Notes for a War Story

Gipi, Author, Spectrum, Translator . First Second $16.95 (123p) ISBN 978-1-59643-261-1

Award-winning Italian graphic novelist Gipi (Garage Band , The Innocents ) returns with this bleak tale of three young drifters making their way across the war-torn landscape of an unnamed Balkan country. Told from the point of view of protagonist Giuliano, the narrative traces his path as he is forced to go through the peripheral results of war as a deadening day-to-day struggle to find food and shelter while avoiding the occasional stray bullet. Falling in with Felix, a sleazy criminal kingpin, Giuliano and his companions soon serve as executors for Felix’s extortion racket and later move up the underworld food chain into endeavors in a city removed from the hardships of the war, petty thuggery slowly escalating to murder. Gipi keeps the war itself off screen, instead allowing the conflict’s effects upon the young men to play out in numb, soulless detail, a storytelling device that affords the tale a stark and depressing realism further driven home by the “cartoony” illustrations. While not easy reading, the affecting story is made even more powerful by the understated execution. Winner of the Best Book prize at the Angoulême Comics Festival in 2005. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 123 pages - 978-1-59643-303-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-2371-0
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