Jamila Campagna

A big privilege that few can get is to find themselves inside comics strips. Catapulted into another universe, transfigured from a person into a character, see their own figure acting and relating, multiplied, in a shape made of paper and sign. To think, to speak, to live, sketched on paper. None more than Umberto Eco has gained this space; a mutual exchange: his person has become a character while comics got rediscovered as avant-garde popular art, when he put the basis for a cultural and critical analysis of comics in his Apocalyptics and Integrated essay, published in 1964 which seems such a long time ago.
Memorable is his passage through the pages of Dylan Dog, in Lassù qualcuno ci chiama – illustrated by Bruno Brindisi and written by Tiziano Sclavi – as the semiologist Humbert Coe. The comic book was published by Sergio Bonelli Editore, the publishing house that has built the history of the illustrated literature and now is going to launch a new series with a sophisticated charm: UT.
UT is born from the artistic genius of Corrado Roi, historic cartoonist of Dylan Dog, who’s now creating a project elaborated in a life time with the scripts of Paola Barbato, spearhead of Bonelli Editore narratives. Last evolution is primitive – the scenery of UT is a post-apocalyptic world: animals and nature are devastated, the human being is almost extinct and new living species take place in this blind future. Among these species there’s something similar to the human being but with primordial and instinctive features. UT is one of them and his work is to help the entomologist Decio to search for survived insects and monitor a mastaba. From here on complex characters will appear in Roi’s drawings, in his lines on a dense sfumato that literally digs the page surface. In the imaginative, monstrous and symbolic dimension of UT pages, we find Hog, a character inspired by Umberto Eco, who slides through the narrative frames with the curiosity and surprise face expression of who’s looking for the sense of things and, eventually, he’s not satisfied although he finds it. The miniseries of six numbers will be released from March to August 2016 in a double edition: the news-stand version and the comics-shop version, that will have a different cover created by a guest cartoonist. The first presentation of UT will be in occasion of Cartoomics, at Fiera di Milano from 11th to 13th March. Saturday 12th march, the event titled Il maestro delle ombre Corrado Roi e Paola Barbato insieme per UT will take place and the two authors will show the first strips to the audience; on 12th and 13th March, it will be possible to get the comics books signed by the authors and an exclusive sketch created by Corrado Roi.

We thank Sergio Bonelli Editore for the courtesy of UT pages related to Hog character, through which IL MURO editorial team want to pay tribute to Umberto Eco, professor and person essential for the Contemporary History and critical thought.


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