Interview with Jacopo Paliaga, and the French Charlemagne: "With Aqualung 4 we have finished to set the table and now you eat"


Published on Feb 16, 2020


You get closer and closer to the conclusion of the adventures of Cold Cove and his mysteries under water. Aqualung arrives in his fourth season on the web and on paper, thanks to Bao Publishing (in the library from 31st November 2019), and continues to surprise with the misfortunes and misadventures that affect the inhabitants of the land, sometimes the most common and complimentary to what you might think...

We interviewed the authors Jacopo Paliaga, and the French Charlemagne could tell us about the development of this fourth season, and what we should expect for the future.

MF: the Return of the adventures at Cold Cove, and we find a slight change of route. What is happening in the small town by the sea?

JP: No change of course. Everything is where it should be, as well as thought at the beginning (and thanks to BAO who has pushed and helped in this undertaking). For this fourth season, actually, we tried to return to the atmosphere of the beginning, gloomy and apocalyptic, more intimate and familiar, if we want to. With the seasons 4 and 5 are connected in one big story, we thought we'd take the opportunity to create a reading anti-climate in which to bring to the surface the consequences of all that have lived the protagonists up to now, in total contrast to what will be the last great season.

Let's say that, with the conclusion of this volume 4, we finished setting the table, and now you eat. With regard to Cold Cove, in the small town of sea nothing happens in particular, as always. Or, at least, on the surface, while the gears hidden in the move slowly: Andy Greenberg went to Fred Bishop, to the leadership of the R. A. I. N. with the deluded thought of being able to shape a different Organization. Holly and Beth have re-opened the “Fish Dish” and work there, even if technically they could not (but, hey, it is Cold Cove, let alone if all that happens, someone puts you to ask for the documents...). Philip King is losing control of his own body, as well as Beth, even if in another way, or Isabel. While Connor... is Connor: try to put the head in place, but we all know that it is wasted effort.

MF: For the character of Isabel, there is a “new inbox”. As you never developed her character in that direction?

JP: I don't know how to answer this question without spoilers, the volume 4, but I will try. Isabel has lost everything, literally, in the course of the various seasons, we've seen her lose her humanity and become a monster, we saw it lose control of his mind as well as the love of his life, twice.

We wanted to offer you a second chance – especially after the end of the third season – but being I and French very bad, and being Aqualung a series that does not give anything to anyone, we wondered: really Isabel can be happy once again, in some way? Can a human being changed in that way – to give the light something pure? The answer will come by the end of season 4, and see if it fits in perfectly with the parable descendant of another of the protagonists...

Personally, with the Aqualung, I always try to keep the characters balanced on a rope, from which they may fall or they may get caught and then get back on. The only certainty is that the characters walk over them like acrobats, all together, and it is therefore normal that actions are linked, and that, in any way, affect the lives and future of others.

MF: the Aqualung was born as a webcomic, but it was immediately published in the paper by BAO Publishing. Apart from the initial difficulties in adapting the comic on two different media, as you have evolved the storytelling for this season? How can you have a narrative smooth for both the web and for the printed paper?

FC: IT's true, Aqualung was born as a webcomic and initially some difficulty in the switch from the web to the paper there was, but I would say that it was a thing confined to the first volume, since that season was born completely on the web and just after resulted in the publication with BAO.

For subsequent seasons it was all much more simple: we knew that there would be this transition from the do and the be aware of has definitely facilitated the whole thing. What we've done from the second volume forward was to think about the first paper, because that definitely needs more attention and precision, especially with regard to the foliation and the management of the twists, and then we built the adaptation on the web accordingly.

MF: In the fourth season, the protagonist is the everyday, in the small gestures of all the characters and in the daily work. But you have also faced the dangers that everyday life conceals. What other “hot topics”, you face (or would like to deal) with the protagonists of the Aqualung?

JP: The main theme of the Aqualung has always been the family, understood not as a mere descent of blood, but as the people with whom you choose to live. It is a family made up of teenagers, monsters, some killer, suffering people who are strength to each other.

Each of the protagonists has lost something, in terms of human relations: those of the wife, who is a boyfriend, who is a father, and we needed a moment of calm (however illusory) to put them ahead of the issues and problems of daily life, including shopping or deal with a traumatic event. In the future we do not intend to deal with other “hot” topics, but we will focus on collect as sown, which also includes “the big traumatic event” shown at the middle of the fourth volume, which clearly will have consequences and will serve to define, once and for all one or more characters involved in the story.

MF: Confirmed the color palette, we notice an evolution in the design. French, what would you say to yourself of the first plates of the Aqualung?

FC: I'm happy with the path that I'm doing and of the progress that I had. Surely I was more immature and the fact that I had to draw so many pages in a matter of a couple of years has helped my growth. To me, the same of the first plates of the Aqualung, I'd probably say that he did not know draw a cartoon. Jokes apart, I would say that with the hard work and commitment, gradually, the results you see.

MF: The fourth season has just ended, you are already projected towards the fifth?

FC: Absolutely, yes! We are beginning to work in these days and soon you'll know more. Jacopo is putting together all the pieces of the puzzle in the end, but we are at a good point. We can't wait to let you read the last couple hundred pages.

MF: There are some narrative elements scattered along this fourth volume, which lead us to think of the Aqualung 2.0 or maybe a spin-off, we have thought of?

JP: actually, no. Aqualung is a series from the narration strongly incasellata, where every piece must be in the right place, all waiting the closing of the circle planned for the next year. Leave a door open for a spin-off or a sequel would mean to remove one brick from our building Lego, making it wobble. We could not think of a spin-off or sequel tied to the main story, because this will end with the fifth volume, as in the program.

Clearly, some ideas to continue or expand the universe of the Aqualung would be there, but we prefer to focus to close with a bang rather than lengthen the stock. In a totally hypothetical, though, I've always joked with the French on taking the characters of the Aqualung in ten years, with Holly grown, maybe married, with a different life and with different protagonists. Always that it survives to the end, it is obvious.

Interview with Jacopo Paliaga, and the French Charlemagne: "With Aqualung 4 we have finished to set the table and now you eat" is




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