Today I've received my copy of the second Crepax book from Fantagraphics, being myself series editor of this collection, I'm really proud of my work in this particular book with science-fiction as a theme for the second book (that is an original idea by Guido Crepax's heirs).
For readers this is only a book and that's how we at Fantagraphics want it to be.
But this second book is special in my heart and soul because I truly believe that it's even better than the first one by Italian maestro Guido Crepax that we also published this same year.
It's hard organizing a book like this, real hard...
Takes lots of time, effort, thought, organization and focus.
I simply can't describe the process while working in this book, but the general idea was lots of phone calls and lots of emails by me to lots of people driving some Fantagraphics staff a bit nuts, mainly Gary Groth, but I think that he knows who I am and it's excellent working with a publishing house such as Fantagraphics.
So, in this book, I've asked permission to publish an interview to Italian maestro Guido Crepax by Italian journalist Alberto Cassani.
I've organized some excerpts of a book by Guido Crepax's niece named Valentina Crepax and how her personal life was mixed and linked to this comic book character until Crepax's death.
Chronology of all the stories in this book and where they first appeared in magazines in countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina were also gathered by me in this book.
It also has a more extended biography by Guido Crepax on this book with an published 2 page story by Crepax's best friend Spanish artist Enric Sió with Valentina and his comic book character Mara, also this was made with the help of Sio's widow Carmen Amorós (check out the latest printing of Sio's Mara graphic novel which is a real good book) and her memory with Guido Crepax and Luísa Crepax when they were together at Barcelona - Spain.
There're new essayists in the book that I've contacted and that are real experts in comic books like Brazilian writer Marco Lucchetti (who made an awesome book about Valentina in Portuguese named "desnudando Valentina"), Álvaro Pons who is the main expert and connoisseur in comic books in Spanish language, Tim Pilcher is always on board and essayist Kristy Valenti wrote about a new unpublished feminine comic book character in English language by Crepax named Belinda.
Jacob Covey's design is really excellent (you can check some pictures in this post).
I really can't write enough words to express all my deepest thanks to Fantagraphics staff with Gary Groth on top of it all, helping me organizing this book while I was having some personal and health problems in my life when we were finishing this book and to all people who supported and continues supporting some of my ideas for this collection.
You're all awesome.
Thanks also to all international artists who made tributes to Valentina and Belinda from all over the world, I simply can't thank you enough for your continuous support and your art skills are incredible.
This is a really wild ride, we're hoping to have more surprises regarding Valentina comic book character next year and we'll try that the third Crepax book will be even better than this one (I truly believe on this).
Cover of the second book
Special thanks to my family, my close friends (you know who you are), Caterina Crepax, Valentina Crepax, Carmen Amorós, Álvaro Pons, Marco Lucchetti, Tim Pilcher, Kristy Valenti, Gary Groth and to my kitty Ilvie that I really love and that still is in my heart and soul.
Da mui nobre sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto
Manuel Espírito Santo