I’m working on so many projects at the moment that I really shouldn’t have done this, but in the end I couldn’t resist the temptation of doing a little Halloween drawing (especially with all the beautiful ‘haunted’ houses I’m seeing around Brooklyn these days). So here you go, I have decided to pay tribute to some of my favourite mad scientists in comics, films and video games – how many can you recognize?
NOTE: while working on this I quickly realised that even in fiction scientists seem to be all middle-aged white males, so depressing… we really need more mad women in here! Luckily io9 already did some excellent research on the topic but I still think it’s fertile territory for cartoonists. Maybe it’s time to go back to my Rosetta character…
I had been in New York only for a few days when Scriberia wrote me from London to ask me if I wanted to do a scribituary about Oliver Sacks. I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate commission than celebrating the great master of scientific writing, who was born in London 82 years ago but lived in New York for most of his life, so I eagerly accepted.
Here is the final result, which of course you can also find on the Scriberia journal, together with many other illustrated obituaries. It was hard to choose the most relevant facts in his incredible life but one thing was sure: the colour had to be some shade of indigo (listen to this Radiolab episode if you want to find out why, and learn more about Dr.Sacks).
It’s scientifically proven that experiencing new environments is good for your brain. Or maybe not, maybe I just made that up. At least I hope it doesn’t do you any harm because after 7 years in London I have decided to relocate to New York for a few months. The choice was mostly dictated by ‘personal’ reasons but of course I’m pretty psyched to be in the homeland of many of my favourite cartoonists! I will try to explore the city (i.e. get lost) and draw as much as possible so hopefully you’ll hear from me soon… in the meanwhile if you have any recommendation for things to do around here give me a shout. Thanks!
While I’m supposed to be working on longer and more important projects (which it’s still too early to share) I cut out some time to make an illustration for ILLUSTRAFUTURS, an interesting competition from the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication (ACCC) which simply asks participants to imagine “How will be cities, society, technology, population or environment in year 2100?”. I really couldn’t pass on the chance to draw some good old science fiction.
My view is kind of pessimistic – considering the current trends in overconsumption and climate change – but I guess people won’t really mind as long as they have access to the internet.
So, it has been a while since the last post. In the past 3 months I have been working on a project with the great people at Science-Practice, a company which combines science and design in many different ways (I also did some illustrations for them which hopefully you will be able to see at some point but for the moment remain top-secret).
I’m now back to drawing full-time and I have several news for you:
- My short story Rosetta was published in the new issue of Stripburger, I just received my complimentary copies and I can highly recommend it.
- If you are around NYC this Friday you can go to the opening of the Comics and Cartoon Art Annual Exhibition, at the Society of Illustrators, where you can see my work humbled by the proximity of some of my very favourite cartoonists!
- Last but not least, I am very much looking forward to ELCAF this weekend. There I will finally get my hands on the latest issue of Lok zine and the Treviso Comic Book Festival fanzine with tributes to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for which I made this portrait of the Mock Turtle, a less known but lovely character by Lewis Carroll.
See you around.
“They had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break.”
Horray! I can finally share the cover I made for the 6th issue of LÖK ZINE, the visionary fanzine which first published my comics. I’ve been collaborating with them since the very beginning so it was a real honour for me when they asked me to draw the cover for the new issue about Hunger (‘Fame’ in Italian). You can get a free preview of the content here, but it should suffices to say that it includes a story by the amazing BoxBrown! You may as well go ahead and preorder your copy.
Yesterday I came back from Italy, where I presented Neurocomic at the Settimana del Cervello and gave a lecture at the Master in Communicazione della Scienza. Thanks to all the people who came by, and especially to the students, who were very welcoming and have great projects of their own! Other things happened but I’ll give more details about this in due time… Today – just to linger on the Italian theme – I want to remember 6 Gradi Di Separazione, my first book ever published, back in March 2013 by Bel-Ami Edizioni. These days I rarely have time to think about this early experiment of mine but at least once a year I want to pay my tribute. So, to mark the 2nd anniversary of the publication, here is a little painting inspired by a real advertisement I saw on the tube a while ago and – like many things in that book – can assume a bitter double meaning if you have been in a long-distance relationship.
I have been kind of quiet lately. The reason is that I started working at Science-Practice two weeks ago and I’ve been too busy learning about amazing new technologies. This is going to slow down my drawing for a while but no doubts it’s also going to inspire some pretty futuristic comics at some point, so stay tuned!
Talking about the future: after a Sunday immersion at Futurefest, this week I’m back in Italy to present Neurocomic at the Settimana Del Cervello. This is an excellent (neuro)science communication festival which I remember attending back when I was still an undergraduate in Bologna, before I even decided to study the brain (let alone writing a comic about it!). So I was very pleased to receive this invitation and, if you happen to be near Trieste, I hope you’ll join me this Saturday 21 March, 17:30 at the Libreria Lovat.
I spent the best part of the week drawing a 6-pages comic to submit to the Stripburger open call. It’s a science-fiction story with much more ‘fiction’ than ‘science’ (for once) which I wrote a long time ago and it was really good to get out of my system. It features comets, an evil scientist and some kind of love… it’s a metaphor for how science, in its attempt to control the universe, sometimes forgets about human emotions. I hope you will be able to read it in print soon, in the meanwhile here is the cover:
Here is my entry for the Flame Challenge 2015, a brilliant initiative from the Alan Ada Center for Communicating Science which challenges scientists to answer a question asked by 11-year-olds (who are also going to be our judges).
This is also my first attempt to produce some kind of animation and – although I always knew it was hard work – I was shocked by the amount of time it went in this short video (my respect to all the animators out there!). In fact I would have never made it without the help of Pamela Parker (undercurrentdesign.com) who provided precious creative input, narration and put the whole thing together in AfterEffects, and the professional sound design of Andrew Jones (acmesoundtracks.com). They are so good, you should hire them! On this one we all worked for free so I really hope you will enjoy it.