Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born in Avellino, a city near Neaples and I lived in San Paolo Belsito ‘till I was sixteen, then I moved with my family to a new house in Marigliano where I live now.
How about your schooling? Had you gone under any art training? I’ve studied in a classical high school and when I got my diploma I signed up for the first year into the Natural Science University of Neaples, but at the end of it I decided to try to get admission into the Art Academy of Neaples and then I did the whole painting and drawing graduation course. During the life drawing class I’ve met Ernesto Pugliese, an excellent Italian artist, who helped me to improve and gave me the right direction.
How long have you been working professionally in comics? I’ve been doing this full-time for three years now.
What things -- both in art and otherwise -- have you worked on, besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time? Before I was considered a comic book artist professionally I was a musician, I’ve done it professionally for about three/four years, ‘till I started the Art Academy and (almost contemporarily) to work/
Talk about how you broke into the business --was it easy? Hard? Ups? Downs ? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel? I had my first admission test into a studio in October 2006, it was as colorist, I did the eight pages the art director asked for in less than two days, but I didn’t get the job. In November of the same year I did a test as inker for another very small studios and in Jan 2007 I started to work for them, after a few weeks the art director asked me to do some pencil samples for a new series they were producing, I did them and I shifted from inker to penciller and character designer. I worked on this series for about five months and in October 2007 I saw my first published work. The book was out for Lucca comics & games 2007, back to the booth I see a young boy with my book in his hands, he was waiting for me with his father, he asked me to sign the book and to do a Captain America sketch, it was the second or third time I was at a Con as a pro and the first day I was at my table signing and doing a sketch for a boy that looked like me at his age, I was almost about to cry. Back to Neaples I went in a comic book store and bought a copy of the book and I gave it as a gift (with a dedication) to my parents.
How did you settle on the style(s) you're currently using? If you have multiple styles how did you develop them? At the begin of my training I tried to imitate my favored artists: Michael Turner, Al Rio, Adam Hughes, Marc Silvestri, David Finch, Ed Benes, J. Scott Campbell, Mike Deodato Jr., but I wasn’t satisfied with the results so I started to draw in a more personal way, trying to be comfortable with it without attempting any emulation. At the beginning of my career I tried to describe all the elements of a page by only the shadows, reducing the graphic lines as little as I could, after a year or more working like that I started to add rendering and more details as I could, at one point it was too much, my pages were full of lines, texture, graphic gray tones and more, after that moment I started to try to recognize the exact equilibrium between what I have to draw and what your eye add to it to have something complete, readable without draw more than what the art needs. At the moment I still draw with my past styles if requested, but I fell more comfortable with my current style, it’s the way I describe reality in my mind.
How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics? I’m a very lucky guy, I’ve been sustained, encouraged and helped in every way by my parents from the first moment I said “I wanna be a comic book artist.”
How would you describe your work space? Is it part of your home, or do you go "to the studio"? When I was a musician I built in my house a soundproof recording room, so when I started working as an artist it was easy to turn it into my studio, I have in it all I need: computers, scanner, printer, drawing table, light-box, comics, DVD, an (useful) air conditioner and when I close the door I’m entirely out of the world so I can concentrate on what I’m working on.
What job are you the proudest of? Nothing right now, a moment after I’ve finished a page, a cover, a design or a sketch I hate it and I say to myself: “ what’s that mess?! You can do it better!” But the schedule is over and I cannot redo it.
What are you currently drawing? Comments on that project? I’m working on various projects but I’m not allowed to talk about them now.
Talk about your family: Parents, siblings, home situation. My father Alfonso is a chemical engineer now retired, my mother Antonietta studied as natural scientist now retired, my sister Manya (four years older than me) studied English and Spanish language and literature and is now studying psychology. We share our home (almost the backyard) with our dogs: Argo (german shepherd), Luna (husky) and Shadow (half-caste).
What projects do you hope to work on in the future? Any project has a feeling on me, I love Spider-man, the Mutants, I’ve been long attracted by Supergirl (who isn’t after what Michael Turner did on it?) and Witchblade, but in all I love to draw. I wish to have the possibility to work on something as big and epic as Civil War or Crisis series.
Where do you see yourself in five years? ten? I don’t know, I didn’t see myself here five or ten years ago.
What is the interest in comics where you live? Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react? A lot of my friends read comics but the interest in working into the industry is as equal as nothing, ninety percent of the people I talk to don’t understand that you can do comic book art as a job, sometimes it looks like they think comics grow on trees.
What's 1 thing you'll always find in your refrigerator? Fruit.
What's your favorite food? Pizza, sushi, pancakes.
What are your favorite interests --Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports? I love movies and animation, specially action, sci-fi, horror, drama… at least all kind of movies and animation. As I said I love music, I love to read books, my favored writer is Stephen King, I don’t watch so much TV, maybe some TV shows like Sex and the City, Friends, My Name is Earl, The Simpsons and not much more. I go to the gym about three times per week, sit at the drawing table for almost ten or more hours per day is not very healthy, so I try to have my body in training
Have you ever thought of writing your own stories? I’ve tried to write my own stories a couple of times in the past, but I think I’m not ready.
What's an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day. I wake up at seven or eight in the morning (depends on the time I get to sleep), have as huge as a breakfast as I can and start to work on whatever I have on my table, I stop each one and a half or two hours to smoke a cigarette and see what’s up in the rest of the world (or, at least, in the rest of my house), keep working ‘till one pm when I have lunch, sit on an armchair smoking ‘till three pm and then I start back to work ‘ till the work is done (or my eyes are burning), I stop a couple of times to have snacks (fruit or juice). In the evening I spend my time watching a movie, reading some book or out with my friends.
Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody's gotten to see published? At least one, but I’m not yet ready.
If you weren't a comic-book artist today, what would you be? Maybe I’d go on with the scientist career.
The single thing you'd most like to be remembered for in your life is...? To be the best in what I do… without claws.
THE RIFT – Cover art (Graphic Illusions Studios) DARKLIGHT – Interiors pencil and cover (Axaleon) HOPE HERO INITIATIVE - Interiors pencil (Ronin Studios) FAITH WALKER – Inks (NewCreationsNow) RAGED CAPES – Inks (NewCreationsNow) HIRED GUN – Interiors pencil (Project4studios) METAZOIDS – Character design and concept art (card game) TALES FROM NEVERLAND AND AGON - Interiors artist (Zenescope) HENCHMEN - Cover artist (Image) GABRIEL - WARRIOR EXORCIST - Author and Artist (Aces Weekly) THE COMPLEX - Interiors and cover artist (Dumbo Comics) THE RUTHLESS - Interiors and cover artist (Agency Publishing LLC) NERO NAPOLETANO - Interiors artist (Corriere della Sera) GREAT ZOMBIES IN HISTORY - Interiors artist (Elevator Pitch Press) RELIC & EGO - Comic strip artist (ECV Press) REALM OF EMPIRES - Concept artist (PC Game) WONDERLAND - Interiors artist (Zenescope)
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