Ingenious, meaty and for the most part wordless (probably fortunately: 'Fate had decided something else' on page 13 should surely be 'Fate had decreed otherwise'?) but - how shall I put this? - one admires French comics artists rather than warming to them, as one does Americans (and some Brits) of the classic (Crumb-inaugurated) era whose vision could be encapsulated in a frame and who are why we're now all reading this stuff, looking for that spark. (Before Crumb, adult comics was Andy Capp and The Gambols*!) These days it's more of a job. What was once the idea that the world could be changed (actually - it was changed) is now sour observation from the sidelines
* insipid ripoff of Blondie, b.1930, astonishingly now in sight of her centenary
Simply put, this is one of the greatest pieces of sustained comix storytelling ever put between two covers.Vincent Paronnaud (aka Winshluss)'s satire is a dazzling, playful use of the form, and deserves to sell far more than it has. As an animator, Paronnaud co-directed the film of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, and I think it's kind of sad that the 'traumatic autobiography' graphic novel, of which Persepolis is the great exemplar, seems to generate sales, kudos, and broadsheet reviews with far greater ease than stuff like Pinnochio, which has no sellable true story behind it, just bloody magnificent cartooning. Rant over, it's not an either/or thing.But if you love comics, for christ's sake buy this book.
Winshluss has absorbed and can draw perfectly in classic cartooning style (with some of the best colouring I have seen in comics) - but this then becomes the vehicle for his clever, dark and sometimes very funny distortions of the familiar stories. He takes the sanitised Disney stories, subeverts then and returns them to their violent sexually charged roots in folk mythology. This book is a vindication of everything that is exciting and entertaining in the comics medium. The book binding is also, like many new comics, a piece of art in its own right. Strongly recommended (though don't let the kids near it)
Awesome cover design, wonderful art, awesome story, epic comic! We all know that the image can tell more than a thousand words and this comic is one of the masters in this. Pinocchio’s story is fully presented by pantomime. Although in some pages the reader is following Jiminy Cockroach’s story (who lives in Pinocchio’s head, literally) and this is the only part where you can find speech bubbles in this comic, but otherwise no words needed.
Story begins when this mechanized Pinocchio is created and its creator desires to sell it to the military forces. During this main story the reader is also following couple of other characters such as Jiminy Cockroach, Snow White, weird hobo-drug-addicts…etc. Story is quite dark including sex and violence so it doesn’t suit for very young viewers/readers.
This is a very handsome, very large, very well-produced hardcover graphic novel, which takes the Pinocchio story, adds in a bit of Sleeping Beauty, then stirs in elements of hard-boiled crime fiction, some satirical commentary, some very lewd and ribald happenings and a very dark worldview to produce an absolutely engrossing narrative. It definitely isn't for kids.
In this tale, Pinocchio is a home-made metal automaton, rather than a puppet, whose unfortunate added extras (Gepetto wants to sell him to the military as a "super-robot") results in him and his father having to go on the run from the law. They are quickly separated and Gepetto is swallowed by Dogzilla, a giant fish, while Pinocchio is sold out by a couple of tramps, and runs away to the promised land for homeless boys, except that it is now anything but. A good part of the story is told without words, the major exceptions being the Jiminy Cockroach sections and a bit with a cop who has the head of an Easter Island idol, meaning that all the storytelling has to be carried by the art and Winschluss does that incredibly well.
The art style is very much an animation style, skewing toward underground comix style, though there are variations through the book, from full colour to light pen and ink, to a more pastelly concoction, that make it something to marvel at. Elements are grotesque, and there is a distinct reaction to the bowdlerization of fairy tales by Disney in some of the design of the characters and sets. Winschluss reaches through to some of the underlying issues of the fairy tales and displays them more accurately.
There's a strong flavour here, but as usually it's worth it.
The art in this is some of the best I've ever seen (by one of the chief animators on the Persepolis movie), and the production standard is super high with quality paper and gorgeous thick cover. Whoever did the colouring on this deserves some kind of medal. It's basically The Pinocchio story retold in a scabrously funny way..a bargain at 14 squid.
I bought this on a whim after being sucked in by the outstanding cover. The artwork throughout the rest of the book is just as good, and I spent hours just staring at each panel in wide-eyed amazement. The story is pretty good too, a re-working of Pinocchio as others have said, had me hooked fom the start, and elicited some genuine chuckles in places.
Definitely worth the admission price, for any comics fan or art lover.