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Black Paths
     

Black Paths

by David B.
 

  When the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated after World War I, control of the Adriatic port of Fiume (now Rieka, Croatia) was hotly disputed. Enter “Pirate King” Gabriele d’Annunzio, an Italian poet who stormed the city with 3,000 Italian nationalists. D’Annunzio declared Fiume a free republic and himself commander. He envisioned a

Overview

  When the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated after World War I, control of the Adriatic port of Fiume (now Rieka, Croatia) was hotly disputed. Enter “Pirate King” Gabriele d’Annunzio, an Italian poet who stormed the city with 3,000 Italian nationalists. D’Annunzio declared Fiume a free republic and himself commander. He envisioned a utopian city-state, but Fiume quickly became a surreal center of violence, looting, and decadence, with shades of the Fascist movement to come. Acclaimed comics artist David B. uses this real event as a backdrop and seamlessly weaves history, hysteria, and highly stylized art into the tragic love story of a beautiful torch singer and a young soldier haunted by the horrors of trench warfare.

Praise for Black Paths:

“David B. draws with the chaotic, high-contrast style he used in his best-known work, Epileptic, to capture the distressed, surreal mood of artists struggling to run the world.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Expressive, colorful drawings and vivid character designs” —Booklist

“As with Epileptic, the art in Black Paths is twisted but the writing is straight, charting a clear narrative path through the insanity of Italy in the year following World War I…” —The A.V. Club

“Here’s a book that has everything going for it.” —Comic Book Resource’s Robot6 blog

Black Paths is a fascinating study of the strange convergence of anarchy, fascism and art a century ago.” —The Milwaukee Shepherd Express

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Young love is overwhelmed by post-WWI angst in this striking French graphic novel set against a bizarre historical episode. In the social chaos following the war, the Adriatic port city of Fiume has a short-lived independence under the eccentric leadership of nationalist poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, while rival mobs struggle for loot. The beautiful singer Mina and the talented writer Lauriano come together briefly—but she is primarily concerned with becoming a famous entertainer while he publishes his work anonymously and is haunted by the ghosts of unburied WWI soldiers. His happiest memory is of being trapped alone for days in a shell hole in the middle of No Man’s Landduring the battle of Piave. . David B. draws with the chaotic, high-contrast style he used in his best-known work, Epileptic, to capture the distressed, surreal mood of artists struggling to run the world. The characters’ bodies elongate and twist to express their emotions, street riots become full-page mosaics of struggling bodies and angry masks, and inanimate objects become all-consuming designs. The result is a gloomy, sadly impressive portrait of foiled idealism. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906838331
Publisher:
SelfMadeHero
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

David B. (Pierre-François Beauchard) is a prominent French comics artist whose graphic memoir, Epileptic, was nominated for an Eisner and won an Ignatz Award, as well as top prizes at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. He is also the illustrator of Best of Enemies: A History of U.S. and Middle East Relations. He lives in Paris, France.

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