Comics fans -to put it more properly, let’s say “fumetti” instead of comics – are well aware of that Gianfranco Manfredi is a heck of a writer. If my words are not enough to convince you, all you need to do is read some of his books. Magico Vento (Büyülü Rüzgar) will do fine, but do not ignore Volto Nascoto (Saklı Yüz). You will be amazed by the rich, solid and elaborate historical background of these books which has the signature of a maestro, Signor Manfredi. Fortunately, both of them can be read in Turkish now, thanks to publishing houses, Lal Kitap and 1001 Roman. Signor Manfredi answered the questios of Ters Ninja. So the honour is ours…
I guaduated in History of Philosophy , so that’s my starting point. Not only the history of Events, but the history of thoughts and human knowledge. In my works (in comics-books or in literary novels) i like to mix the way we live, with the meaning that we attach to our life and experience. My character Magico Vento is always in search of “meaning” , also if he is an action hero.
At school the history lessons are usually boring but from Manfredi’s hands it becomes enjoyable and atractive. What is your secret?
I try to tell the story of “real” persons. In that way the History doesn’t seems anymore something exterior to our destiny of men. I dont’ think that “we are the History”, cause the History is much bigger then us, but simply i think that in a tale, the story must be the story of someone. So, the creative process starts from the characters. I don’t like novels with characters used as puppets by the author. This is very important in Comics-books ’cause you could writet a very interesting story, but if the characters are feeble, there is no chance to attract and enjoy the readers.
You are also a novel writer. And you usually are interested in dark material. Vampires, for example. And you told me that your last work going on is about resurrection. What is it atracting you to these subjects and can you tell some about your other going-on projects?
The main subject of the Gothic and Horror Tales is the Death. Death is the most certain experience of our entire life, but we try to forget it. ‘Cause the death scares us. I’s fake to judge the horror novels or the horror movies as “entertainment”, there is something terribly serious inside. I appreciate the humour, and i try to be happy in my life, but i think that we can’t be superficial persons, ’cause life is also, for us and for millions of people, a struggle for survive, and creates so many innocent victims. We can’t forget this. We can’t forget that our History is plenty of horrors. Now i’m writing a novel about the vagabonds and the “poor laws” in the Elizabeth I ‘s England . This period his really awful : so much injustice and cruelty and real horror , that we can’t even conceive. It is not always necessary to have a Legendary Monster as main character in an horror novel. The true monsters are We Humans, not the Strange Creatures or the Aliens.
In Volto Nascosto, how did you construct your hero Ugo. From what kind of background he arose?
I tried to create a common person, generous, brave, but also too kind and not so sure of what he has to do or what he can do, in many circumstances. I describe how he becomes an hero, without loosing his humanity and fragility.
And what kind of child was Gianfranco Manfredi? Who were the ones who influence him so much? Both as a humanbeing and writer…
I was a very happy child, with splendid parents and friends. Not rich people, and that’s very important. I was fortunate meeting persons famous or unknowns that gave me precious evidence of what means to conduct an honest and modest life, working hard, searching not only personal but social happiness, and lookin for a spiritual meaning in our existence, also if many of that persons weren’t religious people. Me too, i’m not a religious person, but this does’nt means to live as a brute who works only for money, power, public glory or that kind of stupid stuff that usually covers our interior void.
What differs Magico Vento is, its rich and elaborate background and also its politic criticism? What kind of resources you used to create this realistic scene?
The character of Poe (the Magico vento’s friend) is much more involved then him in politics. Magico Vento is a shaman, so he try to have an higher “point of view”. Maybe this reflects my personal “schizophrenia”, ’cause in my life i’have been always involved in cultural and social movements , but i felt that there are questions to which politics cannot answer. So, sometimes is necessary to stop the struggle, to reflect about us and our experience, and find moments to be alone with our own toughts. I think that generally the young persons (and readers) are much open to that perspective then the adults, who works and fights often without even remember the original reasons, as an habit. The little children ask always “Why?” , too much adults think that “Why” is not important, so they conduct themselves as blinds. Well… when we open a comics-bok we think “let me see” , and we are all childs plenty of curiosity and questions, we need to be surprised. It’s wonderful to spend also the real life looking for surprises.