“What do you want to do when you grow up?” How many times have I been asked this question, in some ways I still haven’t found an answer, when I was younger. Of course, I didn’t know what I was going to study, what there was after middle school or outside the confines of my small town, Rovereto in the province of Trento, but I was aware of one thing anyway.
The stories fascinated me, both those narrated on audio cassette and video, but especially those in comics. In that delirium of discovery of a world of paper and inkwhich in recent times has returned to keep me company more than ever, I rediscovered the reading of a “crazy genius” of this art form.
Bonvior Frank Bonvicini or for the registry office Franco Fortunato Gilberto Augusto Bonvicini (born in Modena on March 31, 1941 and died in Bologna on December 10, 1995 run over by a drunk), therefore remains in my very personal ranking of the authors who have most influenced me and my imagination together with characters such as Silver (Guido Silvestri), Hugo Prattthe pairing Max Bunker And Magnus, Charles M. Schulz, Carl Barks, George Cavazzano, Benito Jacovitti and so on.
An imaginary that, for those who have been younger between the sixties and eightieshe built brick by brick with a series of characters, stories and “concepts” that were the sum of his humor, his sagacity and his vision of things.
It would just suffice to mention SuperGulp! Comics on TV to immediately realize the immense scope of his creativity. Of course, seen with today’s eye, the whole “operation” can be extremely “artisanal”, but it was nonetheless a way to show and appreciate the aesthetics of comics to young and old who tuned into the broadcast.
In any case, it would be enough for us to have a chat with Guido De Maria to have in less than no time a roundup of commercials and memories on the influence that Bonvi (and also of a certain Francesco Guccini with which you will give life to Easygoing pirate Solomon aired on Carosello) had on the aforementioned programme. But let’s go back to our favorite cartoonist from Modena and to how it came into my life, as well as my library.
When I was a little younger, a newsstand near my house and the second-hand market stalls were a almost infinite receptacle of Lupo Alberto’s stripesbut of course the story of the McKenzie farm drawn by Silver (who was also Bonvi’s “shop boy” by the way) weren’t the only stories present on this “thick rectangle”.
There were the teenage dramas and Libra’s Fat Hearts, by Mauro Talarico, but above all there was a troop constantly engaged in an endless war against an enemy that will never be seen. Oh yes, it was about Sturm troopswhich even ended up in the cinema with two films in the seventies, designed by Bonvi.
A troop I’ve come to love, including the great variety of various and possible bad luck, over time and which I have found several times. In addition to the classic collections, from the largest to the smallest, including those in color and not, I remember that I even found them inside the packets of chips Chipster. But I digress, as always.
After the Second World War according to Bonvi, which he partly experienced as a child, I then switched to nuclear fallout with the surreal reality of Chronicles of the aftermath where the haggard and battered protagonists had to try to survive in an environment made decidedly inhospitable after the explosion of a nuclear device.
Here too laughter, even if perhaps a little more bitter in some passages, which then gradually became fatter with naughty, where the drawings are entrusted to the aforementioned Silver, and the crime in his own way. A clear one parodywith lots of k as seemed to go a lot at the time to put emphasis on the matter, of characters like Diabolik of the Giussani sisters or Satanic Of Magnus and Bunkers (the same authors of Alan Ford so to speak).
I later landed on what it was one of my father’s first comic heroes when he was younger, thank you dad, i.e Nick Carter. Again clear parody of the character created by John Russell Coryellbut if we want to simplify things then better to quote Humphrey Bogartgrappling with a New York where most of the crimes and misdeeds are committed by the chameleon Stanislaus Moulinsky.
If you missed it, for a few days you can recover everything thanks to the monthly issues entitled Nick Carter Story or “looting” the second-hand stalls. Alternatively you can find some YouTube episodesbut you do it.
Also, a few months ago, I managed to get my hands on Provincial nightmares and also up Stories from deep space which, by themselves, would be enough to change the mind of any detractor of the Modenese artist. The author therefore passes from the most absurd urban legends to science fiction “de noaltri” with truly impressive ease, mixing humor and seriousness to perfection.
And if you are a fan of Guccini then know that the Maestrone collaborated for the second work “representing himself” as robot and, in a documentary, he recalled how Bonvi claimed that Star Wars copied them.
A delusion? Maybe yes maybe not, but if you read some of his interviews then you will realize how everything is normal (in one way or another). Like a “pireto flower”.
Continuing with the strand Of the questions that no one has asked, what is the lowest common denominator of all of this? Burst satire combined with a variety of worlds, situations and ways of narrating all this kaleidoscope of ideas is certainly not a common thing (also because otherwise we would all be sacred geniuses living on top of the mountains of India).
So do I recommend these readings to everyone? Well, honestly yes. This is because, in addition to having truly carefree moments, it is really interesting to take a look at this interpretation of reality. Over the top, romantic when needed, sometimes violent, with a dash of science fiction at will and at the tip of the nib.