cover image 5,000 KM per Second

5,000 KM per Second

Manuele Fior, trans from the Italian by Jamie Richards. Fantagraphics, $22.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-60699-666-9

The depths of love and longing are plumbed in this brief and bittersweet tale by Italian illustrator/cartoonist Fior, which won Best Book at the Angoulême Comics Festival in 2011. Lucia and Piero are lovers, but not the starry-eyed sort. They meet as teenagers, enjoy an intense attraction, and eventually drift apart. Their ambitions take them to Egypt, Norway, and into the arms of other people, yet the memory of their time together lingers on. Achingly vivid jewel tones provide sumptuous visuals: Piero and Lucia’s heady younger years are a riot of chartreuse and lemon yellow, their reunion a moody meditation in oak brown and dusky cerulean. Fior has a knack for capturing the charming awkwardness of infatuation—nimbly translated by Richards—which he applies to both the earnest beginning of Lucia and Piero’s romance and its melancholic final chapter. This story is full of unadulterated emotion, as stingingly sad as it is deeply hopeful. (Apr.)