Stefano Casini: interview with the author of Hasta la Victoria (Mondadori Comics) – Lucca Comics & Games 2017
We meet Stefano Casini stand Mondadori Comics busy to dispose of the row of fans that were able to purchase a preview of Hasta la Victoria – Venceremos! that is, the second volume of his tetralogy set during the cuban revolution – you can find our review of the first volume here.
The author has responded in depth to our questions about the genesis of the work and its future projects.
MF: Welcome to MF Stephen!
SC: Hello, thanks!
MF: you are present at Lucca Comics & Games 2017 with a Hasta la Victoria – Venceremos! – released November 3 – and that is the result of Hasta la Victoria – Cuba 1957 published in June. Can you tell us how is born the idea of this series, given that you also the writer?
SC: The idea is very simple: during a trip, a vacation, I stopped at a rest area on the highway and my attention was captured by a book entitled Palmeras de Sangre, which had on the cover a beautiful photo of a street in Havana... that picture, not even the book itself, it has ignited in me a curiosity that decide to do a story that spoke of the cuban revolution, but I didn't want to make it descriptive rather than involving the characters of fiction in a historical reality well-defined.
MF: You suggest of fantasy characters, but placed in a historical context very well known or at least presumed to know: can you tell us how you have deepened the historical part of the story and if you hit something in particular, during this phase of study?
SC: As I already said I didn't want to do anything too informative: I didn't want to make a geography of the revolution, nor to take sides politically. So I started reading the books, and two biographies of che Guevara in particular that of Paco Taibo [Without losing the tenderness. The life and death of Ernesto che Guevara, Ed.] and that Jon Lee Anderson [Who. A life of revolutionary – Ed.] because I thought that would give me a perspective quite different and the two points of view, fairly balanced, in reality it was not so with the figure of That which comes to be quite clear from both books.
It seemed right to me to use the characters and situations are real and historically accurate, but alongside their characters in a story fictitious which ran parallel to the events of the Cuban Revolution, even if in reality the Revolution is developed from the point of view of the battles only in the last few months when there was the descent from the Sierra Maestra while the first part of my story is to understand a bit of the atmosphere in Havana is a sort of decoy of the Cuba of the time, a Las Vegas of the Caribbean, where the americans were the good and bad time with the complicity of the government of Batista.
MF: You have had the opportunity to present your work even in Cuba? How has it been received?
SC: The first time I went to Cuba I was already making the third volume in the series, the first two instead I made them availing myself of the photo sources for example. I decided after to go on the island and then also because from the point of view of architecture and landscape is not much changed by the Revolution and this helped me quite a lot, even if I have not found a big difference compared to the sources, however, I had the opportunity to put myself in a historical reality, a very particular and have of the direct testimony, including a few survivors of the Revolution.
It was very interesting and the first time I went there, I showed the first two volumes a senior leader of the Party that I had known and who was also a writer and I said that from the historical point of view, there were inconsistencies, I realized to have done a correct job from the point of view of the historical and chronological order, also because the Revolution has a linear development, especially the period that I wanted to use that from the end of ’57 until the early ’60s.
MF: What can we expect in the next volume, and where will we see you in the near future?
SC: Mondadori will complete the re-release of Hasta la Victoria, which have to admit is was published with a great success also in France, Germany, the Netherlands, then always on Historica will be released the second volume of the Blade and The Cross, a series set during the War of 30 years, a period quite “discovered” by the editorial point of view, as was the Cuban Revolution that was not considered an excluding That of Oesterheld and Breccia and Magnus with The man who killed che Guevara, although it was a work made in collaboration with other canons.
I have another graphic novel coming out next year and a Nathan's in the works.
MF: Thank you Stefano Casini!
SC: Thank you!
Stefano Casini: interview with the author of Hasta la Victoria (Mondadori Comics) – Lucca Comics & Games 2017 is MangaForever.net