The following is an interview with Enzo De Palma regarding the recent release of the graphic novel, Manhattan: Manhunt. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with De Palma about his creative process in bringing the story to life, what he hopes that readers will take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of Manhattan: Manhunt! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise, and what (or who) was its inspiration?
Enzo De Palma: Thank you so much! And thanks for taking the time to talk with me. The story is a dark, gritty sci-fi adventure through and beneath the streets of New York City. It follows an alien-hunting vigilante as he chases an otherworldly monster while being pursued by an FBI Agent. The book touches on themes of immigration, otherism, and the hunt for the American Dream. The inspiration came to me when I was a college student in New York, walking through the snow one winter day. I looked up, and in my mind, I saw an image of the soon-to-be main character on a rooftop. The story became a way to discuss the loneliness I and, undoubtedly, countless others feel in that city and how a population of millions can sometimes, ironically, make you feel even more isolated.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process of working with artists Joshua “Sway” Swaby and Diego Albuquerque to bring this story to life?
EDP: Working with Joshua and Diego was a fantastic experience and it was truly incredible to see them bring life to the images in my head. I met Joshua through a friend of a friend of a friend and I was lucky enough to get him to draw half of the book before he started to make it big and got too busy! I discovered Diego through a Facebook group and found him very easy to work with, and he slipped in seamlessly to finish the comic. And even though they both have pretty different styles, I couldn’t be happier with how the art turned out.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that this story will connect with and impact readers?
EDP: I suspect that many of us have felt lonely or lost at some point or another. I know I certainly have, and that’s something that the protagonist of Manhattan: Manhunt struggles with. The book also highlights how much that experience can be multiplied as an immigrant, like many of the characters in the book are in one form or another. The protagonist just wants to find his place in New York, and we see him struggle with that challenge throughout the story. I’m hoping that struggle resonates with readers who may have shared in his experience.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
EDP: Yes! I’m currently working on my second graphic novel, which will be very, very weird. I’m hoping to release it by the middle of next year. And in the non-comic book world, I’m a musician, too! You can check out my contemporary folk band, Corporate Bike Culture. We’ve got an album coming out pretty soon, probably by the end of the year. And I’m working on a genre-bending solo album that could reasonably be categorized as progressive rock that will hopefully be finished next year.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Manhattan: Manhunt?
EDP: You can head to my website, enzodepalma.com, or follow me on Instagram, @enzodepalma_. Thanks so much for talking with me today!