Oscura Ossessione, the review of the new dark gothic by Gianfranco Staltari

Oscura Ossessione, the review of the new dark gothic by Gianfranco Staltari

Oscura Ossessione

What is a man willing to do to satisfy his ambitions? Philosophy has been questioning these terms for centuries, but the answer is always ambiguous and, sometimes, it crosses over into territories that we never would have thought of, such as those of horror imagined by Gianfranco Staltari and rendered in Paolo Massagli's tables in Oscura Ossessione. The new graphic novel published by Cut-Up Publishing takes a different approach from the classicisms of horror, with a meaning that turns to an almost parabolic key in a fantasy that no one expects. What do you want most in the world and what are you willing to do to get it?

Dark Obsession and the desire of men

Gianfranco Staltari, before being a writer, proved to be a lover of his own genre as a journalist and curator of Horror Magazine. He has published the Shapeshifter series, the cartoon anthology Schegge, the short story The Lord of Insects and the essay Ed & Lorraine Warren for Cut-Up Publishing scheduled for June 30 that will delight all fans of the Conjuring film saga. But let's find out together what the new graphic novel of Dark Obsession has in store for us.

It is night in the fairytale medieval town of Midian. We do not know exactly when the events narrated take place, but we do know for sure the intentions of Vincent Zardi, who is about to perform a spell that will change his life. He is a young man cornered by his family and by women who have always derided him from a sexual point of view, an affront that caused him a deep obsession and a malaise that had condemned him to life. Like all his peers, Vincent would like to be successful with women, much more indeed, and is willing to do anything to radically change his existence.

Even a pact with the devil.

After much research, Vincent finds an ancient text that allows him to summon the demon Azazel, one of the fallen angels who in exchange for his soul can give him what he has always wanted. So Vincent gets carried away by his carnal desires in a spiral made up of conquests and murders of the women he has always wanted. But when he meets the beautiful Cassandra, he fails to realize that she too hides a terrible secret.

"A man is not unhappy because he has ambition, but because he is devoured. " - Charles Louis Montesquieu

The New Gothic

Reading Dark Obsession, we were surprised how the author managed to mix elements of the medieval archetype with those of nowadays, making everything appear with the utmost naturalness, without ever having to highlight the diversity of time. An authentic timeless story. Vincent embodies the desperation of men and is a loser in the story told. Won by his ambitions that he has not been able to control, by the demons who sooner or later present a very high bill to pay, but also by those who, like him, pursue as many crazy ends in sharp contrast. But we won't be the ones to spoil the inevitable, but surprising ending to this story.

The story imagined by Staltari is a neo-fantasy, slightly dark-horror, that breaks the rules of fiction thanks to a short story, timeless, but with a strong impact and complete in its own way. However, we are convinced that the exploits of Vincent and Cassandra deserved more space. We therefore hope for a possible follow-up. Neo-Gothic characters and atmospheres that are rendered with great skill in the tables of Paolo Massagli. The designer from Lucca resumes his light, fine and characteristic line that goes very well with the sensual characters imagined by Staltari. An excellent work that we can admire in all its splendor also in the final gallery of the volume.

The edition edited by Cut-Up Publishing is a valuable 64-page hardcover, with attention to every detail, with burnished pages that leave room for the history and the clear line of Massagli's drawings, and then culminate with the afterword by Stefano “El Brujo” Fantelli who curates this first issue of the Hecate series. A volume that will certainly not disappoint lovers of the dark-gothic genre.

Referring to the ancient-modern bridge recreated by Staltari, we recommend listening to Lacrymosa by Evanescence from the album The Open Door. And always pay attention to what you want and how you plan to get it.

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