Luca Giorgi is an Italian comic artist who first came to the attention of the broader Phantom community as the cover colourist of Frew #1800, that memorable 2017 Christmas-themed cover by Massimo Gamberi.
Luca has since worked closely with Massimo on Phantom projects on several occasions, including colouring the cover of the well known Fumetto #106 [right] as well as Fumo di China #280. Luca also coloured Massimo's carton card from the 2019 The Phantom Gallery: Series 2 trading cards, among several other cards in that set.
We have also seen Luca's work as an inker of stories, collaborating again with Massimo on Planetman (Frew Giantsize #5) and Legacy of the Reef (Frew #1820).
His most recent Frew cover work was for the War-themed 2019 Annual cover by Wendell Cavalcanti (Frew #1830).
In this ChronicleChamber exclusive interview, we are lucky enough to hear directly from Luca about his history, his process, and his association with The Phantom.
Chronicle Chamber: When and where were you born?
Luca Giorgi: I was born in Rimini, in the north east of italy, in 1986. It’s a city by the Adriatic sea and it was founded by the Romans. I've always lived in this city.
CC: May I assume that drawing preceded inking and colouring? How old were you when you first developed an interest in art and what influenced you to draw?
LG: My passion for art started when I was a child. I used to draw cartoons and the comics characters that my dad bought me. At the age of 15 I took part in the first comics course, then I attended art school and in the end, I graduated from the University of Urbino.
CC: Who encouraged your interest in drawing? Who now encourages your interest in inking and colouring?
LG: My great-grandmother wanted me to always draw. Furthermore, the good teachers who I met in my first course at 15 years old encouraged me.
CC: Do you have any formal art training / art school / design course? If, so, what?
LG: Yes, I have my degree. My first course in Rimini gave me the basics of the comic, then I took a specialised coloring course in Jesi when I was 23. These are the two most important courses of my education.
CC: What motivated you to move to inking and colouring? Do you see yourself primarily as an inker or primarily as a colourist?
LG: At the beginning, I only studied the black and white comics. I found my first job like as inker on Facebook when an artist asked me to ink one of his comics for the French market. Then, I attended a coloring course and in the end, I began to have the first collaborations.
CC: Has any artist influenced your style? Who? How?
LG: A lot of artists inspired me like Wally Wood, Jack Davies. In the Disney world, I admire Giorgio Cavazzano, Sandro Zemolin, Romano Scarpa and Massimo de Vita.
CC: Do you ink "old school"? If so, what type of ink? Type of brush or type of pen?
LG: I like them both equally. I can ink digitally or in the traditional manner. Regarding the old school inking, I prefer to use Windsor & Newton inks, Marten Bushes and different pens with Japanese felt tips.
CC: Do you you colour digitally or "old school"? If digitally, what program do you use?
LG: I prefer to color digitally, given the fastest creating times. I mostly use Photoshop. I like to use acrylics and airbrushes but they take much time and I stopped using those.
CC: For those not familiar with Italian and European comics, what work have you had published and in what comics or magazines?
LG: I work mostly for the Mickey Mouse’s newspaper in Italy and I colored a Nathan Never volume recently, a character of the Sergio Bonelli editor.
CC: How long does it take you to ink a Frew sized comic page?
LG: I ink a page a day, if I'm lucky two.
CC: Is creating comics your full-time job or do you have a "day job"?
LG: It’s my full-time job.
CC: Do you collect comics? If so, what? What comics did you read when you were a young child and then as a teenager?
LG: I've collected comics since I was a child, but I'm not a real collector. I ruined the majority of them because I used to read them over and over again.
CC: When were you first exposed to the Phantom?
LG: When I was 9 to 10 years old, I read Phantom’s comic for the first time. During the summer holidays, I found a newsstand where I bought a reprints of classic stories made by Lee Falk and Ray Moore. It was published by the Comic Art Publisher.
Afterwards, I watched the cartoon series on TV, Defenders of the Earth. In particular, the Phantom’s panther fascinated me.
CC: What is the appeal of the Phantom to you?
LG: I'm deepening my knowledge about the character. At the moment my favorite artists are Sy Barry, Felmang and Ferri, Paul Ryan, Terry Beatty and Sal Velluto.
CC: How did you come to Frew's attention?
LG: I knew about Frew thanks to Massimo Gamberi. I colored the comic strips that were drawn by him for Mandhro and The Mind, so the publisher liked them very much. Never change a winning team.
CC: How did you get the colouring job for the Frew Phantom #1830 2019 Annual?
LG: Frew, the publisher approached me about the cover of the year 2019. I was lucky because it was based on a military theme. Fortunately, I have a lot of specific books regarding military uniforms that helped me. I enjoyed making it and I was happy the readers like the colours of the cover.
CC: I want to devote a question or three to colouring. (By way of background, I am not a fan of colouring having suffered through colour bleed in American comics and garish colouring in the Marvel reprints. I find your colouring refreshing as you have a muted style and you have mastered 3D)
How did you learn to colour? Is it instinctive, ie, something you are born with or were you taught? What process did you go through to master the 3D effect?
LG: I learned to color in high school. First, I started to use watercolors, then acrylics and oil colors. I also used the airbrush for a period; in the end I definitively switched to digital coloring because it has given me endless possibilities.
I am very instinctive when I color. I don't have a regular process. I'm interested in intensifying the author's drawing. Sometimes this lengthens the working times, but it is the result that counts.
CC: Do you have a favourite piece of Phantom art / story upon which you have worked. Why?
LG: The first cover is never forgotten. The Christmas special cover was a very intense work and I have to thank Sal Velluto for the supervision. He taught me a lot.
Among the most deeply felt work was also the inking for the Phantom story Legacy of the Reef. Massimo and I dedicated it to Pino Rinaldi, our dear friend who died recently.
CC: Do you have any more work for Frew in the pipeline? Do you have any non-Few Phantom work in the pipeline? Is this something you can discuss?
LG: Massimo Gamberi and I are working on more Phantom and I hope to give you and the phans more news soon.
Luca and Anthony wish to thank Veronica Cestari (Luca’s girlfriend) for her sterling assistance translating questions and answers for this interview.
Chronicle Chamber also especially wishes to thank Anthony for his dedication and initiative in providing this fascinating interview for us to publish, so that our readers may get to know a little more about the work of this very talented Italian artist.
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