In the Heart of the Universe 

Jay Babcock talks with visionary comics author Alexandro Jodorowsky


Page 2 of 4



L.A. WEEKLY: You are at work on an alarming number of projects for someone of any age. Where is all the energy coming from?

Related Stories

  • 5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including the End of NOW

    This week's dance shows include a tribute to a local flamenco legend, home invasion dance at the Brewery and the shift-key challenged Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY at the all-caps REDCAT. 5.  Flamboyant Flamenco Long to get away to sunny Spain with balmy nights and fiery flamenco dancers? For the next best thing, bring...
  • Petit Trois Opens

    Petit Trois, the long-awaited space next door to Trois Mec, will open tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Owned and operated by the Trois Mec team — Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo — Petit Trois aims to offer  Bar a la Carte, described as the traditional French bar experience.  "I...
  • Surprise! Americans Drink More Wine Than the French

    Congratulations America! We're officially bigger winos than the French. According to the Organization of Vine and Wine, the U.S. became the biggest internal market in the world, volume-wise, as of 2013. We won this coveted title by consuming 29.1 million hectoliters (mhl) of wine - not including vermouth or special wines,...
  • David Lebovitz's Latest

    David Lebovitz has the kind of life any foodist would aspire to. Ten years ago, after a long career in the kitchen at San Francisco's Chez Panisse, he up and moved to Paris. And now, with one of the top food blogs on the web and a pile of books under his belt,...
  • Milkfarm

    If your idea of the four food groups is cheese, charcuterie, bread and wine, Milkfarm in Eagle Rock is set to become your new grocery shopping central.  Leah Park Fierro, formerly head cheesemonger/manager of the Cheese Store in Silver Lake, opened the cheese-and-charcuterie haven April 7, inspired by the little specialty shops...

ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY: Energy is coming because I will die very soon. I am old. I have so many things to do, so every day I get quicker, in order to do them! I don’t want to die without doing everything I wanted to do.


You are known as a filmmaker, but for the last 25 years you have been writing comics, not making films . . .

Everything I could not do in movies, I make in comics and writing. I do comics because I think it’s an art form as big as movies or painting or poetry. The graphic novel is a fantastic thing for me. For four or five years every Sunday I drew a comics page, a complete story. But it was very basic. When I saw Moebius making the drawings, I stopped. And I never make any more. Moebius, Boucq, Bess, Juan Gimenez, Beltran — they’re geniuses. How can they draw like that? It is a miracle. When you see a painting by Travis Charest? He’s incredible . . . some kind of a monster!


When you make films, you are present at every stage: scripting, designing, directing, editing and so on. But with comics, you write a script and give it to someone else.

No, it’s not like that. First, before I work with an artist on a series, I see his drawings. If I like his drawings, I can write for him. Because I admire this person! Then, I have a long conversation with him, to learn what he likes drawing, what he actually wants to do [in the series]. While he is speaking with me, I start to see him, his psychological profile . . . I make an invasion of his soul. An exploration. I go inside to find out who he is. What he is like. Then I discuss with him an idea for a story. He gives me a lot of ideas, and I say yes. Then I go up to the house and I write my story and then I convince him that I used everything he said to me. And he is happy because I am working with him. Not with his idea — I work with his feelings.


So there is a constant collaboration with the artist?

Yes. Constant. With Boucq, for example, on Bouncer, I call him by telephone at the end of every day. I say, “What have you been drawing today? How did you feel doing that?” Sometimes he says, “In this scene, I feel this character cannot do that,” and we discuss. If he doesn’t like that, or he cannot do it, I make another scene, similar, where he feels good. I am fascinated with these stories. For me it is not a work to earn money only. It’s a creative thing, you know?

Do you take risks in your work?

Yes . . . In The Metabarons, I always finish each book with an impossible crisis. They have a problem. The person has no testicle; he needs to make a son. How? Impossible. I wait . . . I wait . . . And then, slowly — thank you! — the solution came. It’s kind of a “mediumity,” a kind of inspiration. In one moment I have the idea. Then, when I start to write, everything comes! It’s like when you are a photographer, and you put the paper in the acid and slowly the photograph starts to develop. It’s exactly like that.


Can you know that it’s going to happen?

I don’t suffer to write it. But when I need to write a new series, a new album, for three days I do nothing. The only thing I can do is to see movies, see television, read . . . Because I am as if paralyzed! Suddenly, [with relief] the idea comes. I say thank you, because I am grateful. I am really grateful because I received the idea. But I don’t construct the idea. I am not a constructor. I receive the idea.


Where do you think it comes from?

The unconscious. It comes directly from the unconscious. I think the unconscious is a very, very enormous universe, no? And when you open the doors to the unconscious, you start to receive. Sometimes you see a terrible vision of yourself: desires you don’t want to have, ideas you detest, feelings that hurt you. When you open the door, you can see yourself in a very weird way, like a bad trip on LSD. You can have that. You have all the hell, and paradise, no? You need to have the courage to open the doors.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • BuzzFeed Aims at Latino Audience With L.A. Hires

    For decades, journalism groups have pressured news outlets to hire more minorities, particularly Latinos in Southern California. The idea, says the American Society of News Editors, "is to have the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide reflect the percentage of minorities in the nation's population by 2025."  The results...
  • Skid Row Gets City Recognition Through Murals (PHOTOS)

    Skid Row might not exist to City Hall, where the area is officially known as Central City East, but residents this week are celebrating their community and its 19th century name with a pair of murals, the second of which was recently completed. Interestingly, despite reports that getting murals registered...
  • Justin Bieber Takes Over Notorious L.A. Party House

    This party house has already been the target of neighbors' complaints, so we wonder how things will go with Justin Bieber reportedly renting the place. See also: Weidlake Party House Gets MTV Show Despite Neighbors' Complaints The Weidlake residence in the Hollywood Hills has been the site of parties, porn shoots...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets