Freedom is the common thread that binds the authors and the works selected for these exhibitions. Freedom is meant as the creative and formal freedom of comic strip artists, but also freedom of speech and expression, when these artists choose to break the many cages that hinder the recognition of fundamental human rights through their art. Freedom is a shared and international cry, crossing different geographies and generations. From the black and flaming Japan of the master of manga Usamaru Furuya, to Germany narrated with its individual and collective traumas by Anke Feuchtenberger, to a young French author, Valentine Cuny-Le Callet, who points the finger at the abuses of the North American prison regime and the cruelty of the death penalty. As a champion of subversive irony, for Filippo Scòzzari freedom means indignation against all forms of widespread stupidity disguised as common sense. Gipi makes us reflect not only on freedom of expression, but also on the role of the artist in our society and on the cruel mechanisms behind social networks. In his book produced together with Fulvio Risuleo, Antonio Pronostico shows us a poet prisoner of a dark corporate plot, between paranoia and social satire.
Four young first timers move in very different directions, showing us other shades of freedom: visions of dystopian futures but very close to our present (Enrico Pinto, Isabella Tiveron), surreal tragicomedy (Spam Il Mandarino Psichico), picaresque novel and urban poetry (Michele Peroncini). In presenting this panoramic survey of the many possibilities of contemporary comics, Coconino Press wants to remain faithful to the vocation that has accompanied it since its origins. Founded in 2000, the publishing house took its name from the “county of Coconino” in which George Herriman’s Krazy Kat strips are set, a comic masterpiece that is also paid homage by Bianca Bagnarelli through the festival’s poster. Coconino Press has radically changed the perception of the graphic novel in Italy and today the catalogue counts more than 700 titles. The publishing house has baptised some of the most important names in Italian comics (Gipi, Manuele Fior, Paolo Bacilieri, Davide Reviati…), published classics such as Andrea Pazienza, Massimo Mattioli, Altan, Guido Buzzelli, and introduced the Italian public to international giants such as Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, David Mazzucchelli, Jirō Taniguchi, Kazuo Kamimura, Suehiro Maruo, Manu Larcenet, David B.
Recently, with the launch of the new Doku brand, it has turned on a spotlight on the vast universe of manga. Coconino works constantly on a kind of research that always puts in first place the discovery of beautiful stories, of graphic signs able to fascinate and amaze, of comics that know how to indicate new paths and expand the grammars of storytelling. Comics like the ones you will find in this exhibition. Welcome to Coconino.

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