Written by Giuseppe Di Bernardo & Francesco Matteuzzi
Art by Michela Da Sacco & Michele Benevento
Cover Artist – Claudia Sg
Letterer and Designer – Denise Di Prima
Translator – Nigel Borg
Published by DieGo Comics Publishing
DieGo are a relatively new publishing house based in London and specialising in repackaging European and specifically Italian comics for an English speaking audience. I first bumped into them whilst in the line for the recent London Super Comic Con, but downthetubes has covered some of their projects in the past. They are a passionate bunch, who are, rightly so, full of pride for their products.
The company have a few new books released or looming that are aimed at the 16-45 year old market and I was lucky enough to bag a copy of Desdemona: Volume 1 – Forgotten Crimes, the first Desdemona title to be brought to the UK market, which they announced last year.
The Book: Desdemona Metus suffers from insomnia, spending her sleepless nights as a radio DJ in her hometown of Florence. It is a magical place almost hidden beneath the muffled Florentine night. A peaceful, cultured place, where it might seem impossible that any heinous crime could occur. But when her colleague has been found to have killed herself, Desdemona does not believe that it is a suicide and begins to investigate.
What lies behind the numbered tattoos on her wrist? What binds it to the Nazi massacres carried out in September of 1943? A blood-red thread leads Desdemona through the darkness, revealing the secret hidden in the infamous “Armoire of Shame”.
The Review: Desdemona: Volume 1 – Forgotten Crimes is a story told in black and white, 100 pages long with some great pin-ups in the back matter. It deals with a mystery, one that genuinely keeps you guessing throughout. But what it does even better than that is allows the horrific acts committed throughout the second world war to echo through the streets of Florence in the present day, combining mystery, history, occultism, politics and conspiracy theory. The wings of the narrative spread themselves the length of the book with European style melodrama and mystery. In short: it’s a grand read.
“…The gypsies riding the wind are rulers of the world…”
Two artists tackle the story, one for the present day and a slight change in the art for the flashbacks. The pages are full of gorgeous panels that breathe life into the Florence countryside and the alleyways, architecture and graveyards of the present day Italy. Both styles cut together perfectly and this leads to a lovely sense of design and style. Characters are always easily identifiable and the action is dealt with in sudden bursts of energy.
This is all tied up in a really lovely hardback treatment that is the first in the planned series, and we have some preview pages below.
Many thanks for reading. Here’s some pages from the book, courtesy of the publishers…
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.