David Marchetti’s 400 page comic Uno released through Hollow Press in 2021, proved to be one of my favorite reads of the year. Balancing intrigue, primal fear, and mysticism through a (largely) dialogue-free narrative, Marchetti became a creator that instantly piqued my interest.
Given the rich layers of Uno, I was pleased to be able to reach out to David to get his insight into his project as well as his influences and plans for the future.
Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy
City, State and Country you’re from?
Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy
Please describe some memories – such as art, music, comics, friendships, adventures, study, romance, politics, work, crime, religion… anything really – from the stages of your life noted below:
From my childhood I certainly remember all the Disney movies. My favorite was “Bambi”, “Dumbo” and “Peter Pan”. But I also loved more “adult” animation like “Watership Down” and “Allegro Non Troppo” by Bruno Bozzetto.
I remember myself spending a lot of time in my mother’s studio listening opera. She used to make collages, she introduced me to the creative dimension.
Your teenage years:
In my 20s I start to get involved in comics and illustrations. I still remember the first time I saw a book by Roger Olmos and I thought “I wanna do stuff like that…”.
From there I met the comics makers who inspired me most, Lorenzo Mattotti and GIPI.
Everything is a reason for creativeness, especially nature.
In these days I found energy and inspiration by walking in the woods or by the sea with my dog.
“Have faith in the process.”
Comics, Art + Creativity Questions
When and why did you first become interested in comics, art, and everything creative?
… and any pivotal creative moments / influences?
I think that the greatest influencer in my life was my mother. She was an artist all-round!
She used to draw, paint, sing, act and do a lot of other stuff. Unfortunately she died when I was young.
I think I took the creative path to keep myself in touch with her.
Who are some of your favourite comics makers, artists, filmmakers, writers and musicians? …and what is it about their works that so inspire and move you?
Speaking about comics makers I usually give two names, Lorenzo Mattotti and GIPI.
I admire the beauty and harmony of Mattotti’s drawings (stylistically I have stolen a lot from him) and I think that GIPI is one of the best storytellers of our times.
I also want to mention Hayao Miyazaki. He is able through his animations to return that feeling of dream and lightness that I personally love very much.
How would you describe the World of Uno to someone who has not read it?
…and do you see it as a utopia, a dystopia, or somewhere in between?
Uno is the story of a group of children (which are not exactly children) that arise from flowers and begin a journey from the mountains to the sea. During this journey, the reader will get to know these creatures. How they move, how they communicate, how they eat, how they think…
I don’t see Uno either as a utopia or a dystopia. I think Uno is a fantasy story that tells human dynamics that affect us in the present.
Uno is mostly dialogue-free – Was this your original plan when conceiving the work?
...and did this create any challenges with how you wanted to tell the story?
At the beginning it wasn’t planned.
Little by little, I discover that they were very quiet creatures who reserve only a little fragment of their lives for verbal language.
I think it was easier for me to tell this story mostly dialogue-free. Because I think I am a good drawer but not that good a writer.
The book starts and ends in pages saturated in black, can you tell us the significance of this and how it relates to the lives of the creatures portrayed?
Also are they human or something else?
The entire story takes place over the course of a day.
Trivially those pages represent the night before sunrise and after sunset. For me it also represents matter in its primordial state, without any form. It is the light that then arises and gives life and shape to the world as we know it.
They are human but they are not exactly like us. We are practically the same but they don’t have all the baggage of knowledge and tradition that we have.
To explain them I often give this example: take a person and clear his mind of any content. What remains is them.
How did you get involved with Hollow Press?
Also, what are your plans for the future, are there any upcoming projects you can talk about?
While I was working on Uno a friend of mine told me: ”You should show this work at Hollow Press, I think they might be interested.” So I sent the whole book to Michele Nitri (from Hollow Press) and he decided to publish it.
I have a new project named “L’osservatore” (The Observer). I just started working on it.
I can tell you that this comic is about a boy who experiences a constant and mysterious pain. To try to resolve this situation he will undertake a journey within himself.
If people wanted to check out your art, work with you or buy some of your wares – Where should they visit and how should they get in touch?
Odds and Ends
If you could spend the day with any iconic figure (past or present) – Who would it be, what would you want to ask them about, and where would you go?
I would love to spend a day whit Vincent Van Gogh and ask him to give me a painting lesson in any place surrounded by nature. 🙂
What role did toys play in your childhood?
A central role.
Toys were a tool through which my imagination could expand.
I particularly loved dinosaurs.
Describe to us the perfect meal, food, location, and atmosphere.
Pizza, open-air cinema, starry night.
What are the top three things you own?
This is a T-rex head that two friends of mine create for me on the occasion of my diploma.
I was astonished when I saw it because it was one of my secret childhood wishes to have something like this to put on the wall of my room.
This is an antique rifle given to me by an uncle of mine.
I don’t know much about it, but I find it very beautiful and mysterious. It looks like it came out of a fairy tale.
This is my dog, Albina.
She is by far the most precious thing
Of everything you have done, what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I’m still young and haven’t done much yet.
My secret wish is that my comics will be remembered for contributing (even if only to a small extent) to the growth and development of human consciousness.
- David Marchetti – Instagram
- David Marchetti – Facebook
- 2022 Review of Uno by David Marchetti – via The Aither
- Hollow Press – Website
All images provided by David Marchetti.