An interview with the illustrator Giuseppe Camuncoli and the scriptwriter Matteo Casali, Golden Romics of the 21th Festival edition.
How did your artistic friendship start?
On the desks of a school of Comics in 1990, with Onofrio Catacchio and Otto Gabos as teachers. For the first time I met a professional and aspiring comic-book artist as Matteo. Being able to follow all the work phases of a project was very enlightening for me.
I became friend with Otto Gabos and I decided to repeat the year when I knew that Catacchio would also have attended the course. It would be very interesting to observe the work on tables made by real artists.
Can you talk about your beginnings?
I was 20 when I went to speak with Roberto Ghiddi of Granata Press. He challenged me: “Have you ever tried to write scripts? – He asked me – If you bring me a script, I’m going to fill this room with illustrators”. The idea for my first character came to me thanks to a t-shirt.
We started work together: I was shy, he was very good at proposing himself. We started with the self-production of “Bonerest”. It was exciting to switch from a solitary work to a collaboration.
Who were your favourite artists?
I knew David Milligan who had just given me one of his scripts and after the reading I realized that his scripts had the same format of my scripts. I tried to study the contents of those pages.
I have been influenced by american comics. I have passed through many sources of artistic inspiration. I tried to imitate Jim Lee for the hatching but also José Munoz, Hugo Pratt.
How did you get to work in America?
In 1996 we sent a fax and they agreed to meet us so we went to America. The editors of Marvel and DC Comics worked with us, they made us understand that we were an investment for them. In 2003 Will Dennis talking about us to some young people who wishes to do our job: “Do what they did. They have come several times here in San Diego. They have shown they want to do it’’.
What is the difference between working in Italy and in America?
My first experience as a professional illustrator was in America. Beyond the language and the format it is not much different. In the U.S. I was given a total freedom, but the american market is closely linked to merchandising, while in Italy a publisher as Bonelli has only to please its readers.
For me as a script-writer it was different. My first work in America was Catwoman for DC Comics. Processing times are very fast as what is requested today will not be more requested in six months. In Italy publishers can also work on a two/three years pre-production.
Can you reveal a virtue and a defect of Casali?
The extreme transparency which may also be a virtue.
A defect and a virtue of Camuncoli?
The excess of diplomacy, his virtue is the obstinacy. At a certain point I wanted to give up, he prevented me to do that.
BIO GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
BIO MATTEO CASALI