Senzanima – Hunger of Stefano Vietti, and Ivan Calcaterra | Review


Published on Nov 13, 2018


Dragonero is undoubtedly the franchise that has best been able to summarize the new progress of the SBE with its own tradition, becoming a series that, by drawing profusely from the style classic of the milanese publishing house and its characters, has carved out a more “american” with a continuity of its own and with directions in space-time accurate in the most classic tradition of the great epic fantasy.

To this was then added a writing timely, with plots that are compelling and long-breath and a series of designers that have followed always with performance commendable, the factors that have decreed the success of the critics and the public, a success that has prompted the SBE to consider how to better utilize the brand Dragonero and launching two publishing initiatives in the parallel side, the first designed for a very young audience - – Dragonero Adventures, and the second one for a mature audience, opting for a format of “French” or Senzanima – prequel that tells the story of the enterprises of a young Ian during his time as a mercenary in the company of the Senzanima precisely.

Presented in preview at Lucca Comics and Games 2018 comes the second volume of this series entitled Fame. After the harsh introduction of the first volume, we find Ian in the middle of a battle between the Empire and the rebel of Merovia. The army in which they serve the Senzanima has been split in two, and the commander relies on Ian, the newcomer Rookie, and The Carrion the task of pushing the limit of the territories controlled by the enemy in search of food.

Going through the countryside and villages devastated by the war, Ian and The Carrion explain how the only way to defend itself from the raids is to pay the powerful Guild of Merchants and/or the Commanders of the different garrisons. When all seems lost, but Ian uses his skills tracking down what looks like a deserted village but not destroyed by the passage of soldiers.

The three of them will fall into an ambush by making a gruesome discovery about the unique inhabitants of the village and on the price that war brings, and that is paid both on the soldiers and the “civilians”.

Stefano Vietti takes to the letter of the label of the series matures and the result is a fantasy robust and “modern” in which the sword-and-sorcery leaves space for the reflection of the political dialogue in the inn between the three Senzanima that exposes the naivety of the young Rookie on the war with the “right” of the Empire against the Merovia – and it resolves in a final by the characteristics almost horror while being inspired by true events as he tells us the same author in the bulky apparatus of the editorial at the end of the volume.

The author then does not fail to disseminate clues about plots in the long-term that will be surely reflected in the success volumes of the series.

So, as already pointed out in the opening about the regular series, on the shields – pardon the joke – of Hunger, there is certainly evidence to the capital of Ivan Calcaterra pencils.

Despite having long worked with the science-fiction, the designer lombardo is comfortable with fantasy by bringing together the rigour of illustration of a certain historical comic especially of French origin – in the first part of the volume – with the typical taste of the “american” between Sean Phillips – for the use of the black and the ink more thick – and Lee Bermejo – for a game of overlapping, perspective of the figures in the table, the construction of which is free from any cage while remaining extremely clear, underlining his great ability of storytelling.

Honorable mention should be also made to the colors by Andres Mossa. The colorist shows very well knowing how to interpret the “mood” of the story, with a shovel, and a use of light, extremely realistic in the first part of the book and a work of contrast between the blue and the orange in the second part, which accompanies not only the choices of composition of the designer but also the character, the more brutal of the story and of the characters that will light up in dramatic fashion. A job, especially in the second part that demonstrates how the color, when it is studied and entrusted to expert hands, may represent a definite added value.

The volume is a solid hardback, with which the SBE is presenting these series side - “experimental” – as Tex graphic Novels – which include the evocative cover art by Mario Alberti and the full-bodied and very interesting apparatus in the editorial at the end of the volume in which you talk about this story, and the series Senzanima, both with the writer that with the designer.

Senzanima remains a most valuable proposal, and in particular this Hunger demonstrates how the creators of Dragonero are only scratching the surface of a story more complex than it might appear and/or that can be reduced to a mere prequel composed of stories of episodic.

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