Penelope, review: tentacles in the dark

Penelope, review: tentacles in the dark

Penelope, review

When we turn off the light, don't we always have the sensation, albeit irrational, that something lurks in the darkness? What if it wasn't just an impression? Dado and savuland sign the graphic novel Penelope, for the series Yaù! by SaldaPress, creating a sometimes funny and scary story about what awaits us among the densest shadows of growth. Not a classic coming-of-age story, but rather a book that, moving between light irony and a mature sense of horror, talks about the pitfalls along the journey towards the search for one's identity, as well as friendship and courage. A young adult graphic novel that can be read by everyone, even with its small flaws.

Who is Penelope?

if ( jQuery("#crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1").is(":visible")) { //console.log("[ACTIVATION TEST] adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2"); } if (jQuery("#crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_bx2_1").is(":visible")) { //console.log("[ACTIVATION TEST] adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_bx2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_bx2"); } Lucca Comics and Games 2022 represented, as usual, an excellent opportunity for authors and publishers to present the new upcoming works. SaldaPress was no exception, which on the occasion of the festival showed the public one of its novelties related to the Yaù! catalogue. (the series dedicated to young adult proposals). We are talking about Penelope , an urban fantasy graphic novel by Davide "Dado" Caporali and Silvia "savland" Landucci, with a dark and black as ink appearance, a "Lovecraftian" soul and a heart aimed at finding oneself with courage ( but also with the help of precious friends). But who is Penelope the protagonist of this graphic novel?

if (jQuery("#crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1").is(":visible")) { //console.log("[ACTIVATION TEST] adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3" ); } She is a young woman of twenty who, having moved to another city, now has the opportunity to study psychology: a subject which, in addition to fascinating her, she feels similar to her personal experience. Penelope, in fact, is affected from an early age by a particular type of hallucinations, visions of horrendous creatures that live in the dark and seem to be attracted to her. What growing up has increasingly taken on the traits of a form of perception disorder, however for Penelope it now becomes something more sinister and substantial as the "visions" become more and more nourished, and for the young woman the time has come to find out what they really are. And who is she really? Alongside Penelope, the kind Veronica, her roommate, and the bizarre Horace, owner of an esoteric items shop, who will help her in her frightening search while a mysterious girl peeps into Penelope's life, halfway between this world and that of darkness.

Monsters and Tentacles

For some, the dark is not something to fear. For others, it's an extremely scary element to be chased away with any light source. The subjectivity of perception regarding darkness does not however exclude that it certainly represents something, almost a physical place, for which to be alert: the most ancestral human instinct knows that dangers and threats can await in the thickest shadows . Penelope then plays with our "fear of the dark", whether it is more or less accentuated, speaking directly to our younger self: a certainly brilliant and effective move for this young adult graphic novel, sinking her "tentacles" directly into one of the major fears we develop from childhood. The technique is simple, and at the same time extremely valid: the graphic novel by Dado and Savuland is structured through a clear, decisive two-tone, in which the blacks are deep, dark as pitch and devoid of nuances, while often menacing unravel from them tentacles or open eyes belonging to monstrous creatures.

Not only that. The narration in Penelope is engaging because it is rather close to what our common perception could be. We see monstrosities in the dark, we begin to fear them, but we tell ourselves that they are only irrational visions of something that does not exist, branding everything as a cognitive perception disorder. The - inevitable - twist is that what we believed to be just hallucinations may not actually be, delving into the world of the occult, the magical and the paranormal, like Penelope.

if (jQuery("#crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 ").is(":visible")) { CRM_ADS.addZone({tag:"crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1",name:"th_culturapop_d_mh4",matchMedia:"(min-width: 1300px)"}); //console.log("[ACTIVATION TEST] adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh4_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh4"); } Here too, Dado and savuland manage to weave an excellent compelling narrative made of darkness, mystery and secrets to be revealed starting from a simple and essential base, which undoubtedly winks at some of the cornerstones of Lovecraftian horror. The setting which could be that of a mysterious New England (although some architectures seem to be directed towards a more magical and hidden Edinburgh); the tentacled monsters that dwell in unknown dimensions but parallel to ours; the constant feeling of a madness in the background of which the protagonist (in this case Penelope) believes he is a victim; the unveiling of a mystery linked to one's origins through strange artifacts that even hint at cosmic powers .

After all, beyond the frightening darkness and all the set of implications that carries with it (including Lovecraftian atmospheres), Penelope is in its essence a story about how scary it can be to grow up and discover one's true and deepest self. Dado and Savuland, in this, are not afraid to add a measured dose of irony, which probably cannot ignore the style that the two artists have built up over the years with their comics, but which is greatly appreciated by Penelope. Because, let's face it, growing up and going to the origin of one's ego is perhaps essentially this: a frightening journey in which we are forced to contend with unknown pitfalls that await us lurking in the shadows (especially when you are alone in a new city). , but also a path in which, thanks to affections, friendships or simple "alliances" we can find moments of brightness, opportunities to laugh at the obstacles in our path, moments of sharing and conviviality. Can Penelope capture the substance of the search for one's identity? Yes, with great effectiveness, even if there are some "buts".

Penelope: young adult, but perhaps not for everyone

An aspect that should not be underestimated when drafting a young adult graphic novel it is the ability of the narration to know how to reach the perception and liking of even the most adult groups. Penelope certainly proves to be interesting and engaging, however she seems to possess (especially from the second half of the volume onwards) a tone closer to a naive spectacularity, a way of narrating more towards a young and at times "immature" feeling. Don't let yourself be fooled, as there is no lack of rather chilling horror sequences that we found disconcerting, but it almost seems as if the graphic novel veers towards a more sour turn towards the end of the narrative.

This does not mean that Penelope is to be quashed, on the contrary. The graphic novel by SaldaPress presents itself as a very valid proposal in the Yaù series, well done both on a narrative level and in the realization of the drawings (the layout was edited by Dado, while the pencils and inks bear the signature of savuland). A clean, essential style even with numerous details, which manages to convey the anguish of the protagonist through a pure and clear duotone, as she makes her way into her new, frightening life path. Furthermore, let's not forget the attention given by the publishing house to the graphic details: Penelope in fact presents a very intriguing dust jacket, which, in taking up the two-tone of the internal illustrations, is embellished with silver inserts in relief, clues of magic, mystery and that pinch of brightness of which we will go looking for together with the protagonist in this nice urban fantasy graphic novel.

Powered by Blogger.