First Comics News: How did you become a Neuroscientist and how did this career help you in writing?
Giulio: When I was studying cell biology as an undergraduate student I fell in love with neurons, the cells that make our nervous system. They are just cool cells, with cool shapes, and they do a very cool job. It seems odd but it is the truth, you should google neurons and then you’ll tell me if I am wrong!
1st: What were your first thoughts about “Genu”?
Giulio: I was worried about being original, about avoiding cliches. I still am!
1st: How did the three of you develop “Genu”?
Giulio: It has been a constant conversation since the beginning. We skype, we WhatsApp, we text, we call each other, discussing, arguing, “green-lighting” each other’s ideas!
1st: Can you tell us where the title “Genu” comes from?
Giulio: It’s Latin. It means “regarding the Genus”, “about the Genus”. In this case, the Genus Homo
1st: Who are the main characters and what is each like?
Giulio: The three main characters are Julia, Axel, and M-07. Julia is a kick-ass, ex-terrorist, probably the strongest of the three. Axel is blind, but he can see through special goggles, he has a couple of PhDs (one in sound engineering) and it looks tough, but he actually is a sweety pie! M-07 is 12. His name derives from the fact that he was the 7th kid born on the planet Mercury. M-07 is actually a nickname, but you’ll never know his real name! He is a kid, period, not different from how a 12 years old kid is today.
1st: Why has the female alien shown up in “Genu”?
Giulio: You’ll have to keep reading the next 4 volumes!
1st: Why did humans go to Mercury?
Giulio: In Genu’s universe, humanity has voted on the internet to get rid of all forms of energy but solar. The problem is that because of this dumb decision, they need a LOT of energy. In time, they managed to build a colony on Mercury, because it is the planet closest to the Sun, thus it provides the purest form of solar energy possible in this part of the universe
1st: Do you think if aliens exist for real they would be friendly or deadly?
Giulio: If aliens existed for real? They do! I am a firm believer in the existence of aliens, lots of scientists are. I simply base my beliefs on statistics, that’s all. We can’t possibly be the only living form in this vast universe. And I am pretty sure that all sorts of aliens exist out there, friendly, deadly, unicellular, with horns, with laser weapons and, why not, with wings too!
1st: Have you written anything else besides “Genu”?
Giulio: Only science articles
1st: Why do you like to write?
Giulio: I like to tell stories. Tommaso and Axel are the actual writers. I like to create worlds, to imagine situations, characters, twists, etc.
1st: If you could visit the Mercury in “Genu” would you and why or why not?
Giulio: I think I would not. I am a little claustrophobic and I get very tense if I travel all by myself for more than a few hundred miles…
1st: If you could have one wish what would you wish for and why?
Giulio: To see aliens before I die. It’s just the biggest hope I have that someone will show up and make this world a little better.
1st: What would you like to say to anyone who picks up “Genu”?
Giulio: It’s a really cool story, there will be a lot of twists throughout the 5 volumes that make the novel. Also, the illustrations from Aleksandra Fastovets are just gorgeous!