Hello Marco Santucci. Welcome by Oncle Fumetti. You are the designer of La Mandragorepublished by Soleil.You are not well known enough in France. Who are you?
I was born in 1974, in the beautiful region of Tuscany, in Italy. I've been working in the comic field since I was 21. I've worked for Sergio Bonelli Editore ( Italy), Marvel Comics and Soleil Production in recent times.
How did you come to comics?
Well, like many others you don't decide to make this work, you are born to
make this work :)
So when I realized that my biggest passion was telling stories with images, I started to make it! Obviously, I studied the technique a lot and I had another big fortune in my life: I met Fabio Civitelli, my great master and author of Tex, here in Italy. Fabio has been my mentor and showed me the correct way how to do the sequential art.
You are screenwriter and artist. What do you prefer ?
Well, I prefer absolutely to be an artist. My work as screenwriter has been only related to Fourmi Blanche.
You have drawn for Marvel Comics 3 books for X-factor? Tell us about this experience. Is it a final outcome of a drawer to work with this great publishing house?
One thing is sure : it's an incredible experience. I've worked on X-factor, Spider-man ( my favourite character) and Captain America. Working for Marvel Comics Has revealed a special experience, because you got the freedom to show your graphical skills at your best. I've worked in almost every kind of situation and with several writers, and the Marvel comics experience is the one that gave me the biggest graphical possibilities. They mainly want two things from you : respecting the deadlines and doing your best work !
You have scripted 3 comics of the "Fourmi Blanche" serie published in Italy by Pavesio. Why did you choose to be the scenarist? Have not you wanted to sign the graphics?
Well, it's a long story. What I can say is that, in that situation I couldn't make the art of Fourmi Blanche because I was working to other projects. Anyway, I created the main character in a cartoon version ( the project at the beginning was about a animated series) and I worked to a part of the pre-production of the project. After that, Patrizio Evangelisti was choosen as the artist of the series and he made an incredible work on it. Fourmi Blanche was one of the rare occasion where I have written a story... and that story has been told in an incredible way thanks to Patrizio!
You have worked on "The Amazing Spider-Man" with Brian Reed. What did you tell us about this project. Is it finished ?
Yes is it. It was a miniseries, a tie-in of the main Secret Invasion miniseries. And the weird thing is that it was entitled "Secret Invasion: SPIDER-MAN" but the real main character was Jackpot !
You just have published with Axel Gonzaldo and Sylvain Cordurier the second part of "La Mandragore" by Soleil. Tell us about this work. How do you come on this project ? How can we work at three on such a project?
Well, I was contacted directly by the editor of the series, Jean-Luc Istin several months before my work for Marvel comics was finished. He introduced me the project and I really liked the idea of working on a series where I could create the characters. So I said yes! Sylvain was the writer, Axel the colorist, I was in the middle of two phases! :)
Creating Lynn Redstone and the other characters has been a great pleasure. For the second time ( after Secret Invasion: spider-man) I've worked on a series where the main character was a woman. After years, in Italy, where I drew mainly men, finally I was working on more beautyful and hot women ! In particular, the Mandragore is a project that mixes two past experiences of my career : the super-hero genre and the hystorical genre. That is because La Mandragoreis a sort of fantasy action story, which takes place in London during the Victorian period. Obviously, after the extreme freedom that Marvel comics gave me about the layout of the pages, I had to learn again to keep the characters inside the panels... and not to draw them too big! Sylvain asked me to de-zoom them all the time! It has been a great lesson.
You are an international creator. How do you work with Italians, Americans, French ? Is it difficult and why ? What are the differences between these culturs ?
Absolutely different. And that's the cool part. In the last 5 years I've changed so many titles, projects and three publishers and all the times there were new things to learn, new challenges to win, new ways of seeing the sequential art. Obviously many times I worked on two project at the same time, in different days, so at the end of the month it was incredible to see the differences among the French, American and Italian parts. It was amazing, and incredibly instructive.
To be extremely brief, I could say that: the Italian comics needs a good quality and a good production, but you can't get any freedom on the layout (they are always three strips divided mainly in six panel for each page). The American comics give you a great freedom and the most important thing is telling the story in the most drammatical way... but usually the deadlines are really tight. The French comics need you to do your best because they have several phases of work ( each part of the work has to be approved by the editor, from the layout to pencils, to inks). So, each way of working has its advantages and disadvantages. :)
What are your future projects?
After the Mandragore I'm finishing the Dampyr story that me and Patrick Piazzalunga ( my assistant in the inks) are working on in the last months. After that I should work on a new Dampyr story. But, obviously, I'm always open to new possibilities and projects. Expecially if they are connected with action! So who knows? I hope the best for me. ;-)
Thank you very much Marco for your answers. You always will be welcomed by Oncle Fumetti.