Image: Fantagraphics

Manuele Fior is a renowned cartoonist in Italy, but he’s only recently started to gain a foothold in the United States thanks to Fantagraphics’ translations of his beautifully expressive work. His graphic novel 5,000 Km Per Second was one of the highlights of last year, a heartfelt exploration of love and loss that transported readers to Italy, Egypt, and Norway with stunning watercolor artwork. Fantagraphics isn’t waiting long to get more of Fior’s work to American readers, and next week sees the release of The Interview, which moves in a very different narrative direction while continuing to highlight Fior’s immense artistic skill. Whereas 5,000 Km Per Second was intensely romantic, The Interview is an atmospheric sci-fi story about a failing marriage, strange triangles in the sky, and telepathic young woman that becomes the patient of the psychologist lead character.

This exclusive preview of the first 10 pages highlights Fior’s control of tone and the richness of his environments as it shows Raniero driving through the Italian countryside, discovering one of those mysterious airborne triangles for the first time. Instead of watercolors, Fior channels the look of Michelangelo Antonioni’s black-and-white films with a mix of ink and charcoal, giving the art a gritty texture that grounds the story as it incorporates fantastic elements. His storytelling is still impeccably clear, particularly Raniero’s distinct emotional beats, and there’s an added sense of foreboding in the intense contrast and eerie landscape. The story only gets deeper and more mysterious as it continues, and readers can discover these depths when The Interview goes on sale on February 22.

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