interview bande-dessinée, interview auteurs bande-dessinée, of Mario Alberti and Luca Enoch, authors of Morgana

of Mario Alberti and Luca Enoch, authors of Morgana

Interview made by Ronan in October 2003. La même en français
Morgana issues
Mario Alberti's card
Luca Enoch's card
The sketches notebook

SCENEARIO.COM: Hi Mario and Luca ! First of all, can you introduce yourself, and describe your professional life ?
Mario Alberti:
I think it was '91 when I did my first comic, a short SF story of four pages on a fanzine. I was lucky: the Intrepido, an old magazine, was looking for new talents and hired me soon after. I did a few stories for them (on scripts by Michelangelo La Neve, now writer of "Le Jour des Magiciens" for the Humanoids as well) and then I joined the staff of artists for "Nathan Never" and "Legs Weaver", two SF series published by Sergio Bonelli. I have been working on those since then and only gave up this year after realizing I was too involved in my projects with the Humanoids and that doing too many things at a time would spoil the quality of my works.

Luca Enoch: I've always been interested in comics, since my parents gave me, when I was one year old, the "Corrierino dei Piccoli", newspaper full of coloured comics for children. On "Intrepido", the same magazine where Mario started his professional life, I created the character of SPRAYLIZ, a young girl crazy for aerosol art; the funny characters of SKATERS, a band of juvenile dudes, performing stunts with their skates; NINJA BOY, a young boy who learns ninja martial arts from his school porter, an old and stoned japanese; PIOTR, the life of a rabbit, actor in hardcore movies. Actually, on proposal by the editor Sergio Bonelli , I make a character for my six-monthly magazine, GEA: a very young girl, rock&roll lover, bass player and bulwark against invasions of evil monsters from parallel universes.

SCENEARIO.COM: How have you met Luca Enoch ?
Mario Alberti:
We both started on the same fanzine and finally met at a festival at the Intrepido's stand. I was leaving in Milan, then, Luca's hometown, and so we became friends and started dreaming of our own series and projects.

SCENEARIO.COM: Can you describe a working day on Morgana ? How do you work with Luca ? With the Internet ? In an studio?
Mario Alberti:
I work at home so it happens that job and family business interfere with each other making it hard to have a "standard" schedule...children can be very time-consuming. Anyway, I try to work at least eight hours a day either waking up very early in the morning or going to bed very late at night...never the both or it takes only a couple of days to look and act just like a zombie.
I no longer leave in Milan so work with Luca is done mainly by e-mail. When we have a chance to meet, at festivals most of the times, we discuss at lenght of the coming issues and try to pin down the a matter of fact we can be quite boring for anyone else with us that would end up listening to our endless brain-stormings.

SCENEARIO.COM: Mario, can you speak about your drawing technic ?
Mario Alberti:
I (or Luca, when working on Morgana) do a first rough storyboard to decide how to fit the story into the pages. It's a very quick sketch, and almost unreadable to anyone else, that helps me to visualize and decide the number, the size of the frames and the single shots...this sort of things. Decoupage I guess you call it.
After that I pencil in blue (something that made more sense when I was working in black and white only) the page and then ink it with markers. I use those with calibrated tips, 0.05 or 0.1 and 1, and retouch the lineart with a white correction pen afterwards. Before the computer landed on my desk I used to make corrections and adjustements with self-adhesive paper (as a matter of fact I could end up with multi-layered ziggurats on one sheet of paper) but now I do that directly on the PC. It's amazingly easier to stretch a short arm or reposition one eye with Photoshop!
After the inking is done I scan the pages and color them using the PC. I don't have one technique, really: it's more a try-and-see process, still. The good thing about computers is that they're very patient and most of the times they allow for a change of mind.

SCENEARIO.COM: You are as well scenario writer as draughtsman. Luca as for him is scenario writer. How do you divide the work ? Who do what ?
Mario Alberti:
We discuss in detail the script together and we write down scraps of dialogues or descriptions of the scenes, dribbling ideas until we're happy with the result. By the end of it we couldn't say who did what.
After that Luca does a storyboard that I'll use as a starting point to develop the drawings, this helps to fit the 54 pages as well and feel the whole rythm of the story. Before starting I also do a lot of sketches and studies for the characters, the backgrounds or any device we'll use and collect as much as I can of documentation and materials, images, photos, captions from movies, that can be useful to the visualization. I then start the drawings.

SCENEARIO.COM: How was born Morgana ? How did you have the idea of this story ?
Mario Alberti:
Morgana was born during a car ride to Lucca quite a few years ago.

. I find that traveling is very inspiring...maybe that's because driving you can't do much more than talking but I prefer to think that every travel has some little adventure hidden within, waiting to develop its potential wether in real life or just fiction.

SCENEARIO.COM: What I realy like in Morgana, is the mixture between the High-technology in one hand, and the magic in the other hand ! This is about a mixture of Science fiction and Heroic fantasy ! Are these the kinds of story you particulary like ? What are your influences ?
Mario Alberti:
Indeed yes. I think that the line that divides techology from magic is always moving back and forth and can be traced, if it can at all, only for given periods in time. Morgana is about many things, one of these is exploring this concept.

Influences are too many to count! Novels, comics, movies, books, experiences...I'll mention only one per genre:
- novels: Frank Herbert's "Dune"
- comics: Hayao Miyazaki's "Nausicaa"
- movies: Peter Brook's "Mahabarata"
- books: The "Bhagavad Gita"
- experiences: yoga.

Luca Enoch I've always loved Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, where fantasy and science fiction are skilfully mixed. Moreover, one of my favourite italian graphic novel is "The Brigands", by the great Magnus who, from a classic of chinese literature, made a great story where fantasy, futuristic tecnology and medieval suggestions are harmoniously melted.

SCENEARIO.COM: How much volume of Morgana are envisaged ?
Mario Alberti:
Well, we were crazy enough to plan three trilogies and one ending volume. Each triology will end a "cycle", though.

SCENEARIO.COM: When will the volume 3 be available ?
Mario Alberti:
Hopefully by the end of 2004.

SCENEARIO.COM: Romantic question : will the love between Morgana and Voort be possible again as it was when they were young ???? ;-)
Mario Alberti:
Aaah, do you really want me to tell? Expect the unexpected!
Luca Enoch no way if you don't pay! ;-)

SCENEARIO.COM: Why did you choose "Les Humanoides associés" to publish your comic ? Aren't there any Italian editors?
Mario Alberti:
We choose Humanoids because we really liked the people we met there, I'd say this is the main reason.
But I must add that dwelling in the same cathalog that hosts people like Moebius has its own appeal.

At this time, and as far as I know, there's no italian publisher that would produce books in the french format (big, colors, hard cover and with stories that end after a given number of issues) and Morgana was conceived and meant to be like that.
Luca Enoch if you want to publish a BD like Morgana in Italy, you have to find an editor abroad - as we did in France with HA - and then you can come back home., as Barbucci and Canepa did with "Sky Doll".

SCENEARIO.COM: How is the comic's market in Italy ? Are there many comic's readers like in France or in Belgium ?
Mario Alberti:
This can be quite a topic. The readers are many but the most part of them is after something completely different from BDs: low cost many-paged, black and white and wide distributed never ending series. Quality is a plus like everywhere, of course.

SCENEARIO.COM: Is it easy to be a author of comics in Italy ?
Mario Alberti:
I guess not. Most of all now that the market is, seemingly, contracting.

SCENEARIO.COM: What are your future projects ? Have you other comics in preparation ? With who ?
Mario Alberti:
At the moment I'm working on the praparation sketches for a new series, that we call "Redhand", written by Kurt Busiek and produced by the Humanids US. This means that I'll alternate between this and Morgana in the future. As anyone else doing this job I have more in the drawers but it will have to be kept there.

Luca Enoch :I'm working on the subject and the scénario of a police story settled in the XVII century of Japan, for a new line of Humanoids. Temporary title. "L'Hollandais et le samurai", we're just at the beginning.
In few weeks - after a meeting with Mario - I'll start with the storyoard of the third episode of Morgana.

SCENEARIO.COM: Can you tell us the authors you would like to work with ?
Mario Alberti:
I'll never have a chance to but I'd love to work with Hayao Miyazaki.

SCENEARIO.COM: What are the latest Comics you read ? What are those you particularly liked ?
Mario Alberti:
The latest comic I've read was "Monster Allergy", I really enjoy Barbucci and Canepa's works.
My favourite of all times (I must be repeating myself) is "Nausicaa". I've grown as an artist with the works by Giorgio Cavazzano, Magnus, Andrea Pazienza but I have debts with a lot of people: Otomo, Shirow, Moebius, Mignola...too many to mention.

Luca Enoch first of all, "the" Flash Gordon by the great Alex Raymond and "the" Tarzan by Russ Manning. Then some of the greatest italian and french artists of graphic novel, as Magnus, Andrea Pazienza, Moebius; the argentine Juan Zanotto and Juan Gimenez and the japanese Katsuiro Otomo and Masamune Shirow.
I've just read for the 10th time "Bone" by Jeff Smith. Great!

SCENEARIO.COM: Does it exist web sites dealing with comics like in Italy ?
Mario Alberti:
Yes. Come here they've french texts as well:
Luca Enoch Yes, they're good. At this very time you can find 8 pages in preview from my next album of Gea.

SCENEARIO.COM: How did you discover ? What do you think about it ?
Mario Alberti:
Google. I'm still trying to figure out what people like in France and so I take a look every now and then at BDs reviews. I was curious to read comments about Morgana 2, as well.
The site is very nice but really I explored only a few pages, I'm sorry. Time is tyrant!

SCENEARIO.COM: What do you think about web site dealing with comics in general ? Do you think they are essential to promote comics, authors ?

Mario Alberti: I like it that people have another chance to meet and talk of what they like regardless the distance. The internet is also an opportunity to let the authors know some of their readers and listen to their thoughts, what they liked and what they did not.
Also, and unlike in any other "official" occasion, one has a chance to pose questions, answer and read at the time and place of his choice. In a way, the internet allows for meetings regardless of space and time as well.
But I must say I think that the possibilty of going "worldwide" can also be deceptive and the true potential of the internet as a promotion instrument is over-estimated. Promotion is by it's nature compulsory, in the internet not only you can - still - decide not to "click" but you may not even know where to.

SCENEARIO.COM: Thank you very much for your answers, and for the time you spent for us !
Mario Alberti:
Thank you! That's it! Best wishes, Mario