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Interview: Taxis, Androids, The Mafia...And Love

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

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From artist Stefano Cardoselli and writer Francesca Perillo comes Love Me: A Romance Story. Released by Mad Cave Studios as a four-part series, Love Me promises androids, taxis, the mafia...and love.  

Troy-Jefffrey Allen talked with Cardoselli and Perillo to find out more.

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PREVIEWSworld: So, what is Love Me: A Romance Story? Is it really a romance story? 

Francesca Perillo: Love Me is the story I’ve always wanted to write. It’s not just a robot and human meeting and falling in love. It's a more complex story: it explores the sensations you feel physically when your heart starts to beat from the fear of not being welcomed or not being liked. Love Me is an opportunity to remember that love makes us strong, courageous, and confident in ourselves even if we feel incapable shortly before.

Stefano Cardoselli: Love Me is a story I didn't think I could draw. I have always talked about "love" in my comics in a hidden way, but Love Me has brought out a part of me that readers don't know. I had so much fun!

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PREVIEWSworld: How did you two come together for this project? 

Francesca Perillo: I wrote Love Me while my relationship with Stefano was starting, listening to old Nina Simone records (I love her music!). After writing a story pitch, I started making some sketches of the main characters which I then showed to Stefano. He didn't waste time and following my ideas, he immediately found the right path.

Stefano Cardoselli: One evening, Francesca showed me some sketches of JoJo and a pitch of this love/action story set in the future with many references to the '70s. I liked it immediately and started drawing. We thought that Mad Cave Studios was the right publishing house for this mini-series, and so it was.


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PREVIEWSworld:  What can you tell us about JoJo?

Francesca Perillo: JoJo is a robot with a belly who is a little clumsy, and very kind. He loves coffee and his cat Frida. He lives the life he chooses to have: simple and made up of small things. He's a reassuring character. I wish we all acted a little like him.

Stefano Cardoselli: I see a little bit of myself in JoJo as I do in all the characters I draw - good or bad. JoJo is not the classic bad robot, he is almost human and I suffered with him during the story.

It was fun and difficult at the same time to find the right colors for JoJo. Our colorist Lorenzo Scaramella was very good at making him look metallic and rusty.

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PREVIEWSworld: What can you tell us about the creative team? Who are they? 

Francesca Perillo: I was very lucky. With Stefano, the work was spontaneous and free. We found ourselves talking about Love Me everywhere: at breakfast, on a trip to Rome, and on holiday in the mountains. Lorenzo Scaramella, the colorist, was great: he often spoke with me to find the right color to attribute to the emotion of the characters. I hope to work with him again! James Emmet, my editor, was invaluable: he brought out the best in me. The work of our letterer, Buddy Beaudoin, who gave voice to all the characters, is fantastic. I am grateful and happy for the whole team!

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PREVIEWSworld: Is this more a thrill ride with some romance or a romance with some thrills?

Francesca Perillo: It's balanced in its love and punches! All the action in this story comes from love.

PREVIEWSworld: In terms of audience, who would you say Love Me is for?

Francesca Perillo: Love Me is for anyone who appreciates stories with love and diversity: topics that concern everyone of all ages.

Stefano Cardoselli: Love Me is also a great story for action comic lovers. I would love to see it as a film someday. Never say never!

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Love Me: A Romance Story is available now at your local comic shop. Reserve your copy today with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox!  

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more artist spotlights!

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
LOVE ME A ROMANCE STORY #1 CVR A STEFANO CARDOSELLI (MR)
(W) Francesca Perillo (A/CA) Stefano Cardoselli
New York City, sometime in the far future, where robots like JoJo have taken over the tasks humans no longer want to perform...like driving a taxi. JoJo is pretty happy with his lot in life but feels as though something is missing...then he meets Gilda and it's love at first sight. But the course of true love is a bumpy one and JoJo is going to find that out firsthand when he discovers that Gilda is entangled with the mafia that runs his beloved city, and they're very much against this potential union for their own reasons. Watch out, JoJo!
In Shops: Apr 17, 2024
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #342

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
LOVE ME A ROMANCE STORY #1 CVR B NIMIT MALAVIA (MR)
(W) Francesca Perillo (A) Stefano Cardoselli (CA) Nimit Malavia
New York City, sometime in the far future, where robots like JoJo have taken over the tasks humans no longer want to perform...like driving a taxi. JoJo is pretty happy with his lot in life but feels as though something is missing...then he meets Gilda and it's love at first sight. But the course of true love is a bumpy one and JoJo is going to find that out firsthand when he discovers that Gilda is entangled with the mafia that runs his beloved city, and they're very much against this potential union for their own reasons. Watch out, JoJo!
In Shops: Apr 17, 2024
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #342

MAD CAVE STUDIOS
LOVE ME A ROMANCE STORY #2 (OF 4)
(W) Francesca Perillo (A/CA) Stefano Cardoselli

It was love at first sight...or at least it was for JoJo, but Gilda never showed up for their date. JoJo is a robot, but he does have feelings, and his heart has been broken. However, JoJo has received a call from a very distressed Gilda but their conversation was cut short...something horrible has happened to her, and JoJo has made it his mission to find her. Don't worry, Gilda, JoJo is on the case!
In Shops: May 29, 2024
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #337

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 Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.

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