This is one of the latest entries in the Ignatz line of comics currently being published collaboratively by Fantagraphics Books in the USA and Coconino Press in Italy. Mattotti's Chimera, the first major black and white work by an artist closely associated with his lush pastel palette, is a textless pen and ink tour de force that employs a highly expressive line to render the subtle give and take between perception and conception, and mediate a rapprochement between the consciousness of dreaming and that of waking.
Well – it's about time! At last this 1999 pen and ink masterpiece by the fabulously talented Lorenzo Mattotti receives its long sought after English language translation in this smartly packaged hardcover edition just released by Fantagraphics. Mattotti is best known for his stunning pioneering pastel rendering style in works such as Fires, Murmur and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Stigmata we are shown another side of his prodigious talent: his pen and ink work. We received what now amounts to a preview of this in his contribution to the Ignatz series, Chimera, but with Stigmata we have Mattotti's most sustained narrative to date.
There is no better artist to put side by side with Brecht Evens than Lorenzo Mattotti. While Fantagraphics has been busy bringing US readers up to speed with Mattotti's neglected (here) black and white ink work, with The Crackle of Frost, they unleash a blast of what he is best known for: color. Mattotti has long led the charge for drawing comics with color as well as with line. He has carried the banner for a sensual comics with his masterful pastels that make color an equal partner with line in constituting space and realizing character in thirty years worth of work that is simultaneously wildly expressionistic and boldly fauvist, reflecting the psychological themes that the narratives address; never more so than in this tale by Zentner, which is one of a mid-life crisis search for love and meaning and the protagonist's search for a path that intersects with his present cicumstances and will connect his past with his future. There is no one like Mattotti, and the US publication of this 120 page hardcover is a cause for celebration. Jump right in with this PDF preview.
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