This. This is what I was expecting.
My previous review of a collection from Zerocalcare was a bit of a moan. It wasn’t what I wanted, and yet, I had no idea what I wanted. This title, Dodici (Eng: Twelve), was pretty much exaclty what I was expecting.
For instance, have you ever wondered what it would be like if Peppa the pig told Shin from Hokuto No Ken and Dragon Shiryu from Saint Seiya to blow him?
You’re welcome. Happy to oblige1 . I don’t know about other Europeans, but Americans might be confused. If you are an Italian of my generation you know more about Ken il Guerriero (Jap:Hokuto No Ken (Eng: Fist of the North Star)) than you do the Italian constitution. It is a pretty big part of our cultural identity (isn’t that a bit sad). That could be considered a flaw here. As I mentioned in my previous review, the series is pretty heavy with both Italian cultural references and Roman dialect.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Dodici is a sort of zombie apocalypse story that doesn’t put too much focus on the Zombies. We get the story In Media Res with whatever event caused the zombies not only having already happened, but not ever being brought up. It’s not really what this story is about. Nor is it resolved in the way things are in the movie World War Z. This is just a tale of some people trying to survive, and some pretty interesting beliefs about Karma. Again, I am somewhat new to Zerocalcare and I don’t know to what extent he is a fiction or a nonfiction writer. Behind the zombie story there was also something else – a metaphor for neighborhood gentrification. Many of Rome’s neighborhoods have a strong sense of identity, and Zerocalcare’s Rebbibia is no exception. Part of the story is some of the character’s not wanting to leave, and questioning what another character would be doing there to begin with.
Another part of the story is something of a parody of The Walking Dead. The story worked for me, but the presentation didn’t always work. The story was told in two intertwining parts, one being the earlier part of the story that gives pretty important background information. I have to admit it took me a while to figure out what was going on, despite that one branch of the story is full color and the other is black and white.
I enjoy the art style here. I think it is something pretty hit or miss, which may make or break people’s enjoyment of this work. The above panel is somewhat representative of what you will find, but then again, so are the following:
We can say that is is variable. Sometimes it feels kind of lazy, but other times it comes across rather nice. Maybe I am looking to far into it, but I think that was something of a point. As I said in the earlier review, it reminds me of the lack of care worn by so many of Italy’s very disaffected youth. It makes a kind of sense or at least it does so to me.
All in all I was pretty happy to have read this, and will happily pick up a different one.
1 My favorite part is that I didn’t have to scan that image myself. Someone already put it online, because of course they did.