Sandokan: the Tiger of Malaysia, and other stories – Review
One of my first reads as a kid, thanks to a visionary teacher, were the works of Emilio Salgari. Written at the end of the nineteenth century, the adventures set in exotic and distant countries by the Italian writer have accompanied generations of young readers, in particular with a character: Sandokan. The pirate of Malaysia is one of the most important figures in the production of Salgari, powered by a charm that has pushed Star Comics to give life to a new series: Sandokan: the tiger of Malaysia, and other stories.
This interesting aim has the merit to give a new life to this unique character, one of the symbols of the narrative of adventure in our literature. Sandokan has crossed the ‘900, thanks not only to the reading of his adventures but also with the complicity of the popular tv series of the ’70s starring Kadir Bedi. The popularity of that production has restored a shine to the character salgariano incredible, so much that it becomes an icon of our popular culture. Hands up who has never sung the theme song of the series, I dare you.
Yet, in the new generations, this character seems to have already disappeared. The spirit of Sandokan, his friendship with Yanez and the love for the beautiful Marianna are elements that can still offer a reading exciting. Of course, the style of the epoch suffer from his venerable age, but how you can give new life to such a character? With a comic book.
For its characteristics, the comic offers a good test for the myth of Sandokan. The guiding line of this project was to offer a different author the opportunity to experiment with a short story inspired by the myth of the pirates of Salgari, creating an anthology of comic strip stories that can help not only to understand, but also to expand the knowledge of the world of Sandokan. Under this perspective, Sandokan: the Tiger of Malaysia, and other stories becomes a suitable volume not only to those who for the first time is close to the character, but also a pleasant read for the most ‘adults’ who already know the exploits of the Tiger, in search of a new adventure or simply driven by the nostalgia of an old friend of his adolescence.
The volume of Star Comics is a perfect introduction to the imagination of Salgari. The first story is a slide show of the highlights of Sandokan, where Davide Caci and Gero takes us on an intense history the origins of the myth of the character, supported by the drawings of Paolo Antiga, with the adventure more full-bodied sustained in this volume. The length of this first story is functional to the rest of the stories in the volume, in which the various authors follow each other in giving greater solidity to the principal figures in the myth of Sandokan.
Davide Aicardi gives us an adventure of the young pirate, in which his courage and his tenacity was not slow to manifest itself, told with a setting that is immersive, where past and present intertwine: the memory of the Sandokan. Mario Damiano Sciuto signature tables where the facial expressions of the characters and the naturalness of the postures are treated to the best.
The duo Morando - Malatini to play instead on the indomitable spirit of Marianna, showing the beloved of the Sandokan take on nothing less than a lethal tiger. The story played very well on an emotional level, enhanced by Malatini, which creates a fascinating interplay of glances between the woman and the feline. From chills.
The fido Yanez is the protagonist of the story, curated by Alessandro di Virgilio, with illustrations by Michela Hunter. The first meeting of one of the most beloved couple of our literature is made in order to transmit the characters of the two characters, in the balance between the tension of the situation in which the meeting takes place and the irony with which Yanez faces up to the dangers.
Star Comics has made an interesting volume, edited with care to convey the spirit of the character. In addition to the stories, are also the thoughts and the bond that unites writers and history, the experience which has accompanied the young tigers up to their gesture of affection for a pirate who felt a friendly presence. A particularly pleasant choice to make some written onomatopoeic with a font that reminds of the typical malay, a touch of the far east, which is adding to the charm of Sandokan.
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