The promising young comics blog in Italian

The promising young comics blog in Italian

© Zerocalcare.itTatou1

27.02.2012 | 1:16 p.m.
By Francesca Spinelli (Brussels)

Launched in November, the blog of the Italian cartoon illustrator Zerocalcare became famous for reasons that the author does understand to this day. His secret? The formula, developed in France, consists of wry humour and a complicity of an imaginary tatoo.
Every Monday, for about three months, thousands of Italians eagerly await their weekly dose of laughter to share on Facebook. Their dealer is called Zerocalcare, which really means “zero limestone”. A strange nickname for an illustrator who has always been punk and more zombies than washing machines … He explains:
“It goes back to when I was eighteen. There was a forum to limit biting midges [hostile and provocative messages], forcing people to choose a user name. I chose the first thing I heard, that is the name of a product that often spot was on TV. And the name stuck. But I’m trying to think of a more intelligent answer, because we always get asked this question …”

Zerocalcare, this “genius
zeroC 2.JPG
Despite not understanding the reasons for his success, Zerocalcare became a star of comic blog and a flourishing genre in France. However he was almost unknown in Italy. It is not a coincidence that the item devoted to Wikipedia exists only in the language of Molière. In France, the field already has its celebrities (Trondheim, Boulet, Penelope Bagieu and many others), the festival (Festiblog) and its special price (Revelation Blog, awarded in Angoulême).
In Italy, the pioneer of the genre called Makkox, whose real name is Marco Dambrosio. Born in 1965, this satirical illustrator has been the champion of self-production, which, coupled with the Internet, allows illustrators to become independent Italian traditional publishers still wary of comics.
Or consider Makkox Zerocalcare as a “genius“, as he repeated many times in the preface to the first album of his young protege, The profezia dell’armadillo (The prophecy of armadillo) – album of which the self-production was supported and of which the first two editions have vanished, devoured by success.

Antisocial and lazy armadillo

It is still Makkox prompting Zerocalcare to create a blog and comics to publish a story every Monday. Week after week, we follow the vicissitudes of young illustrator broke and hypochondriac and his alter ego, played by antisocial and lazy armadillo.

This is currently the episode on Trenitalia (the nightmarish Italian Railways) won the most successful, followed by pedagogy, the narrative of a particular French lesson during which Zerocalcare discovers with horror the student has never heard of the film La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz.

French Inspiration

If it is perhaps not (yet) a genius, Zerocalcare in any case the gift of mixing humor and emotions accurately, autobiographical and dreamlike elements, mockery and self-mockery, and references to pop and geek culture. And he does not hide its debt vis-à-vis some French comic authors, including Boulet and Manu Larcenet:

« I love how they tell seemingly mundane daily stories, but who manage to make us laugh and cry. While reading these two authors that the idea came to me to tell autobiographical stories. Before I drew that zombies and robots. »
Tatou1 et texte
Another shot of heart Bastien Vives, “Always excellent, and has recently published a hilarious book, ‘ The Video Game ‘Francophile, Zerocalcare nevertheless enjoys Italian illustrators such as Gipi,” the only one who knows how to tell the everyday as some authors French “or Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa,” for that is the stroke of a pen “. Strangely, these three authors are also very popular in France …

The price of fame

Success does not come without responsibility and Zerocalcare made the bitter experience Monday, January 30, when he had the impudence not to publish his story on the pretext that he had returned from Angoulême, where he had not had time to draw: the rain of insults that fell on his blog probably served him right.

The Angoulême festival is a wonderful event,” he says, now that the crisis with his fan club is over.
For the quality of BD, but also people found there. And then there is the pleasant feeling of a community meet annually to live for four days suspended in time and space in this small village where focus the greatest lovers, authors and publishers of European comics … For an Italian illustrator, it’s really amazing.


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