Tectonics, review of the graphic novel Feltrinelli Comics

Tectonics, review of the graphic novel Feltrinelli Comics


A small town in Romagna for a small, great story of growth with a light and carefree humor. Tectonics (and the title itself is a play on words, a hymn to irony) is the graphic novel by Sofia Assirelli and Cristina Portolano that Feltrinelli Comics brings to bookstores with a young adult story very close to everyday life. Almost a slice of life that talks about all of us and the hitches we meet along the way in the rush to grow up and become adults. Authentic and genuine, Tettonica is not a pedantic and didactic book, but it is certainly formative. Let's talk about it in depth between these lines.

Tectonics, in name and in fact

Maria Bandini has a constant worry: she doesn't have enough boobs. While spending the afternoons in the company of her best friend, Valentina, she often exposes this problem, which is of considerable importance to her. Valentina tries to convince her that it is not that dramatic, but being called "Pamela Anderson with the reverse" by the bullies of Loggiano certainly does not help! In addition, with the arrival of summer, vacationers from big cities also arrive in the village, including Samu: there is no time to waste, Maria does not intend to let the cutest boy escape, but she knows that to conquer him there is wants a miracle.| ); }

Growing up, what an effort!

How frustrating it can be to grow up in a body that doesn't really want to take the shapes we would like. The writer also knows that like Maria, the twelve-year-old protagonist of Tectonics, she spent most of her adolescence looking with admiration at the generous breasts of the others, hoping for a compensation of matter in the universe. Tectonics is precisely that kind of graphic novel that manages to point straight to the heart, without taking itself too seriously: those who for one reason or another, faced their childhood by perceiving a lack (or more than one), but learning to grow around it - not just accepting it with resignation, which is different.

It is the time of the Spice Girls, of afternoons spent having a snack together and reading that is, of inexorable comparisons with movie stars of desirable proportions, of age-old questions about sexuality that cannot be answered simply by picking up a smartphone. The years have passed, things have changed in the world, but certainly the adolescent dilemmas remain the same in substance, especially those inherent to the relationship with one's body which perhaps today, more than in the 90s, are affected by the massive visual exposure produced by social. Tectonic, fun, carefree, overcomes time limits and talks about that span of time in our life in which every little, big drama is a kind of adventure that takes us step by step closer to maturity. Thus, for example, the movements that upset Maria inwardly (and then outwardly, when two small protuberances appear), become for her the same movements that shake Loggiano. Maria does not even contemplate the possibility of a geological phenomenon and, with an amusing and allusive play on words, Assirelli and Portolano substantially describe that phase in which we believe we are a sort of "center of the world", forgetting for a while how much also for the others the path is full of obstacles.

Training with humor

Once again, Sofia Assirelli and Cristina Portolano manage to grasp the comic, light side of these dualities, also thanks to a simple but highly expressive style of representation, capable of grasping the nuances of emotions that the protagonists communicate with facial expressions and gestures - even the "pinecone hand" of the nun who asks Mary what she is doing among the figures in the religious procession, where the girl is ironically mistreated even by church women! The illustrations of Tettonica are so deliberately immature, outlining in two-tone an essential youth, "broadly", made up of small, comic existential hitches.

It's true, growth is never something simple and you don't have to underestimate it, however Tettonica manages to tell it without burdening the narrative with heavy didactics: it knows how to speak to everyone, does not pretend to be moral and point the finger, but it knows how to strike the heart with its authenticity and genuineness. There are also the most exciting moments, especially when Maria, taken by her inner turmoil, does not immediately understand the importance of going to visit grandmother Alberta in the hospital. And it is by telling simple situations like this that Tectonics knows how to be formative even in its humorous and light substance: a graphic novel that we recommend reading, especially to the youngest.

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