Winner of both the grand prize at the Lucca Comics Festival and the award for best album at the Angoulême Comics Festival -- in 2010 and 2011 -- respectively, 5,000 km per second at long last makes its English language debut in this hardcover edition from Fantagraphics. Fior is an accomplished watercolorist who here employs a finely nuanced color palette in telling the story of a complex young love that is also the story of growing up as it follows its protagonists' across the years and across the continent of Europe and into Egypt in a series of gradual shifts and abrupt jumps.
Manuel Fior's latest graphic novel is a science fiction exploration of social structures and their relation to personal identity and sexual mores. Penned and printed in a monochrome of black, white and grey, Fior employs the science fiction trope of inexplicable (and incomprehensible) alien communications to force readers into a zone of doubt and then asks them to examine their preconceptions of sexual and social relationships while held in this stasis. Needless to say, this work is beautifully rendered with lush landscapes, cityscapes, and lots of great body language (bonus points for identifying all the compositions that reference Gustav Klimt works; clearly an important motif in The Interview).
Check out this substantial preview of the first dozen pages are hosted on the AV Club, HERE.
Blackbird Days presents readers with ten short comics by Manuele Fior, reproduced full up in this 9" x 12" hardcover, translated into English (from the Italian original, by Jaime RIchards), and published for the first time in North America. Fior dazzles with a virtuoso display of his talents in the wide range of styles and mediums that are on display here.
Fior's early, 2006 work – published by Atrabile in France as Icarus, and by Coconino Press in Italy as Rosso oltremare (thence the English title) – has at last been published in North America. Fior here starts out appearing to be following Blutch, to some degree, both in style and content in this tale that mines classical Greek mythology, but then switches gears, fusing it to the present via Goethe's Faust, and then presents the entire tale from a woman's perspective, making for an intriguing multi-layered take on the individual self's struggle to navigate the labyrinth of destiny.