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)
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.
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.