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Manuele Fior


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

Now don't dawdle, tell me what this is all about!
Well Doctor, it's about Fausto! Unfortunately, last night...
Fausto? You mean Georg Faust? I'm so pleased you're reading that! I always keep a copy at hand... clearly signed! Incommensurable work as Goethe himself called it.
Part of the power that would always wish evil, and always works the good.
You'd like a little clarification on these words of Mefistofeles: is that it, miss?
Uh, actually, I... I meant Fausto the architect, remember? Just the other night, he, the archte... doctor?
Why do you keep interrupting me!?!
What else could I have been talking about... besides that fanatical, impertinent dilettante!?!
Now he even dares to send you here to keep me apprised of his failures!!!
But I couldn't care less! Does he think he's special?
I've seen all kinds! Astrologers and alchemists, sailors and scientists! Seekers of the Philosopher's Stone! Poets and investigators of the occult!
All intent on squaring the circle and circling the square...
They have to find the key, seize the moment, unravel the skein, you know what I mean?

Not really, and I suspect Miss Silvia is beginning to regret seeking a diagnosis for her architect beau Fausto from the doctor, who might well be more than he appears, including unhinged...

Still, all the characters in this curious tale that switches between modern day and ancient Crete are more than they seem, for good or ill...

The sections from years gone by are a retelling of the myth of Icarus and his father Daedalus, the builder of the labyrinth for King Minos to hold his son the infamous Minotaur. How precisely that combines with the travails of Fausto in the present, seemingly trapped within the maze of his own mind, I will leave for you discover. Suffice to say, everyone needs help sometimes. You just need to be careful who you ask for it...

Finally translated into English, this is one of Manuel THE INTERVIEW / BLACKBIRD DAYS / 5000KM PER SECOND Fior's earliest works, not that you would know it as it is a tremendously accomplished piece of writing, once again employing an entirely different art style. How many does the man have?!

Here he deploys practically no linework as such, instead simply primarily using red and black smeared and smudged areas of colours, frequently offset with substantial zones of white used mainly in a negative sense.

It's an unsettling, uneasy style, almost brutal upon the senses, which mirrors the fractured, tormented madness of Fausto and the devious difficulties faced by Daedalus and Icarus once Minos decides to throw his regal toys right out of the proverbial pram and imprison them inside the labyrinth. Though given Daedalus designed the labyrinth, one would presume that's not exactly the cleverest Kingly plan in the world...

But what elevates this work to another level entirely is how Fior gradually merges the two seemingly disconnected stories in an altogether unexpected manner, which upon reflection simply makes perfect sense. A genuine triumph of storytelling. I can only hope there is more Fior yet to be translated, never mind what he's going to create in the future, because once again this is simply magnificent comics. He is such a talent.
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