Children's bedrooms, review: that's life

Children's bedrooms, review: that's life

Children's bedrooms, review

Camerette is not only the title of the debut graphic novel by the young Roman author Frita (born Francesco Rita, born in 1988, and multifaceted artist with experience also in the field of cinema and music) but also of the newborn Taranto publisher Ottocervo who, with personality and safety, faces the market elbowing and thus trying to get a space in an incredibly crowded slice that is anything but easy to interpret.

Camerette, that's life

Arianna betrays Fausto , Fausto betrays Arianna. It matters little that little Susi gets involved. The betrayals of the two are empty and both are aware of it, Arianna knows that Davide has other women even younger than him like Camilla just of age and in open conflict with her mother. Those of Arianna and Fausto are not the only betrayals, many years before even Luigi betrayed his wife even though little Danilo is waiting for him at home.

Many years later Camilla, Giò and Teo form a inseparable trio or almost. In fact, their life choices have led them to the carefree school of their choice that is anything but easy or happy. The girl is fascinated by over-mature men while Giò has decided to "change" air and Teo is now closed in on himself, dissatisfied.

Just when Camilla is thrown out of the house, finding no match in her lover Davide, he meets by chance Giò rushing out of work. In fact, babysitting little Susi is not bad, the problem is the tense atmosphere between Arianna and Fausto who, accompanied by Danilo, began to take his things to leave home.

Bedrooms, melancholy serendipity

For her debut, Frita certainly does not choose an easy narrative path. In fact, Camerette is initially configured with an anthology in which, in the various chapters, different characters alternate with their vicissitudes placed at different times. However, by overcoming the first chapters, the direct and above all indirect connections between the various characters begin to reveal themselves along a hypothetical common thread made up of encounters, feelings, expectations and failures in relationships that are always precarious and never stable even if started, and cemented, by the best intentions. .

A choral story with a cinematic cut, however, following the all-Italian verve of directors such as Paolo Virzì or Paolo Genovese, interpreters of those dramedies that dig deep into relationships thanks to interesting and never banal yet archetypal characters like those of Frita . Net of this, in Camerette there is a lot of comics from a narrative and structural point of view, drawing heavily from the Anglo-Saxon and French independent schools, with Boulet above all who then influenced the Italian one of the last 10 years of comic production, placing himself ideally in the very large cauldron of the slice of life as a genre.

However, the Roman author does not fall into the insidious trap of the purely autobiographical story, although there is no doubt that there are autobiographical references, but he maintains in the arc of his story that urgency that distinguishes some works by Silvia Ziche and above all the first production of Gipi. In the whirlwind of lived, present and past life, in which nothing is accidental and everything returns, Frita in fact frames powerful images (the house as a physical place but above all as an emotional place) leaving the very latest dialogue with the task of closing the proverbial circle in a melancholy and lonely ending.

The reading speed of Camerette is inversely proportional to the difficulty that the reader could have in grasping a series of nuances and references to the first reading. This perhaps could be, together with a structure that overlaps different temporal planes without giving direct coordinates to the reader, the first note that could be made to the author.

The second note is instead linked to a graphic style which, point blank, it could make the most demanding readers and those more accustomed to a more realistic or "refined" style give up. The round stroke and the high degree of stylization of Frita in fact bring the graphic style of Camerette closer once again to a certain independent Anglo-Saxon production. The continuous lines, the expressive-anatomical minimalism and the colors spread in large material backgrounds with shades reduced to a minimum (with tone on tone) contribute to making the characters of the volume extremely universal and accessible to any type of reader.

In this sense it is also interesting to dwell on the division of the table used by the Roman author. The structure is in fact entirely based on a horizontality that acts as a counterpoint to a page layout never divided into no more than 3/4 boxes. However, we cannot speak of a real "cage" because the squares are on a living page, leaving the "white" with a peculiar expressive power (many of the balloons also come from white) and reflective (for the reader of course).
Ottocervo's debut also deserves a final note. The publisher chooses a not simple comic to start with which, while winking at a certain commerciality, brings with it an unusual narrative-structural depth, especially in a market where people tend to harvest as much as possible immediately rather than patiently sow. It is equally out of the question that with Camerette, the publisher is placed in the wake of those publishing houses (Cononino even before BAO Publishing, just to name two well-known names) inclined to publish a more intimate, personal and sophisticated type of comic. A commendable choice that must be corroborated with other valuable products like this debut one.

The volume

Ottocervo therefore makes its debut on the market with a paperback volume with 17 × 22 flaps about cm. A choice from the point of view of packaging that seems to emphasize once again the slice of the market in which the publisher wants to wedge and supported by flawless carto-technical care. The graphic layout is minimal but effective in "describing" the content of the volume, the flaps are well exploited not only for the short biography of the author but also for a synopsis that adds even more curiosity if combined with the canonical one on the back cover .

The paperback is solid and, combined with the excellent trimming of the pages, allows easy reading without rash opening of the volume and without stress on the rib. The paper used is the opaque, thick and porous one that adapts well to the artist's stroke for an optimal yield. The only note that can be moved to the edition is the absence of extras except for a playlist at the end of the volume with a selection of songs, absolutely not obvious, with which you can accompany the reading of the volume.

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