Giancarlo!

From America’s big two (Marvel: Gorilla Man mini-series, Spider-Man, Cable and Marvel’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston’s Formic Wars +  DC’s Batman ’66 and Jonah Hex) to Italy’s highly influential and long-running Bonelli to French publishers, Giancarlo Caracuzzo is a class act and top-notch artist tackling great projects along the way.

JOESEPH SIMON
From Italy to America and beyond, Your list of credits as an international comic creator is impressive.  What is your art background and what got you involved in comics? What were your goals as a comic book artist then and what are they now?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
I started many years ago, even a little by chance, I loved drawing, I was very young and after my artistic studies, the case introduced me to some authors and so I started my career

JOESEPH SIMON
As someone who is an international talent, how do you see the comic industry in America, in Italy and wherever else you might want to comment?  (The companies, the fans, how the public reacts to companies?) As an international creator, have you noticed a difference in how comics are edited? How scripts are written? How audiences react to your art?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Here the discussion is quite complex, I have worked for many years for the Italian industry, but today there are no longer those occasions as in the past. For more than 10 years now, I have been working for the American and French industries, here I am at ease, I feel more fulfilled, and the working relationship is often optimal

Formic Wars, art by Giancarlo!

Formic Wars, art by Giancarlo!

JOESEPH SIMON
You worked on Formic Wars for Marvel. This was part of an adaptation of Orson Scott Cards popular Enders Game saga. The writer for Marvel’s Formic Wars (and other Ender’s Games comic titles) is Aaron Johnston. Aaron’s a very interesting person. New York Times bestselling author (having co-written with Orson Scott Card many of the Ender’s Games titles, including the Extinct books) television writer, known as executive producer of Extinct, associate producer for Ender’s Game, along with many other great credits.) 

How did this come to happen? How was working with Aaron? 

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
10 years ago, Marvel asked me to work on the first Fomic Wars miniseries, so I met Aaron, it was an exciting period, it was one of the most beautiful professional periods of my life, Aroon is a writer of great talent, kind and available (accessible)

JOESEPH SIMON
As a fan of Agents of Atlas I was introduced to your art through the Gorilla Man mini-series that you worked on for Marvel. I was happy to see Gorilla Man get his own mini-series. Jeff Parker did a great job of taking a What If comic book team and making them a real team in the regular Marvel Universe. What led to this you being part of the project and how was that experience?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
also on that occasion, it was Marvel who offered me the mini-series, Jeff is a great writer, we write every so often, it was very rewarding to work with him, and I hope it will happen again

Batman ’66, art by Giancarlo.

JOESEPH SIMON
Your art can be found at DC Comics on Batman 66 #23 and Jonah Hex #58.  Did you watch the 60’s Batman TV show when that came out?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Yes, I was a child, and that series was a lot of fun, I saw it again some years ago, it still maintains the charm of those past years, it was a source of inspiration for me 

JOESEPH SIMON
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray did a great job on Jonah Hex. You were able to work on one of America’s best-known comic first created western heroes with them at the helm. Was keeping Hex’s facial scar consistent visually difficult?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Yes it is the most difficult thing, it is a very important element, and it is not easy to maintain the right facial expressions, however, I liked that episode very much

JOESEPH SIMON
It is interesting to me that Westerns, an incredibly important part of American history with great popularity in the past, have sadly fallen in that popularity in modern times. Yet, around the world, westerns are far more accepted.  How well known is Jonah Hex in Italy?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Honestly the comic is not very popular, although some published translations have come out in the past

JOESEPH SIMON
American comic companies are very impacted by the superhero genre. That isn’t the case in other countries.  And it wasn’t always the case in America. During its golden age, American comic companies did very well with other genres.  

Today many American creators experimenting with other genres and I think they could find new audiences overseas.  

There are interesting accounts of American creators doing work for overseas companies.  Paul Pope did work in Japan. Jerry Siegel in Japan, Joe Kubert did work at Bonelli (on Tex Willer!), Jim Simon (Joe Simons son) has been published in France and many other examples exist.  

Do you think it’s harder for someone from overseas to work for an American company or for an American to get work with an overseas comic company?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
I think these difficulties were more evident in the past, even for European authors it was more difficult to work for American companies, today thanks to internet and social media this obstacle has been overcome, the new generations of American artists are great quality, and I think that over time they will also be more present in the European market

JOESEPH SIMON
What difficulties do you think American creators will have to try to get published overseas?

Guerriera, art by Giancarlo

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
In Europe comics have different storytelling, perhaps a more complex narrative, this I think is the main obstacle for American authors, adapting to the European market

JOESEPH SIMON
You have worked for Bonelli, a highly influential comic company in Italy. They have been around the 40s and Bonelli is still going strong today. They started by publishing Tex Willer, a western, in 1948 and new stories continue even today.  A remarkable company that American mat be more familiar with through Dark Horses English reprint.  

Bonelli’s long and proud history in Italy has always fascinated me. English readers may know Bonelli through Dark Horses translations as well as Epicenter. For fans of very well told shared universe comics / future history with great art and a large catalog of stories, Martin Mystère exists in the same fictional universe with other Sergio Bonelli titles, including Zagor, Mister No and Dylan Dog, a universe which would eventually evolve into the science-fiction milieu of Nathan Never. Marvel and DC are well known now for their movie and TV projects. Bonelli has successfully already gone down that road. 

You worked on Martin Mystère’ for Bonelli. What led up to you getting hired on Martin Mystère’?  What was working at Bonelli like? What would your pitch to English readers be to get them interested in Bonelli?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Also, in this case, I was very young, I proposed a test on some characters, Dylan Dog, Martin Mystere, my tests liked some Bonelli editors and so I started collaborating with them, it was very important and formative for me, Bonelli was and still today, one of the most important publishers in the world

Tolkien Wars, art by Giancarlo.

Tolkien Wars, art by Giancarlo.

JOESEPH SIMON
You worked in Tolkien Wars, a comic series about Tolkien real-life experiences in ww1 for the long-running and respected French publisher Soleil. That sounds like something cool to read! It’s a fascinating part of Tolkien’s life that remains unknown to many. I imagine had many ramifications on Tolkien. Who joins you in this series? Any chance of an English edition?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
For Tolkien’s book, the art is made by me, while the colors are of my daughter Flavia. I hope that in the next few months some American or English publishers will be able to publish this beautiful book

JOESEPH SIMON
You are currently working on a cyberpunk noir wrestling comic Boogyman with Massimiliano Grotti.
Are you a wrestling fan? What wrestling organization do you follow?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Boogeyman is a project of my creation, with the collaboration of Massimiliano, a young and talented Italian writer, honestly, I’m not a fan of Wrestling, but I am fascinated by that world so absurd, violent, for me it was a source of inspiration

JOESEPH SIMON
Flavia Caracuzzo is your daughter and she also happens to be a comic creator. How is it to have your daughter follow you into the comic book industry?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Flavia is an illustrator and colorist, she has been collaborating with me for about 7 years, she is growing in her experience and training, her real goal and collaborating with Disney

JOESEPH SIMON
In the future, what American projects would you like to do?  What Italian projects? What other projects outside of America and Italy?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
At the moment we are working on the second series of Boogeyman, we are in the writing phase, I hope to start the series within this year, for the rest I would like to work continuously for DC Comics, and I hope to be able to make another book for a French publisher.

 

  • Bogeyman, art by Giancarlo.

    Bogeyman, art by Giancarlo.

    Bogeyman, art by Giancarlo.

JOESEPH SIMON
In doing research for your interview, I came across your founding of Roman School of Comic Strips but was unable to find any information on it. What is this school?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
In 1993, me and four other Italian authors, artists and writers, founded a school of comics, it was immediately a great success. For some years I have not taught anymore, I have chosen to concentrate on my work, but I still have a relationship of friendship with them, brotherly 

JOESEPH SIMON
There are many comics that you have been part of that have not been translated for English readers. What ones are you proud of that, that if there are any publishers reading this interview, you would suggest to check out if they wanted to translate for their readers or check out your art that might not otherwise be available for reading here?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
I think my best works are those of the last 15 years, when I quit serial work, to focus on the author’s work, I think that most of my work has been translated into English

JOESEPH SIMON
For those interested, you do consignments! What should readers know about that?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
I can make shipments if I have any artistic commission, they can contact me via facebook and my personal email.

JOESEPH SIMON
Where should readers go to keep up with what your up to?

GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Simply by following my facebook fan page or my instragram, where you can inform everyone about the news–

JOESEPH SIMON
Thank you Giancarlo. I hope Tolkien Wars find an American publisher as well. It looks amazing!  Contact Giancarlo! Make this book happen! Also, comic fans, take notice, I have always heard great comments on Giancarlo’s commissions.

Joeseph SimonInterviewsGiancarlo Caracuzzo
From America's big two (Marvel: Gorilla Man mini-series, Spider-Man, Cable and Marvel's adaptation of Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston's Formic Wars +  DC's Batman '66 and Jonah Hex) to Italy's highly influential and long-running Bonelli to French publishers, Giancarlo Caracuzzo is a class act and top-notch artist tackling...