Review – 5,000 km Per Second – Manuele Fior
5,000 km Per Second
Manuel Fior (author, artist)
Release date(s): July 22nd 2009 by Fantagrapics, April 17th 2013 by Komiko (reviewed) – available @ komiko.rs
Komiko, format (144 pages, HC, color, Serbian), 1200 RSD (approx. 10 EUR)
Synopsis: Winner of the prestigious Grand Prize of the 2010 Angouleme Comics Festival, 5,000 Kilometers Per Second tells–or almost tells–the love story between Piero and Lucia, which begins with a casual glance exchanged by teenagers across the street through a window and ends with a last, desperate hook-up between two older, sadder one-time lovers. Executed in stunning watercolors and broken down into five chapters (set in Italy, Norway, Egypt, and Italy again), 5,000 Kilometers Per Second manages to refer to Piero and Lucia’s actual love story only obliquely, focusing instead on its first stirrings and then episodes in their life during which they are separated–a narrative twist that makes it even more poignant and heart-wrenching. 5,000 Kilometers Per Second is another delicate graphic-novel masterpiece from Europe.
The story follows a relationship triangle between Piero, Lucia and Nicola. It all starts when they enter teen years, fall in love, try to decide upon their careers, find themselves. Story evolves as they seperate, but stay in touch. The story starts as a romance, but turns out to be a series of other life events. Manuele Fior has his own pace telling the story, dividing it in five chapters, at times telling more through silence than words.
Regarding the artwork, I found the pencil drawing of characters a bit rough for my taste. But the watercolor makes up for it. Chapters are colored in themes, as the story progresses and their relationships change, which was a great approach. Fior’s draw and color of locations in Italy, Norway and Egypt were breathtaking.
Pros: good atmosphere build-up, beautiful watercolor usage, not your classical love story
Cons: pencil draw of characters is a bit rough
Conclusion: In this modern day and age, we are racing through time, looking up to stereotypes about love and life. Rarely you get a chance to read something slowly, think about it for some time. That is the thing 5,000 km per second does to a reader.