Random Friday

So, last week I was off Day Job and after a few days at home to work on Nightly Bites Volume 2 (by the way, it’s up for pre-order, yay!) I hopped on a train to Milan with my friend and cover artist Cristina Fabris. We arrived around 3pm and spent the afternoon chilling out in our hotel room – she had work to finish and I had a novel to check, LOL!

Friday we met with her friend and fan Michel at the central train station and headed for Cartoomics, where I was supposed to meet two more of my cover artists, Lawrence Wendigo and Rossana Beretta, to give them proofs of the book with their covers…

I also had a list of comics I wanted to buy since I hadn’t gone to a comicon in a few years, so I ended up with a very heavy bag. And since I flew back from Linate (I had to use my Alitalia miles, LOL!), I decided to send some of that stuff back by mail.

Saturday morning I went to the post office and sent to my parents 4,1kg of comics. Then we went to the bookstores around Duomo, where I lost my hat (in the Mondadori flagship store – and they got rid of the Espresso Book Machine, IMHO…), then we met with Franco Giambalvo of an Italian SFF site.

We had lunch with him then spent an hour at Tempo di Libri, meeting Francesco Verso, then, being wrecked, we went back to the hotel. Sunday morning, we got home separated, since I flew and she took the train again…

And yesterday I retrieved the box of comics from my parents… destroyed, but the interior was fine, yay! Now battling a spring cold, but wishing you a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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Torino Comics

Maurizio's "stolen" doodle (there will be dragons, yay!)

I spent the past weekend at Torino Comics, a small (compared to San Diego, but also to Angoulème – French market – and Lucca – oldest Italian comicon) comicon in northern Italy. Precisely because it’s not such a huge happening, I think it’s still a good, personal experience.

Before the Comicon I went to my comic bookshop (where I have a discount) to make sure I wouldn’t spend too much at the fair. So I found out that Milo Manara, great italian artist known mostly for his women, has done a “short” X-men comic-book written by Chris Claremont, who tailored the story for him – in fact it’s only the X-girls Storm, Kitty Pride, Psylocke and Rogue having an adventure with Rachel and Emma Frost (I’m not a regular X-men reader, though).

the doodle inside the artbook

Then I took my Frecciarossa-train to Turin (4h30 via Milan) where I met Scott McCloud who was traveling with his family, but we were on different coaches, so traveled apart. But then in Turin my friend Fulvio picked us up and we took the McClouds to their hotel and then to dinner with Vittorio Pavesio who is a) the publisher who publishes the Italian version of Scott’s work (Fulvio did the translations of book 2&3) and who invited him to the comicon, b) the man behind Torino Comics itself, and c) an artist in his own right. So that was Thursday afternoon/night.

On Friday the convention started. We picked up the McClouds to give them their pass and I had a look around. There was some original art by Frezzato and Ryo Kanai who were also present. The first panel was Vittorio with Scott and Rio (with Fulvio and Massimo as interpreters – Massimo is the writer of the project with Ryon and an internet friend of mine that I finally met face to face). Then I had Ryo’s artbook autographed (first in line! :-)), and sat near Scott during his signing to help him with the 90% of Italians who don’t speak English.

Scott's drawing

At lunch I met Maurizio Manzieri, a great international illustrator, and Davide, another internet friend that now has a real face. I didn’t bring my camera, so no pics to share, sorry. In the afternoon again I assisted Scott at his signing, then went with Davide to catch a train – I slept at Fulvio’s who lives 80km from Turin (but trust me, it’s faster doing Vaglio Serra-Turin than Rome north to south or east to west) and that night had to stay in town for a VIP dinner-reading with Scott and other Pavesio authors.

Thus Friday was done for me – I bought only Ryo’s artbook and Davide&Massimo sci-fi/fantasy publication I will review later on (genre prose, not comic books).

the artbook

Saturday I bought Maurizio’s artbook and was first in line to have it personalized, then I sat between him and Scott, and “stole” one of Maurizio’s doodles (both Scott and I were very jealous of his talent ;-)). I watched Simone Bianchi and Lucio Parrillo paint live, met a couple of friends, had my Scott’s doodle and started saying good-bye, as Sunday I’d be traveling back to Rome with the Intercity train that does the coast (Liguria and Tuscany) and takes 7h15 (when it’s not late – once it took me 8h to get to Turin), but costs half the Frecciarossa (which means Redarrow, btw).

the drawing inside the artbook

So, there you have it, my busy weekend in comic-bookdom! Scott, Maurizio, Ryo (I hope your English is good enough to understand this), it was an honor meeting you – God bless your art in all its difference! 🙂

(I’m thinking of “stealing” from Facebook some pics of the live performances of the painters… mumble mumble… well, maybe next time! :-D)

Have a nice week…


OK, it’s official, I’m too old for comic conventions. I can’t stand the crowds, the noisy youngsters, the loud music and all that standing that kills my back, either in line or walking around the compound. Sigh.

Instead of looking for the next big thing in comic-bookdom, I thought about the novel revisions and how I looked forward to get away from the con. I decided I had to tell that ziner-turned-publisher to get the hell out of my life, as I’m sick of giving away stories without getting paid.

So I sat in a small square in the middle of Lucca, far away from the comicon commotion, wondering if I should just leave and forget about all this. Not for me anymore. I’ll have to find other ways to get through, the internet or word of mouth, but no comicons.

I wanted to see San Diego Comicon, but maybe I’ll keep it for my next life! My readers don’t go to comicons anyway… or do they?

Comic conventions

This is a scheduled post as I’m attending Lucca Comics&Games. This is the oldest comic-con in Italy and still the best. Last year I drooled over Rosinski’s work (already seen at Angoulème, Thorgal being my fave BD ever!! 🙂 I dreamed of having him drawing a BD – French comic book – from my novel in the early 90s…) and met Larry Elmore (for the second time) and was introduced to Monte Moore, his neighbor in the Games area. I’m not a player, but I did read the Dragonlance novels and Larry is my fave illustrator of the D&D bunch. I proudly display his elven prince (original pencil drawing) in my living-room.

I don’t know yet what I will find this year. I need to catch up with some friends (former ziners, sometimes turned pros) and ejoy again one of my favorite towns of Tuscany (which I have known since childhood because my grand-mother was from Garfagnana and we still own a house there, near Castelnuovo di Garfagnana).

Maybe next year I’ll set up a table with some friends, but at the moment my comics (both re-issued and new) are available only on my Lulu store… I know both the most important comic-cons of Europe (Angoulème for the French market and Lucca for Italy), but I still have a couple more to explore – Barcelona and… well… San Diego! Maybe next year, when I have a bigger catalogue?

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