Fantasy archeology: class with Leo Ortolani

Fantasy archeology: class with Leo Ortolani
For the third day of streaming events of the Lucca Changes event, Leo Ortolani returns to the panel, in streaming, A lesson in Fantasy Archeology with Leo Ortolani "The Seeker".

Accompanied in this lesson by fantarcheologia by Enrico Ferraresi, moderator of the meeting for the organization of Lucca Changes, and by Stefania Simonini, editorial coordinator for Panini Comics, the author presents the new register, available for a couple of days in bookstores, comics and newsstands: Il Seeker.

Here is the synopsis of the comic:

Indiana Jones meets The Lord of the Rings in the new, adventurous story of Leo Ortolani. When the world really changed and the magic spread all over the Earth, many had to change their minds about the formula "Sim Sala Bim". In this revolutionized world, new figures emerged from the ashes of YouTubers and influencers: the seekers, people who voted their existence in search of ancient artifacts and traces of now disappeared civilizations. Voyager type, but without Giacobbo. This is the story of one of them. Also: studies, unpublished drawings and unmissable "behind the scenes".

The story, previously presented in the giant Rat-Man comic series, returns in this complete collection that sees, as inspiration for the protagonist, the return of Leo Ortolani's friend, Michele , which fans have already had the opportunity to know in the story of the ascent of Rat-Man, where he was portrayed as the old man of the mountain.

The story of The Seeker is not new, the author had written it when he was at university. Before enrolling in the Faculty of Geology, in fact, Leo Ortolani was convinced to enroll in Archeology, as he told during this "lesson". According to what he says, however, his dreams would be shattered in the face of the enormous obstacle of having to study ancient languages ​​for two years. It is during these years that Ortolani becomes passionate about the Lord of the Rings, from which he decides to take inspiration to create his own fantasy universe. The stories of that period have so far never arrived on paper.

With an archaeological, indeed, fantarcheological work, the publishing house Panini Comics and the author dust off these old stories giving them a new shape, both as regards the writing and drawing, presenting to the public The Seeker, a mythological figure halfway between a druid and an Indiana Jones-style adventurer, who seeks evidence of past cults that are now forgotten by men. The Seeker is not the first of the stories that Leo Ortolani has ever written, but the second. The first strictly fantasy-themed creation, dating back to 1985 as we discovered during this "lesson", was The Lord of the Pumpkins, a fantasy story set in a castle inhabited by pumpkins, as was evident from the title, which gave life to the characters that readers will meet, in a redesigned version, in the new comic.

These stories have remained so far hidden, like the lost ark, and covered by the dust of time since Leo Ortolani later dedicated himself to Rat-Man , a character who consecrated him in the pantheon of Italian comics. Hence the idea of ​​fantasy archeology, a rediscovery not only of the past civilizations of the fantastic world, but also of previous works that the author has never managed to publish. Among these we also find a new min series of comics, scheduled for the first months of 2021, inspired by Spaghetti Western. The first issue, Matana, takes its cue from a story that Leo Ortolani wrote in 1982: For a handful of strawberries.

In the original story from the early 1980s we see two bounty hunters hunting for a bandit name El Muerto. Although in Matana we will not find the two original bounty killers from the story of Per un Pugno di Fragole, a comic from which Ortolani wanted to keep only a joke, we will instead find El Muerto in the role of the antagonist. Secondary protagonist of Matana will be the horse of the protagonist, inspired by Jolly Jumper, Lucky Luke's horse, who will show to have a strong personality, if not a real temper, and a great antipathy towards his own rider.

This cathartic experience of creating the future starting from the past ends with a political 7 and a half assigned to us by the professor of fantasy archeology Leo Ortolani for our patience (I quote).

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