Loose dogs – the Stonewall of Manfredi and Casalanguida | Review


Published on May 14, 2019


In the Italy of the Sixties we find the six young stars of the first volume: Lina Mastai, the daughter of a pastry cook, and student of Letters and Philosophy, part of the feminist movement; Margherita Bignami (for all Marghe), the daughter of a top executive of Mediobanca; Armando De Barzi (known as Deb), milanese doc and more involved in the group; Turi Melluso, expelled by the Catholic University for indiscipline; Milo Colombo, the son of a single mother who runs a record store, and Paolo Sarti (called Pablo), that is, instead, a piedmontese, who lives in Milan with her uncle the painter and the guy Lina. In this book, Milo accompanies Marghe in a holiday in the United States where they will also take part in the early clashes that will see the birth of a homosexual community is aware of its own strength (c.d. the motions of Stonewall); while Pablo and Lina go to the wedding of her sister.

In the first part, the Stonewall, the theme is the revolt of 1969 of the gay community in New York against the abuses perpetrated by the police in the course of the years; in fact, in this first story the plot seems to have no too many surprises going right there and the characters are in some way affected by this issue, which in fact does not allow to express the positives that we saw in the first volume, where he started to learn more about their psychological component, and the relationships that tied them.

It is therefore chosen to create a plot that leans towards the side the merely historical to the further investigation of the protagonists (what, however, appreciable, given that the facts are little known to us); which is a shame, because the character of Milo, a gay, not declared, even among his friends fight, he could be better in depth and not be just a pretext to tell a story bigger than him; he could be the protagonist, even in a context that was historical, thanks to its love story, which is barely mentioned in the end of the day.

In the second part, instead, we move into the future of 20 years (in fact, the first story is a flashback told from Milo), in which our protagonists, now aged, find themselves together once again after their lives have faced over the years and different experiences.

In these new stories of the group of the boys of sixty-Eight seems even more evident the sense of detachment that the author expresses in respect of those years with a nostalgia that almost know of the complaint of the incompleteness of the revolution that those years would have had to bring it to fruition. And the characters express this sentiment, proving to be actually immersed in the rituals and traditions that the society of the “middle class” still imposed on them, by granting, if necessary, maybe to dress “casual”, even in official ceremonies, but the truth of the matter does not change: the revolution, the much vaunted, was somehow absorbed, albeit with major concessions; or, perhaps, were only its protagonists were to be absorbed by the contingencies of life.

The designs of Casalanguida enhance the story, especially in the first part, in which the cinematic camera angles make the scenes more dynamic and “turbulent”.

The volume ends with an interesting article written by the same Manfredi, who contextualizes what is narrated in the comic, dedicating the final part of the volume to the motions of Stonewalll, the hippie and the demand for greater sexual freedom from the end dell’800.

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