Interview with Veronica “the Place ” Carratello | Lucca Comics and Games 2018


Published on Dec 17, 2018


After two years from its publishing success from the title and the Freezer, the illustrator Veronica Carratello, in art a Substitute, returns with his second work for Bao Publishing, bringing into play a hypochondriac, and Elvis Presley.

Lucca Comics and Games 2018 arrives with Dreaming of Elvis, a funny story with a protagonist, the unfortunate and full of problems. Between a laugh and the other, we asked some questions to the author about the birth and the development of his graphic novel.

MF: Who is carl, your protagonist? Is there really?

VC: First of all, the story is fiction, it is not a fact actually happened. But I noticed that hypochondriacs like Carlo really exist. I have read many testimonials on the page Facebook the Diary of a hypochondriac: among these, there was an article by a blogger who saw his hypochondria as a limb. I liked this image, I took inspiration and I did become an invisible arm that torture Charles. It was a great tool, both for the moments of tension that for the gag comic inside the comic book.

MF: Why did you choose the character of Elvis Presley as a “figure, helper of Charles?

VC: let's Start from the assumption that they are passionate about music! One day, when I was still working at the Freezer (my previous book), I heard on the radio of this the Parkes Elvis Festival in Australia, where 300 Elvis impersonator meet annually traveling on a train called the Elvis Express, which goes from Sydney to Parkes. I thought: "Wow! I absolutely have to make a comic!" Ideas for me are always when I listen to the news bizarre, in fact, even the Freezer (BAO, 2016) is taken from a news item heard on the radio. When I “turn on the light bulb,” I can do no less to write. I wanted to tell something about these look-alikes, but then I thought that it was best to put a character that he had difficulty in dealing with a trip to the other side of the world. Then I created Charles, the protagonist, with all the bad luck possible (laughs). Also Elvis is a hypochondriac, so it was a perfect combination!

MF: In Italy there is also a meeting in Treviso very similar to the australian one...

VC: Yes, the Elvis Day! I'd like to make a presentation of Dreaming of Elvis during that event!

MF: The volume is almost entirely set in Australia. Have you been there?

VC: Maybe! I have traveled “from the top” with Google Maps, I read up online about the individual cities and on the villages to see if I had enough material to be able to complete the story. In fact, at the beginning I wrote a hundred pages, then I called Bao Publishing, and I told them to have a new comic book. Michele Foschini, one of the two publishers, it is surprised that they have not been contacted before (laughs). I was afraid of not finding enough material, but in the end I managed to have more than I could imagine. The aboriginal cultures, the folklore of small towns... I put it all in Dreaming of Elvis.

MF: Graphically speaking, there are changes between the Freezer and Dreaming of Elvis: the contours more subtle, and more space to the colors, backgrounds, more defined...

VC: I Change constantly my style, but don't do it in a radical way, silt, little by little, details. I do it even while working. For example, I published the children's book The Diver with the british publishing house of the Flying Eye books, the children of Nobrow Press: this experience has changed my way to see my work. First I would put the screen to darken my drawings, but the publisher asked me to use the Pantone color well-defined, at the time I had nearly finished, Dreaming of Elvis, and then I took all the tables of this and the I rain. I had a different eye eight months later, it seemed to me too dark! On the Freezer I have worked in analog and Dreaming of Elvis in digital, instead of the pen I used a pencil simulated in Photoshop.

MF: You have said that you are passionate about music: which in particular? The songs of Elvis, which is the meaning for you?

VC: a Few years ago I used to dance the boogie woogie to the beat of the Elvis of the ’50s, then yes, I always liked. I like classic rock, like the Beatles and Bob Dylan, I also love indie rock and I often go to concerts of this genre. As far as the story, before writing it I documented in detail to make it credible. The stories that I write are always stories that I would be curious to buy it as a reader!

MF: From Lucca Comics & Games 2016 edition and 2018: what has changed?

VC: a Few more white hair! (laughs) It's always nice to see colleagues, Bao Publishing, with whom I share the stand. I saw Skottie Young's after two years and it was very nice, we riabbracciati after a long time. The reception to the book was beautiful, the audience was as warm as when I took a “Freezer” in 2016.

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