Upon the release of Al Capone, Black Panel Press interviewed author Swann Meralli to discuss and garner more information about the graphic novel, Al Capone.
Below are the major topics that were discussed:
Who is Swann Meralli?
“Hi, my name is Swann. I’m a scriptwriter who lives in France, in Leon.
I’ve been doing that job as a professional for 10 years, uh 10 years now, I think. But I’ve actually been doing it for a long long time.
I think as an older child, I was writing stories, then I was writing stories for friends in games like Shadowhall Warhammer games, and then I made some comic books as an amateur and then as a professional and that’s how I’m here now in my life and my job.”
Tell us about your graphic novel, Al Capone.
” So, it’s a book first of all about what is truth and lie, and how the lie is made in our conscience. I think that we all lie for, of course, but we don’t lie for the same reasons and some guys just lie to obtain, to gain something from the others and, to start to lie a little bit a little bit more and then there are some (who) volunteer some lies when there’s a lie they don’t even know whether they are lying or not. and the difference is that, people don’t stop him and so that was a book about how the lying is coming. That was the first thing.
The second one was also a biography about Capone’s life, so we start from the childhood to the death. And there was another thing that was very interesting while working on the character in that Capone is lying on his life. and, our society is lying about Capone’s life because Capone is an idol, an iconic person, an iconic character. and in fact we have a lot of fantasies about him and not a lot of reality.
We don’t know even know how it really started and how he really became that guy. And the Capone we know is the Capone we build. The life of Capone we only know that the life when he was a gangster. It was maybe eight or ten years of his life. And it was in the 20s and not in the 30s.
We often think that Capone was in the military in 1930 and etc. And now it was in the 1920s. and so he made 10 years as a as a gangster, so that he started from the from the low gangster guys to the to the big big guys and big men and the climax is The Time Magazine. How do you say, the cover.
Maybe I can show it. This is the the top of his gangster life but really he was uh almost 10 years in in jail. And then almost 10 years as an old guy, or he was not that old, but was old because of a sickness we don’t really know all about that.
And it’s very interesting to to know that the big gangster of every years in our mind, in our occidental(Western) mind. It’s just a guy who was 20 years old, became in jail when he was 30 years old, and died when he was I don’t remember the exact ages but maybe uh 40 or 50 years old. So it’s a very sad life in reality in truth.
The guy is like he’s having a duality about what is in reality and what is his what is in his fantasies in his own mind. in fact, he was not a good father, but maybe he was. I think he was a good father, from his point of view. Deep inside him he just wanted to be that good boy, who just make a great family, and make his mother proud. and he was kind of this both character at the same times. we can’t really, I can’t really explain how it’s it worked. I think that no one can explain how it worked but we can have this guy, this is two guys in one person
Capone became Capone because the people who had the power in those times let him become Capone.”
How was it working with PF Radice?
“From my point of views. the very interesting things in the book, was the how the lie was building in Al Capone.
But for the drawer(illustrator), somethings what really interested him was the years. The years of the Chicago in the 20s etc. And he really takes a lot of pleasure to draw the cars so about the fashion and the the streets, how they were the streets and of course there was this famous bridge in New York he was just building. It was not finished yet so is he he made a lot of research about this and took a lot of pressure to draw all of these things.”