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lunedì 28 luglio 2014

Zombre #1-2 + Magic Forest #1 + Zombre #3 Preview

The first issue of Ansis Purins' Zombre was a 12-page mini-comic in black and white, almost completely silent and in which the author told the clash between the protagonist, a zombie who lives in a magical forest located on an island, and Slappy, a negative version of the same Zombre. In addition to this Megathunder Showdown between the two, the book served to introduce the characters of the series, including Ranger Elvis and Ranger Jones, the first a vegetarian and messy hippie, the second his tyrannical and obnoxious boss hiding an unexpected secret.
It's in Zombre #2, titled The Magic Forest and winner of a Xeric Foundation Award, that these characters take a clearer form, allowing us to appreciate the art of Purins after a debut that looked more like a divertissement. The second issue - published in 2010 in a larger format and 48 pages - is characterized by a remarkable stylistic change. The small and detailed panels of the first issue, dominated by gray backgrounds and a marked line, give way to airy pages, where the prevalence of the white highlights a clear and well-defined line. Since the first pages of the book the author enjoys drawing his characters, the animals of the forest, the trees and the waterfalls, lining up bucolic and elegant pages with no text. The plot is built on a visitor of the island and her daughter, forced by the father to wear a helmet to protect herself from the "dangers" of nature.

Their encounter with Zombre is a succession of funny visual gags, although the entertainment is mostly due to Ranger Martin Elvis, clumsy and always late, certainly a memorable character. While he was working on Zombre #3, Purins published last year Magic Forest #1, a sort of Zombre #2.5. In these 16 pages, some in color, the author omits the landscapes in favor of one-off gags where Zombre doesn't appear, leaving room for funny situations starring the rangers and also sirens, elves, fairies and spiders. 
The main plot will continue in the long awaited Zombre #3, an 80-page full color episode currently in the works. In the meantime I was sent a preview and I liked how the story develops in line with what we have seen so far, adding new revelations about the characters and their origins, with some twists that spice up the narration. The new issue is in my opinion the best one, representing a new evolution in the cartooning of an artist with an exquisite line and able to create his own fictional universe.

A page from Zombre #3

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