comic books as a fan?
I have been an outcast since the beginning -- not feeling quite fit for socializing, uncomfortable, feeling not well at all. So, some 20 years ago, when my dad bought me a comic book to get rid of me [while he worked], I found myself a destiny. I knew I was built to draw and have done it since then. Discovering the true meaning of "story."
How did you get into comic books as a professional?
I studied art as a concentration. I spent a long time in school and did a masters of art production, aiming for an editorial profile. Afterward, I founded a fine screen print shop and began working as a colorist for [publisher] Delcourt. Later, with much effort, I became a full-time artist. From there, I haven’t stopped learning.
What tools do you use to create?
I often [use my] iPad for layouts. Due to deadlines, I have to produce sketches and layouts very fast, as well as change, adapt, and modify things on the run. So it’s useful for me to print out blue lines and finish pages on paper and pencil. Sometimes it's the other way, I sketch on paper and finish digitally. I’m not a traditionalist but I'd rather concentrate on a solid narrative, which is the number one aspect in comics.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a new miniseries, getting to know a new creative team. That’s the most beautiful thing to me. I deeply admire co-workers of all areas. I do care about what publisher I'm working for, but most relevant is the chance to learn and appreciate everyone’s hand in the making of a book. I would not change the opportunity to create from the heart. Maybe if I’m lucky, there’s an outcast girl or boy out there sitting in the park finding the true meaning of a story I've worked on.
Thank you to Titan Comics team for making beautiful stories for us.
ExtraOrdinary is in comic shops now from Titan Comics. And if you've enjoyed discovering Enid Balam's work, give him a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Art Station.
Check out more art from Enid below.
Collects ExtraOrdinary #1-4 plus special #0
NYT bestselling author of Addie LaRue, V. E. Schwab returns for a new anti-villain story! Expands deeper into the world of Schwab's critically acclaimed VILLAINS novels! After surviving a deadly crash, Charlotte Tills becomes "ExtraOrdinary", gaining the ability to foresee a person's death. But when she looks into her own future, only the face of notorious EO killer Eli Ever stares back!
Collects ExtraOrdinary #1-4 plus special #0
Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now!
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.