Čapek is an Italian comics magazine founded in 2018 totally self-produced and self-distributed, awarded the "Beani Award" as "Best Editorial reality" at Lucca Comics 2020.
The magazine is directed by underground cartoonist Ivan Manuppelli, aka Hurricane (former creator of the magazines "Puck!" and "The Artist"), with the editorial collaboration of Marcello Baraghini (as "reverse publisher"), founder of Stampa Alternativa. Chief editors are the cartoonist Tommaso "Tommy Gun" Moretti, Nicola Feninno (former director of CTRL magazine) and the activist and graphic designer Francesca Canzi.
The editorial staff includes also cartoonists and illustrators Giacomo "Rastabbello" Rastelli (among the founders of the satirical newspaper L'Antitempo), Gianluca "Jazz" Manciola, Simone "Sdolz" Sdolzini, Marie Cècile Tantucci, Giuditta Grechi, Gianluca "Vash" Vascelli, Marco Falatti & Rebecca Barbuscia and the chemist Simone "Dr. Venanzio" Barbonetti.
The magazine is structured like a traditional periodical, complete with columns, where comics, illustrations and more textual parts find space and dialogue with each other.
Particular features are the direct involvement of various collectives of artists from the Italian and international independent scene and the presence of parodies of classic comics revisited through graphic jam sessions and references to the surrealist "Exquisite Corpse" and Situationism (the first issue features versions "detournate" of the Fantastic Four, the Smurfs and Dick Tracy, renamed for the occasion "Dick Tracey, gender fluid detective").
Some famous names who took part in the project:
Jan Švankmajer, The Residents, the Air Pirates, Mike Diana, Bruno Bozzetto, Richard Benson, Parvati Gamez, Gray K. Wolf (Roger Rabbit's creator), Mike Sullivan, Donna Kossy, Herr Seele & Kamagurka, Francesca Ghermandi, Mack White, Bruno Nadalin ...
The name of the magazine is inspired by the figure of Josef Čapek, graphic designer and writer of Czech nationality from whom Marcello Baraghini (by his own admission) stole the graphics for the covers of his Millelire series in the 90s.
The first issue came out without a fixed price, with the caption "You do the price".
In the second issue, Marco D'Alessandro, aka "Trash", historical founder of the underground magazine "Cannibale" and friend of Stefano Tamburini, returns to comics after more than forty years. Also contained here is an unreleased comic written by the legendary alternative rock band "The Residents" and drawn by Sergio Ponchione.
In the third issue the spin-off "Lovebot" is a porn comic book drawn by an Artificial Intelligence.
The project was announced in 2018 as a "criminal association" among the collectives that produced and financed it: Puck! and CTRL Magazine, the publishing house "Le Strade Bianche di Stampa Alternativa", the collective of Macerata artists "Uomini Nudi che corrono" and the Milanese festival AFA (Autoproduzioni Fichissime Andergraund).
CONTACT: capekmagazine (@)gmail(.)com
The first issue, released in March 2019, is characterized by the active participation of controversial contributors such as a former bank robber ("the Swiss") in the unlikely role of economics expert, the writer and former criminal Carmelo Musumeci (with the his "Diary of a Lifer"), cartoonist Mike Diana (the first American cartoonist accused of the crime of obscenity) and the group of underground satirical artists The Air Pirates (Dan O'Neill, Ted Richards and Gary Hallgren) known in the years' 70 for a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company and gathered here after many years to celebrate Mickey's 90th birthday.
There are also a posthumous intervention by the cartoonist Vincino, a sports cartoon drawn by the footballer Jose Altafini and written by the cartoonist Fabio Tonetto and a five-page experimental story curated and drawn by the authors of Progetto Stigma, who use for the texts the use of "Supercomputer Carmel" (a program designed to decrypt the coded messages of the Zodiac killer).
Among the other participants: Francesca Ghermandi, Vincenzo Sparagna and Maila Navarra, Sergio Ponchione, Adriano Carnevali, Max Capa, Matteo Guarnaccia, Vittore Baroni, Enzo Jannuzzi, Elena Rapa, Nova, Lorenzo Mò, Marco Tonus, Danilo Dast Strulato, Stefano Zattera, Marcos Carrasquer, Dirk Vershure, Davide Strolippo Caviglia, the writers Ivan Carozzi and Pino Tripodi and the same Manuppelli and Baraghini, respectively grappling with a "human reportage" (drawn together with the American designer Bruno Nadalin) and an unlikely column of agricultural councils.
It was presented on March 30, 2019 in Milan at the Spazio Wow, during the Bricola illustration festival.
In the summer of 2020 the second double issue (2 different issues of 80 pages each), was released, focusing on the theme of dualism in all its forms: double identities, conjoined twins, dichotomies and psychotic projections. The double covers are a reference to the "Upside Down Faces" and to the work of Rex Whistler, and were designed by Francesca Ghermandi (yellow issue) and American artist Bruno Nadalin (dark issue). Among the numerous contents (over 120 authors) there is an interview made in Argentina with Aquilles Ramon Coppini, adept of the cult of San la Muerte; a conversation with transgender author Laerte Coutinho; an unreleased comic written by the American band The Residents, originally for a short film by David Lynch, and drawn by Sergio Ponchione; an elusive Census of Imaginary Friends; a section with the dreams and nightmares of readers edited by Aleksandar Zograf; the return of Minivip drawn by legendary Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto and a tribute to the character Ranxerox written by Marco D'Alessandro and drawn by Thomas Bires. Another important contribution is given by the column edited by the thanatoesthete Tanatolady.
READ A PDF PREVIEW HERE
WATCH THE OFFICIAL SPOT HERE ("the fresh taste of Summer!)
The third issue is presented on October 29, 2021 at Lucca Comics, a particular edition since with the return of the public in presence.
The magazine is based on the concept of "Life, death and miracles", and in fact consists of 3 volumes: "Love Bot": The first "algorithmic porn" ever made, written and drawn by Nobot, an artificial artist machine, obsessed by ppornography; "Prontuario Milagroso", which contains confessions of Parvati Gamez, a Mexican healer, enriched by a recipe book of miraculous remedies illustrated and proposed by readers.
The third part of this triptych is the actual magazine containing comics never published in Italy by Mack White, Roberta Scomparsa, and some unpublished pages by Abraham Diaz and "Cowboy Henk" by Herr Seele and Kamagurka, as well as exclusive interviews with the director , animator and surrealist Jan Švankmajer, Gary K. Wolf (Roger Rabbit's creator), writer and collage artist Donna Kossy and the musician Richard Benson. The whole is accompanied by a photo novel with Marcello Baraghini and Foxy Lady and a page of Mayivist art by Vincenzo Sparagna.