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March 02, 2007

Favorite Scene, by Danica Novgorodoff

It’s no secret that I love Gipi’s work – I did my best to sell out all our copies of Garage Band last weekend at the New York ComicCon (and succeeded!).

One of my all-time favorite scenes is when a big-shot in the music industry offers Stefano a job working in the head office of his record company – an opportunity to rub shoulders with “real musicians” and to leave behind his pals and their small-time garage band. It’s pretty obvious that this record company guy is a bit sleazy (he meets with Stefano smoking a cigarette and wearing nothing but a flowered towel, after all), but his ghost image standing next to Stefano at poolside and the transparent hand on Stefano’s shoulder in the next panel give him an eerie quality, as if he were in fact the specter of disillusionment, corrupt ambition, and greed. The devil is perched on Stefano’s shoulder, whispering sweet and sickening temptations in his ear.

(click to enlarge)

Garageband_107_1


Garageband_108_2

The scene ends with the two gazing in silence over the man’s vast and empty swimming pool – a symbol of wealth and success, but also of the complete soullessness with which the man operates in the world; a vacuity that is being offered to Stefano in tandem with material gains and the possibility of fame, if only he’ll give up his friends and the music that he loves.

Garageband_109_1

I think that in Garage Band, and in Notes for a War Story (forthcoming from :01 in the fall of 2007), Gipi really gets at the core of what it means to grow up – to have your idealism challenged, to realize that because of social and economic differences not everyone is on equal footing and not everything is possible, and to make decisions based on those hard realities and still try to hold on to what you love and know to be true and right.

p.s. Oh yeah, and the art is gorgeous.

Comments

I just got the two books published in USA. Garage BAnd and Notes for a War Story.

Amazing!!!!

I just want to thank fist second books for bringing this great work to us. I really hope I can see more of Gipi soon.

Can't wait!!!

Gipi is a genius. One of the best treasure of Italian and European comics scene. He is a well deserved member in the clan of Great Ones ;)
Also he is a real gentleman ;)

From Sardinia
smoky ciao

Danica- What a wonderful post! Evocative and astute. Thanks so much. :)

Thank you for such a beautiful post; this blog really is a treasure trove of words and pictures.

This one is not published in Spain, yet, but "Notes for a War Story" it is, and I can say it's a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Gipi rocks.

Wow, you know, that's my favorite scene in Garage Band as well. I just love that haunted look in Stefano's eyes, though I have to admit I never noticed the ghostly quality of the exec before. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Garage Band is my favorite First Second book so far, hands down.

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