Last month, Celestino Pes interviewed Roberto Baldazzini. In a game of mirrors, it was the other way around, Baldazzini interviewed Pes: the first an artist, the latter a writer, working together to create works such as Chiara Rosenberg, Come ciliegie, La fortezza del dolore, Fondazione Malone, Ines la ragazza pneumatica.
When did you start writing? What was the driving force that led you to write and especially led you to comics?
I began writing when I accidentally met a publisher willing to publish my works. There was no need to rise through the ranks. Francesco Coniglio, whom I met because of our common love for music, encouraged me to write articles for Blue. I wrote them and he published them. Then the same happened with stories and screenplays. Basically I was discovered by Coniglio. He loves being a talent scout. There are relatively few things that I wrote and which were not printed in Italy or abroad. Regarding comics, I also had the good fortune to work immediately with Baldazzini. I have always tried to make the kinds of stories I would have liked to buy but could not find them on sale. Nobody created comics that I would have loved, therefore I created them myself. I do not like and I didn’t particularly like neither the mainstream serial comics or the ones considered very artistic. I always followed my tastes and my beliefs, however, trying to respect the personality of the designers.
What atmospheres do you prefer?
Or dark or very funny. For dark I intend Satanik, which I consider one of the best comics ever. While for funny I can say Alan Ford, Crumb or Shelton’s Freak Brothers. Always a smart comedy and not an end in itself.
You have a keen interest in writing about female characters, what features do they have?
Yes, I really like female characters. Maybe because I have always found heroic “super” male characters very boring and ridiculous. The women I create on paper represent that certain kind of woman that I have always dreamed and fantasized about since puberty, but that I hope will never meet in real life, that is, “la belle dame sans merci” extremely elegant, sophisticated and obviously very sexy and cruel . This sometimes comes out with no half tones such as Magenta, while other times they are more nuanced, as in the case of Chiara Rosenberg.
So the erotic dimension is congenial to you.
With characters like that it comes out towards the surface by itself, in fact they’re erotic to begin with, without having them take their clothes off. It does not depend on how much you show. For me also Satanik was erotic, or Saudelli’s Bionda (or Blonde) whose only nude body part were her feet, although only quotation marks should be written.
How was your collaboration with Baldazzini and then with Guerra?
Very positive with both, although diametrically opposed. Baldazzini was already famous and he appreciated me. With Guerra the opposite happened. I discovered him and accompanied him creatively making him known and appreciated. Baldazzini in a professional sense “knew everything about women”, so for example, I could write about any item of clothing or accessory, and he drew them properly. Guerra, however, wasn’t familiar with anything and in the beginning made a lot of mistakes. With Baldazzini the first releases were Italian, while with Guerra we started directly with other languages. I would also like to mention another good illustrator, with whom I have worked with very well: Andrea “Lupo” Tonsig. With “Lupo” I created, among other things, the series Deli-X-Rama series that, up until now does not have the results I hoped for. But it is not yet out of the race.
Speaking of comics do you have any stories you’d like to tell, and with who eventually? Future projects?
I have a project that I particularly care about, which I have kept to myself. It is about a situation that could develop in different stories, even in a real saga. A sort of anti-utopian science fiction. But I do not want to talk about it too much. I’m afraid that someone might steal my idea.Who could draw it? I do not know. The real problem for me is: who could publish it? The next project I’m working on is a collaboration with Baldazzini and concerns the beautiful and ruthless Sadia. A new cruel female character who is very congenial to me. The first story should be titled Nerissimo.