Secret Lives of Superheroes by Grégoire Guillemin

Secret Lives of Superheroes

In the history of the world there has never been a better time to be an artist, the internet has so many tools to aid you, there are sites to showcase your work and any one can learn Photoshop. But just as every guy with a camera does not immediately become a photographer (no matter how many times you get sent a link to their new ‘photography’ page), everyone with some knowledge of Photoshop is not immediately a graphic designer. Neither are they artists. However, French illustrator and artist Grégoire Guillemin is one man who has established himself as an inspiration in the realm of GeekArt, he has explored so many styles in the past years that his fame on the internet seems perfectly legit.


The X Files


With his series, “The Secret Lives of Superheroes” going viral on the internet, the first look at Guillemin’s art made me stop and think– none of the men or women portrayed in his works are by any stretch of imagination unfamiliar to me. From publication histories, to superpowers, there is very less that I, as a “geek” have to discover about them. But never for once had I bothered to spare a thought about what these spandex clad do-gooders do when they have no crime to fight. Never for once, had I spared a thought about little character intricacies or flaws, beyond the obvious, that are an integral part of their daily lives and most importantly, never for once, had I even believed that they were in any ways capable of leading “regular” lives, like us regular mortals! Seeing Superman pick his nose on the sly, Wonder Woman stuff her bustier with tissue to look bustier,  Captain America drink soup out of a can and Catwoman make a meal out of Mickey Mouse made me realize that like humans, it is only fair that superheroes too should be loved for being “normal”.  And “exposing” their normalcy to the eyes of millions of voyeuristic fans all over the world is what Guillemin did with perfection!




“Super Heroes are a big part of my childhood… When I was a child, I learnt to draw by copying out SpiderMan, IronMan and X-men. Today, they are still an integral part of my universe, because I do not deny that built the adult whom I eventually became,” he begins when asked about the thought behind this project. “To transpose them into commonplace situations of the life is a way of replacing them in the grown-up world,” he smiles. And indeed, wrong he is not. With the internet making each one of us an exhibitionist and a voyeur in our own rights, why leave the super-people out? Why hide the quirks and kinks, both innocent and erotic from a world that wants to know. A world defined by people who have grown up with these names and people who inevitably smile when they realize that like them, the pristine superheroes have grown too and each one of them have secrets to keep! And the most beautiful part about the series? It is the perfect blend of the shocking, the ridiculous and the honest.



And as always, excerpts from our exclusive with Guillemin!

ST: Did you ever wonder how the superheroes would feel once their secret lives were revealed?

GG: They would no more be great heroes. They would be people commonplace with super powers!

ST: How would you define the European comic industry to Indian readers? What are the biggest challenges people who are a part of the industry face?
GG: European comics are a very vast and heterogeneous world. Much richer than American comics or manga. The variety of the graphic styles is not defined by rules. As a result, we have complete freedom of expression.


Mickey pop


ST: How would you define your work?
GG: I qualify myself as an Eclectic Graphical Gamer.

ST: How do you find inspiration?
GG: Everywhere in life.

ST: They say a man is defined by the art he makes- do you agree or disagree with that?
GG: Yes. But when it comes to being an artist, I am only creative.


Yoda Brut


ST: Creative barricades and blocks- your thoughts about overcoming them?
GG: It’s a very simple principle: Think out of the box!

ST: You also play the bass, we hear. Why did you choose art over music?
GG: Because I’m a better artist than a musician!

ST: Your advice to artists who hesitate to pursue non-traditional art-forms?
GG: Do not be afraid of expressing yourself, do not restrain yourself in predefined rules; it is important to express completely the way you feel!