The post-apocalyptic world in Land of the Sons looks smelly. You can almost smell the sour rot of animal fat. There are other sensations wafting off the page, too: Fear, pity, excitement and remorse. All of them combine to make this a book you should read - and you can read part of it right here.
A rebellious panel from Land of the Sons. Image: Gianni Pacinotti (Fantagraphics)
In the upcoming graphic novel by celebrated Italian cartoonist Gianni "Gipi" Pacinotti, the two main characters are adolescent boys being raised by a single dad. They chafe under his rules, as teenagers have since the dawn of time, and disobey some of his edicts. Their dad's rules all come orally because the boys can't read; words such as "love" and "care" are forbidden because he wants them to be tough enough to survive the cruel world they have inherited. The upcoming graphic novel shows how their obsession with finding someone who can read their dad's notebook opens up their horizons in horrific ways.
The cover for Land of the Sons. Image: Gianni Pacinotti (Fantagraphics)
Gipi has previously won acclaim for earlier works such as Notes for a War Story and The Innocents. Land of the Sons offers an intimate, personal, deconstructed take on a post-apocalyptic world, one where the trappings of the genre still show up but have added weight because of the lonesome mood and well-established stakes. You'll get your chance to journey into Land of the Sons when it comes out from Fantagraphics later this winter, but here's a preview of what's in store.