Monday, 14 November 2011

Maré Odomo's Zelda

Maré Odomo, an illustrator/cartoonist from Seattle, is a Moon Witch Cartridge favourite. His work frequently references gaming - he's worked with the likes of Anamanaguchi and videogame art collective Attract Mode - and mixes delicate sentiment with affectionate, perfectly-pitched references. It's with the Pokemon-based Letters To An Absent Father, his heartbreaking depiction of a lonely Ash wandering the world with Pikachu in beautifully spare two and three panel strips, that Maré first came to our attention. The first four tales from Letters To... were originally written for Cory Schmitz's magazine EXP., and it's with Cory that Maré has again collaborated, creating the gorgeous drawing of Link seen below, for Cory's new Zelda Zine project (the first issue of which was distributed as part of last month's Nottingham GameCity festival):

Maré was kind enough to let us reproduce his work for Zelda Zine, as well as answer a few questions via email about all things Zelda.

What is your earliest memory of the Zelda games?
I have this really vivid memory of Catfish's Maw. I can see it in my head.

Do you have a favourite Zelda game, and why is it your favourite of the series?
Wind Waker is definitely my favorite of the games. Everything just pops. The colors and the style. It's all so nice to look at, and it's aged well. Still looks amazing.

From an illustrator's perspective, what is your favourite incarnation of Link? And what do you think of the art design of the Zelda series in general?
Toon Link! Again, the style is so smart and slick. It's its own thing... anime-influenced but toned down for American audiences. I also really love Katsuya Terada's interpretations too, which have so many wonderful details that don't show up in 8- or 16-bit and low-poly...Zelda, as a series, is so iconic and recognizable. There are so many games right now that are just a GUY with a GUN and it's all dark and grey and I really can't keep track of all that stuff. So Zelda obviously gets points for standing out. I appreciate video games for their visuals more than anything else.

Why do you think the Zelda games have still retained such a grip on gamers' even after 25 years?
Because we want to be free.

- Maré Odomo:

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