HOW DID JAN DIX COME TO LIFE, AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO CREATE HIS ADVENTURES? Exactly when I had the idea, l can’t say, sincerely. It was a kind of a “dormant” thought for me, to rea|ize a comics series that would allow me to tackle the themes of Art, by means of a script and of my drawings, in a dramatization. Practically, the chance to work on Jan Dix came with the end of Napoleone, when I had to choose a new character for a series. How did it all begin, you ask? As usual, somehow. Once you identify and set limits to the theme – as our Publisher always suggests – what follows is born out of a series of conversations with our team of coworkers. I wrote some ideas for the first stories, to use as a starting point and “food for thought”, so to speak. The whole project started off from there.
IN DIX STORIES YOU MANAGE TO TOUCH SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT-ART AND PSICHOLOGY, FOR ISTANCE? HOW DID YOU DEVELOP THOSE PASSION? This is a trickier question, I guess: where do our passions and interests come from? There’s no easy answer, I think. I’d say it all comes from a natural inclination for those themes, that were also a big part of my personal education in a wider sense.
WHO WHERE THE ARTIST THAT INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER, WHO MAYBE WERE AN INFLUENCE ON YOUR DRAWING STYLE AND YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY? The list could be a very long one, ranging in different fields: philosophy, literature, art, cinema, comics. I can’t choose just one, though maybe some artists are more closely linked to a peculiar moment of my life... and, being now in my fifties, that would require a long disquisition! Talking about “style” in comics’ drawing, I began admiring the great artists (the so-called “Realists”) of the 1950, ’60 and ’70: Alex Raymond, Alex Toth, Jean Giraud, Joe Kubert and so on; they were the great authors of the adventure tale... the classics! Knowledge and learning usually are a progressive journey (barring some cases of unexpected inspiration), and allow to have a wide, general vision of the subject you’re studying. The classics, and this is true for all the branches of knowledge, are very useful fixed point to lean on... although you always come to a point where you have to take sail on your own and “emancipate” yourself from the Masters.
WHAT ARE YOUR LITERARY, COMIC ART AND CINEMATOGRAPHICAL REFERENCE WHEN YOU BEGIN TO WRITE A STORY? It depends on the story, of course. When I first thought about Dix, I was inspired by Pollock and his great poetical and expressive revolution. When I wrote Napoleone, on the contrary, | was thinking about the great fascination of the “collective unconscious” theory by Carl Gustav Jung. I always try to create tales that, besides having a strong element of adventure, can also offer a symbolic meaning. My characters should narrate the anxiety, the fears and the excitement, the heroism and the cowardice of a certain way of living in this world.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT'S JAN DIX'S IDEAL READERSHIP? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO REACH? AIl the readers that enjoy having fun and playing games, together with a pleasure for intellectual curiosity. People that like to question themselves about things and about culture.