cover image I’m Still Alive

I’m Still Alive

Roberto Saviano and Asaf Hanuka, trans. from the Italian by Jamie Richards. Archaia, $24.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-68415-442-5

Journalist Saviano (Zero, Zero, Zero) teams up with artist Hanuka (The Realist) for an extraordinary chronicle of surviving in exile. After Gomorrah, Saviano’s exposé of the Camorra, was published in 2006, the mob, which maintained an iron grip on Naples and southern Italy, marked the writer for death. After several attempts were made on his life, Saviano entered into a witness protection program, never able to return home or see his friends and family again. Hanuka’s dynamic artwork perfectly complements Saviano’s script, vividly capturing his mental state as he documents his daily routine under constant police surveillance, looks back mournfully at his former life, and recalls the terror of close calls with assassins. “Plenty of people have gone out of their way to tell me how I’m going to die,” he writes, as Hanuka draws bombs hiding in cars or even in a cake. Throughout, Saviano also details the rituals, methodology, and crimes of the Camorra. Though Saviano’s isolation, introspection, and self-pity come through, the comics most poignantly capture his resilience—each day provides a new opportunity to bring change in the world: “I write. I make my voice heard. I refuse to keep silent.” This gripping account deserves a wide readership. Agent: Katie Cacouris, Wylie Agency. (Oct.)