Get Graphic: Up To Speed With Emanuele Parascandolo’s ‘Speed Republic’

Troy-Jeffrey Allen
5 min readFeb 23, 2022

Art by Emanuele Parascandolo

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

Meet Italian artist Emanuele Parascandolo. An unabashed sci-fi/fantasy fan, Emanuele brings his talents stateside with Speed Republic (DEC211714) from Mad Cave Studios.

Speed Republic takes readers for a ride around a post-apocalyptic European landscape where riches are the reward and death is imminent at every turn!

In the following interview, Emanuele takes us inside his creative process, talks about his favorite locales in Speed Republic, and tells you all about his new series.

Troy-Jeffrey Allen: Firstly, who are you and where do you hail from?

Emanuele Parascandolo: Hello! My name is Emanuele Parascandolo, I’m a comic artist from Napoli, in the south of Italy.

TJA: How did you get into comic books as a fan?

EP: I was a child in elementary school and I had already read a few comic books by then, but I couldn’t consider myself a fan. Then, during those years I first bought a Spider-man comic book, and that one first superhero comic was the one that dragged me into this wonderful, breathtaking world. From that moment I became obsessed with superheroes for a while, then I realized how many different genres there were and now I’m here, in an everyday struggle to choose which comic I should read next!

TJA: How did you get into comic books as a professional?

EP: In my high school years I started studying Comic Art at Scuola Italiana di Comix, in Napoli. Right after that, HAZARD edizioni, an Italian publisher, hired me to make my first comic book as a professional, Sarò quello che sono: Rodolfo Valentino, written by Tommaso Vitiello. Then I started drawing short humorous stories for Facebook pages, along with other, smaller jobs. And we could say that eventually all that work and practice led me to working for Mad Cave on Speed Republic!

TJA: Tell us the story of Speed Republic. What’s it about?

EP: Speed Republic launches the reader in a world not too far from ours, that’s being torn apart by greed and poverty, where the most desperate people join the ‘Grand Race’ — a deadly competition hosted by the evil Autocrat — for the promise of a lifetime of riches and glory. Sebastian, our main character, joins the race, but he is no hero. He’s an ordinary man, to whom many could relate, who starts this deadly journey with a purpose in his mind. Only to find out that there’s more to this race — and the people competing in it — than he first had thought.

TJA: Tell us about the main character Sebastian Valencia. How did you go about designing him?

EP: Of all the characters in the story, our main character, Seb, was one of my favorites to design. He’s not an ex-soldier or a superhero, he’s as normal as it gets and even kind of clumsy, at times. To come up with his face and expressions, I drew massive inspiration from characters like Guybrush from Monkey Island. Slim and scruffy, sometimes awkward, I wanted him to look funny, like he’s often uncomfortable with what’s going on, but when the need arises he puts his tough face on and gets things done.

TJA: The book takes place throughout Europe. Which locale was your favorite to draw?

EP: There are many locations I’ve loved [designing] and got lost into. Some of them are much further in the story, but I want to go with the Amnesty Gas Station. We see this location in the early pages of issue #1 and it took me a while to draw. I was still a bit slow at the beginning, so I wanted to take extra time to detail the structure and the people in it. Sometimes when you work very closely on a page for hours you start to kind of feel like you’re in the gas station too!

TJA: How did you and writer Ryan Lindsey go about visualizing your post-apocalypse? Did you pull from particular comics or movies or something else entirely?

EP: I’d say one of the biggest influences for ‘our’ Europe has been Mad Max, probably. Although, it’s clear from the start that the devastation in our story is definitely in its early stages. Cities are still cities, even if they’re messy; roads are still there, which is a good thing when you have a Grand Race to set. So yeah, we took the general idea from that kind of movie, and then started building a world of our own.

TJA: What tools do you use to create?

EP: I usually work digital and for Speed Republic. Procreate was my main tool.

TJA: What’s next for you?

EP: While working on Speed Republic I also managed to draw pages for other comic books that will be published in Italy in the near future. And now I’m mainly focusing on personal projects, writing stories, and creating worlds and characters for possible future books.

If you want to discover more of Emanuele’s work, be sure to follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Artstation.

Speed Republic (DEC211714) hits comic shops on February 2, 2022. It will be released monthly from Mad Cave Studios.