Interview with Angelo Stano – Lucca Comics & Games 2017
Oddly enough, there is the sun, during the fair, the most rainy of the whole Italy. Lucca Comics & Games is still in its early days, filled with fans and collectors that take away from the weekend to browse among the stands, with calm, far from the crowds in kilometres. Between all the stands, there is one that is always crowded: the big tent, which hosts authors and comics signed Sergio Bonelli Editore is teeming with people getting impatient and come out of it smiling.
The milanese publishing house has resulted in a vast park of authors during the 51st edition of the fair. Among these, we have had the opportunity to interview one of the most prolific artists of the publishing house of via Buonarroti.
Angelo Stano, dad of Dylan Dog, together with Tiziano Sclavi, participates in the exhibition with her latest work In the Mystery, in the library starting from the end of October, and on newsstands starting from the 29th of November, in addition to having published a manual with all the secrets of his Art, by the title of Angelo Stano, the Master of Dylan Dog, published by ComicOut.
Thanks for the availability! After thirty years from the birthplace of Dylan Dog, as it has evolved, the dad of the investigator of the nightmare, under the artistic point of view?
Stano: On the artistic plan I went ahead. I have never been satisfied with the results I had from the beginning, you could say that my greatest influence, that of the austrian painter Egon Schiele, is the most strong. In time I would say that this influence is lost a little bit and is coming out of maturity, the sign that today is out of my hand is definitely more independent from the influences that I had in the past, that is definitely not only Egon Schiele, but also Hugo Pratt. I don't know if this is an advantage, because maybe he's involved (laughs). Someone says that my drawing has lost its expressive or visionary, some say that has matured in a positive sign. I do not address the problem because what counts for me is to have fun, draw: this is still the case, although it has been many years. The so-called research from all hoped for me to continue, in the sense that as a solution not adagiarmi on the already tried and tested.
Following the recent renovations in the regular series, Dylan began unwillingly to deal with the technology: pc, smartphone, etc., She, instead, what is your relationship with modern technology?
Stano: Well, I have started to have a bit of familiarity with the technology already in 1997, when I first came into the digital technique. More than a challenge, for me it's always been a game. The computer is like a toy that allows me to not only experiment, but also to find solutions through the pure fun. Digital technology obviously has its limits, because the technique traditional analog has something magical that the computer has not been. Evidently has very the hand and the computer obeys your hand, but certain things that you need with the brush, pen, etc., are not always possible and replicable by means, such as the computer. However, the technology gives you something more, it gives you new things that the traditional techniques could never give you. The use of computer graphics, as you know, varies from Mickey mouse to Star Wars, you can do everything and more. It offers so many opportunities that were not there before. The mi-technology is served to keep alive the interest in the trial.
What's it like working with Tiziano Sclavi?
Stano: in Addition to the first stories of Dylan, we had sporadic encounters. Recently it is output to the history written by him and drawn by me. What I have noticed is a change in the style of the further reduction of its analysis of reality and of the way to make comparisons. You become more selective and direct. See the series of Dylan Dog in a more lucid and direct. The approach I had initially was full of cultural references, film, literal: now draws more to itself, to the experience of life that is made so far. I have noticed that it has become further pessimistic about life itself. In the history In the Mystery, the analysis is not so much about life as about the concept of death. This is the first time that directly address this theme, because before he was not interested. Here, however, there is a real reflection on what death is.
The last of your work together, In the Mystery, is already in the library, and contains the work in progress, both his and that of Tiziano Sclavi. Starting from the 29th of November, we will find the same story in the newspaper. What will we find in this new collaboration?
Are sure To find a Titian in good shape. I found it a very glossy, on the floor of the intent, reduced really to the bone: don't indulge in frills, it goes directly to that which is the goal.
Since last year, he passed the task of designing the cover of Dylan Dog, the young Gigi Cavenago. What do you think of his work?
Stano: I designed the covers for 26 years, is enough, no? (laughs) I have to say that the covers have always had a very special space in my activity: while the comic strip has been my primary vocation (and the one I always wanted to do), the covers were an “accident”. Due to the lack of the contribution of Claudio Villa from n°42 in then, the publisher has asked me to replace it. I approached this task as a challenge, and I coped fine. I would say that 450 covers about a witness to a remarkable effort! The handover took place in a way that is completely painless for me; I now have more freedom of movement, I can do more things that I wish, as I moved into other areas outside of Dylan Dog. Cavenago is doing an excellent job, has a freshness and a strong personality, his covers are beautiful illustrations and are not built according to the sense of “canon” as we have so far understood. Let me explain: if you look at the cover of Cavenago from a distance, you understand little. Instead, in the past, the order was to make a cover with just a few visual elements that would affect the player even at a certain distance.
This is because Dylan Dog, like so many other magazines, comics, appeared in the window of the newsagent. Today, the kiosk is much more “reduced”, of both space and offer: there is no longer any need that we had at the beginning, then a beautiful picture is also a nice cover, while before it was penalizing only have a beautiful illustration. A bit like traffic signals, the heads must be identifiable at a distance. Not only for the regular reader, but also for the occasional one that passes in front of the kiosk and says, "Toh! Let's see what is this comic strip...". Now with the new media appears in the previews on the website, on Facebook, and then you just changed the approach. We are in a great direction with the Cavenago, because it enhances its dynamic style by using a large palette of colors. I have a lot of respect for him.
Inside of the volume published by Comicout, hit us in detail the various women drawn along his career. What is the one that is most fond of?
Stano: Morgana is an interesting character to create ex-novo. When Titian asked me, I gave as an indication of the reference to the actress Julie Christie. That was the first character that I invented of healthy plant. All in all it has a character base that recalls Dylan, in fact, later became his mother. But it was not expected, maybe because of the type of style my, that combines all the characters that I draw. For the other characters, I always try to time a type of non-trivial, the characters that are not especially in the collective imagination recently: I'm going to search for particular people, not necessarily of the actresses. Sometimes I'm inspired by the unknown that struck me for the physical characteristics specific to the character that I require. When I designed the story that was written by Pasquale Ruju, The mysteries of Venice, and I drew a character on the crew, Chiara Caselli, who I saw in a scene in a movie adapted from a novel by Sclavi, Black. They invited me to see a shot of a particular scene in the movie, and I saw that she was perfect for the character that I had to create. Other times, I remember an episode soon be published on the cardboard with Mondadori where there was a girl (whose name I cannot remember), which was the godmother of one of the Horror Fest. I made a sketch and then I drew in this little story, The horrors of Altroquando.
What are your future plans, both immediate and long-term?
Stano: just a few days, I'm unemployed! I finished a story, that would be the result of the Mohawk River (The Stories Special n°2, script by Mauro Boselli). The episode is set about 15 years later, during the american revolution. We will find the characters that appeared in the issue of the previous, accompanied by new faces and is completely in color. The first was born in the black-and-white, then it was decided to publish it as a Special, and only later added the colors. This second part, instead, is born to be in colour