Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pinocchio the Avenging Punk

Came across a weird concept today that really did my head in – Carlo Collodi's famous marionette Pinocchio has been turned into a vampire slayer! I read The Adventures of Pinocchio (originally published in 1883) when I was a kid and I have a gorgeous hardback edition at home with illustrations by Attilio Mussino who interpreted it in 1911. It really is a dark story and not as cheery as the 1940 Disney animated film – for one thing the Cat and Fox characters disguised as assassins in chapter 14 and 15 are quite ghoulish and have no compunction in stabbing and then hanging the unfortunate puppet. And by the way, Disney substituted a whale for a shark in the climax. I have yet to see the 2002 Robert Benigni version, but am looking forward to an upcoming stop motion feature developed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) and the Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal). It's my understanding that brilliant illustrator Gris Grimley who did another picture book of the tale in 2002 will be the concept artist. Why all this set up? Well, SLG Publishing is about to release a graphic novel where Pinocchio becomes an avenger after his carpenter father and creator Geppetto is murdered by vampires – thought you might want a taste of it. The writer is Van Jensen and the artist is Dustin Higgins. It's a screwy but strangely fascinating concept all at the same time ... the artwork looks good and Pinocchio looks like a punk with a curl in the middle of his forehead. The tag line cracked me up –  " He's got a nose for evil". The concept may very well work.

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