Original “RanXerox” story gets new Italian reprint

One of underground comics craziest comics, RanXerox is back, in a sparkling looking all-new Italian collection of early stories from Muscles Edizioni Underground – but, sadly, it’s not available for British fans from the company direct.

RanXerox: La Genesi (Muscles Edizioni Underground, 2023)

For those unfamiliar, RanXerox is a hugely successful Italian science fiction graphic novel series by Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore, two Italian artists who had worked on such magazines as Cannibale and Frigidaire.

The collection, available to preorder now, although not for British fans, features the ‘birth’ of the bizarre antihero and ultra-violent robot Ranxerox in full colour, the work of Italian fumetti duo Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore.

The character was first created solo back in 1978 by Tamburini (18th August 1955 – April 1986), an artist as well as writer, as ‘Rank Xerox‘, so named because his parts came from one of the company’s famous photocopiers. The character first appeared in Cannibale, Tambunni its founding editor.

Although he acknowledged the assistance of Tanino Liberatore, for some of the black and white pages, Frederic Tuten, Books Editor of Artforum, notes it was not until 1980 that the two went into full collaboration to create the color version we have now.

As you can imagine, the Rank Xerox corporation took exception to their brand name becoming a psychotic brute, so following complaints, the character’s name was adjusted to RanXerox.

Albums of the first colour version have previously been published in Italy, Spain, and France. Heavy Metal began serialising Part One of Ranxerox in 1983, ageing the robot’s companion, Lubana, from 12 to 18, and, fans feel, losing some of the strip’s visceral energy in translation.

“The language of Ranxerox in Italian is muscular and street-raw, the poetry of the gutter,” Tuten enthuses. “It’s worth learning Italian for Dante, Eugenio Montale, Cesare Pavese, and Tamburini/Liberatore.”

Now, Muscles Edizioni Underground have announced a new album in their Nuvole Sotterranee series presenting “Rank Xerox”, the first black and white underground Ranxerox by Stefano Tamburini.

Along with the comic, expect some juicy extra content in this 80-page collection: stories, interviews, curiosities and contributions from Tanino Liberatore, Andrea Pazienza, Filippo Scozzari, Trash, the real Lubna, and a gorgeous Sergio Ponchione cover.

“You will finally be able to enjoy ‘Rank Xerox’ with the best print quality of the work on the market, and discover its genesis and the historical context in which it was born,” say the publishers.

As long as you don’t live here, anyway. Presumably, just as British publishers like Cinebook no longer ship to Europe due to post-Brexit customs issues that have crippled commerce with the continent, to much dismay, even the anarchic RanXerox can’t win this utterly stupid battle thanks to the “victory” of small-minded isolationists. A shame.

RanXerox: La Genesi is available to preorder here direct from Muscles Edizioni Underground

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With thanks to Paul Gravett and grazie to Massimiliano Turco for this news

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