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Your latest work “Raffaello” went to press just over a month ago. Can you tell us a bit about it?
«It’s a graphic novel that focuses on the artist from Urbino, reconstructing the story through episodes of his private and working life narrated by three figures close to him when they are getting or have just received the news of his death. This way you have a picture of Raphael who appears kind and well loved, as well as the more intimate Raphael, a passionate person».
How did you get the idea of paying homage to Raphael?
«Certainly because of his contribution to our town. After the work on Virginia Woolf I’d already begun to develop an idea of designing something about Raphael. One ordinary day, thanks to a chat via Skype, I found out that my friend Alessio D’Uva had founded a publishing house, and that the day before he’d given a chapter of the series about Raffaello, “Prodigi fra le nuvole”, to someone else. Fortunately, we spoke again over the next few days and I started working on it myself…».
You also include the young Raphael’s experience in Città di Castello…
«I managed to find a lot of material from that period; the name of the teacher who brought him here, the contract, and sources that confirm his relationship with Francesco Tifernate. I also looked for the house where he stayed, and I’ve chosen to depict that as in the Via del Luna, partly for emotional reasons because it’s not far from the house where my father was born. There are other houses to be taken into account, as he’s likely to have changed them more than once».
You graduated from the International School of Comics. What do you remember about those years?
«It was a wonderful school and three wonderful years. I had exceptional teachers, from whom I certainly learned technique but above all who changed my perspective. My initial goal was to produce illustrations and cartoons on commission and allow some time for writing and telling my stories, perhaps through publishing novels. But thanks to Paul Karasik, the Scuola Internazionale di Comics’ maestro who really personified cartoons and graphics, I realized that I could combine these things, improving them».
Our time is limited and what started with a handshake ends with a hug and:
«See you at the exhibition in December!».
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