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Stacy begins with these words: “I solemnly swear that I will not speak of Stacy.” It is undoubtedly a wonderful beginning, recurring throughout the story like a magical formula capable of assuming a slightly different meaning each time, balancing precariously between play and dogma. I too enjoy playing with this rule: I will not speak of Stacy, I will speak of Gipi. A Great Master is such when his panels (and more precisely their observation) serve as a training ship for newcomers to the medium and as a masterclass for great enthusiasts. Among the things you can see in Gipi’s comics,  the management of rhythm and the balance between text and image stand out exemplarily. The essential gears of drawn stories are candidly exposed and directed with the muscles of a Herculean author who transforms the ABCs into his personal canon. It is even clearer in an exhibition like this one, of black-and-white panels, of frenetic drawings where the author’s seductive watercolor is self-banished and the tool used to imprint the marks is only one, seemingly crude, primordial. It might seem a cave-man-like Gipi, but we would be greatly mistaken. Here you will see a clean, clinical Gipi, maniacally focused in his intentions and execution, who writes the physiognomies and draws the texts, giving us an exact form of what comics are, his and others (the well-made ones). To the more prepared observer, I recommend wandering through the grids, musically alternating between borderless panels and Swiss series of eight devoid of white spaces, in a continuous state of transition between soft guts and the rigid ticking of ribs, between the freedom of thought and the chains of representation.

I have not spoken of Stacy and I realize I have also said nothing about that black bag in the room, there, under the desk. If you want to know more, ask your demons. 

Text by Ratigher

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