I caught up with Cantero for a between-the-pages look at his re-imagining of the world of the Wizard of Oz.
Have you always been a fan of the Wizard of Oz story?
Yes! I’ve always loved the values of this fairy-tale - fight for your dreams, the road is more important than the goal, be yourself, accept who you are, success thanks to your persistence, friendship, and team work.
I also love Judy Garland’s movie, and also the Michael Jackson version. I’ve always thought that The Wizard of Oz was a great story.
What led you to start imagining the story as a sexed-up gay fairy-tale?
Any story can be turned into something sexy and funny - that’s why I started the Gay Tales series. I’ve always thought that sexuality is important in any story, and in life.
Society and religions censure this essential part of us. That’s why I do adult comic books, to really show our sexuality - I take classic, conventional tales and I create a version where sexuality is the main subject.
I did that with Sleeping Beauty - which became Sleeping Bear. I also rewrote Alice in Wonderland - which became Alex in Bonerland.
Which character in The Wizard of Oz do you most identify with?
That’s why this story is so awesome - I can identify with any of the characters. But I think that’s true for everyone.
We all have dreams of a better life, like Dorothy. We dream of being clever, like Scarecrow. We dream of having a heart, like Tinman. We dream of being more courageous, like the Lion.
But, I have to admit that I have a special connection with Scarecrow - even more so in my version, because he’s searching for his identity and he doesn’t see how valuable he really is.
Growing up, I had a hard time figuring out who I was, and I had to learn how to take care of myself.
If you could ask the Wizard of Jizz to make a dream come true, what would you ask for?
I would ask him for a family with seven children.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced your style of drawing?
When I was young, I lived in Belgium, so I was very influenced by the artists there. There’s a specific European style - artists like François Walthéry, Grzegorz Rosinski, Roger Leloup, Moebius, and my mentor Nic Broca.
Plus, I was influenced by Japanese anime, and also by great painters such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Alfred Mucha.
Any other classic tales that you’re thinking of turning into sexed-up gay fairy-tales?
Sure! I’m preparing Pinnocock - my version of Pinocchio, Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe, and Gulliver’s Travels.
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