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Gianluca Costantini
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Formula Comics

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A Formula 1 pilot, a comic book author, and two panels available to fit a lightning-fast story, as swift as a race start.

A genuine production of the Museo Francesco Baracca, which, through twenty panels, becomes a traveling exhibition starting from the Baracca Museum itself, moving to other locations starting from the Imola Circuit Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, and materializing also in a comic book. The exhibition and book will be presented on Saturday, April 13th in Lugo, starting from 5 p.m., right at the Baracca Museum.

The Culture Councilor Anna Giulia Gallegati emphasizes: “The Formula Comics exhibition, through the language of comics, represents, in its construction, what the Baracca Museum is achieving through the expert guidance of Massimiliano Fabbri. A production that speaks to both the centenaries celebrated in 2023 – from that of the Military Aviation to Enzo Ferrari’s victory on the Savio circuit – and the exhibitions inaugurated last week in the exhibition spaces of the Palace of the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio and Banca del Monte di Lugo, serving as a common thread and giving logic and clarity to the museum’s cultural proposal that continues its path of enhancing Francesco Baracca, even with new languages ​​such as, for example, comics. Another way to demonstrate the vitality that should characterize a museum space through new styles, network constructions, and engaging projects for the community.”

The starting point is the Baracca-Ferrari connection and the story of the passing of the baton and the handing over of the prancing horse emblem from the Lugo pilot’s plane to the future world-famous automobiles. This starting point, arising from the intangible heritage of the Museum, provides the pretext for a broader and contemporary narrative that relies on the communicative power and beauty of one of the most potent languages ​​that blend writing and drawing: comics. In this case, authored comics.

Thanks to an idea by Leonardo Guardigli, art director and editor of the Coconino Press publishing house, an idea born precisely during the days of conferences and collateral events of the 2023 exhibition “Like a wave, like in flight”, ten important comic book artists and authors of graphic novels from the national scene were assigned to ten Formula 1 drivers, based on stylistic affinities, temperament, type of stories, and biographical suggestions, from Ferrari to Hamilton, passing through Nuvolari and Senna.

The exhibition will be visible until May 12th at the Francesco Baracca Museum in Lugo, via Baracca 65.

The exhibition features works by Simone Angelini, Paolo Bacilieri, Mara Cerri, Gianluca Costantini, Vincenzo Filosa, Francesca Ghermandi, Piero Macola, Antonio Pronostico, Filippo Scòzzari, Gianluigi Toccafondo.

Michele Peroncini is the author of the book cover and the accompanying images of the exhibition (with graphic adaptation by Leonardo Guardigli).

This event is included among those of the Italian Motor Week, the event organized by ‘Città dei Motori’, the Anci network that associates forty municipalities of the ‘Made in Italy’ sector, now in its second edition.

Authors and works:

1 – Simone Angelini / Clay Regazzoni

“Bon vivant, dancer, footballer, tennis player, and, in his spare time, a pilot…” These were Enzo Ferrari’s words to describe one of his most extravagant pilots ever: Clay Regazzoni. From the legendary victory at the Monza Grand Prix in 1970, to being Niki Lauda’s teammate between ’74 and ’76, during those three years the duo brought two constructor titles to Maranello. A wise man imbued with generosity and madness, capable of using irony in the most dramatic moments even after the Long Beach accident in 1980.

2 – Paolo Bacilieri / Enzo Ferrari as a pilot

In 1923, a young pilot from Modena named Enzo Ferrari won the first Circuito del Savio aboard the Alfa Romeo RL Targa Florio. That victory allowed him to meet the family of Francesco Baracca, who allowed the young Enzo to use one of the most famous symbols ever: the prancing horse. “Ferrari, put the prancing horse of my son on your cars. It will bring you luck.” A comic signed by a master of the Italian Graphic Novel: Paolo Bacilieri, now a timeless “classic”.

3 – MARA CERRI / Giovanna Amati

Giovanna was born in Rome on July 20, 1959, and is more closely connected to the world of entertainment than to the automotive world, which she became interested in from a young age: in fact, she is the daughter of film industrialist Giovanni Amati and actress Anna Maria Pancani. However, her dream of joining the racing world risks shattering when Giovanna is 19: in fact, Amati is kidnapped and held hostage for two months by a group of criminals. Once released, she starts attending a pilot school on the advice of her friend Elio De Angelis, thus beginning the story of the last woman to have competed in Formula 1. The circuit as a cinematographic film: the comic “film” of Giovanna Amati.

4 – Gianluca Costantini / Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton recounted an episode of racism that occurred in F1 in 2008, when Spanish fans showed up in the stands in Barcelona with their faces painted black wearing T-shirts with the inscription “Hamilton Family.” “I remember the pain I felt that day,” Lewis revealed, “but I didn’t talk to anyone about it because no one said anything, everyone remained silent. I had realized my dream (it was the year of my first world title) but I wasn’t happy, I couldn’t be myself.” In June 2020, Hamilton joined the Black Lives Matter movement, actively participating in a demonstration held in London, and shortly after decided to take a strong stand even in the context of Formula 1 race weekends, involving other drivers as well, an important shock never seen before.

6 – Vincenzo Filosa / Yuki Tsunoda

2021 – After the Monaco race, which ended without points, Tsunoda decides to move to Faenza, Italy, to be closer to the team manager Franz Tost. Thus begins the journey of one of the most popular Formula 1 drivers among young people: Yuki Tsunoda, also known as “The Japanese of Faenza.” Training, the dream of the restaurant, the flood in Romagna, the Venice Film Festival, and the reconfirmation at AlphaTauri are some of the most important moments that have made him a protagonist even in the face of sports results that are always exceptional. A story illustrated by one of the most important Italian Manga authors: Vincenzo Filosa.

7 – Francesca Ghermandi / Niki Lauda

“I prefer to have my right foot than a beautiful face.” This is how Niki Lauda replied to a journalist’s umpteenth question about his physical appearance following the tragic accident in 1976 at the German Grand Prix. From that point on, he would only be operated on for medical reasons. And he started wearing a hat: “My protection against stupid people who look at me stupidly.” Just out of the hospital, all Lauda cared about was one

5 – Piero Macola / Gilles Villeneuve

“Because pilots, for example, know they are half men and half machines and for this reason, they are certainly more men than others, but certainly, certainly much more machines. In fact, they never talk about our wonderful future and instead stubbornly, like defeated devils, seek the center of the hardest diamond, speed, which so many times one by one has adorned them and then pierced them.” The life of Gilles Villeneuve narrated from an excerpt of Claudio Lolli’s song Villeneuve and illustrated by the watercolors of Piero Macola, a signature of Italian and French Graphic Novels.

8 – Antonio Pronostico Sileo (with text by Fabiagio Salerno) / Fernando Alonso

Alonso appeared in F1 in 2001, with Minardi, he did his apprenticeship in Renault (starting as a test driver), in 2005 he became – at just 24 years old – the youngest world champion and the following year confirmed the title. “I feel better in many areas than in 2006. For example, I can read a race better, I understand when to attack and when not. In 2006, tire management played no role, today it does. Or even pit stops, today it’s about parking the car in the pit box centimeter perfect, while in the past with refueling it didn’t have this importance. If I had to race against the Alonso of 2006, I would beat him on these details.” Today’s Fernando against yesterday’s: will he be able to beat himself? The story of an imaginary race that tells the life of one of the most charismatic Formula 1 drivers ever.

9 – Gianluigi Toccafondo / Ayrton Senna

“The rich cannot live on an island surrounded by an ocean of poverty. We all breathe the same air. Everyone must be given a chance.” The Brazilian driver from a human point of view, very religious and with the desire to give back what he had received to help those less fortunate than himself (Nuno Cobra, his trainer, stated that Senna needed a great deal of suffering to achieve enjoyment), even to the point of being moved by a small thing. Gianluigi Toccafondo, painter, illustrator, and filmmaker, is an artist in love with graphic art, cinema, and their respective mixtures and transformations. With his style that has made him recognizable internationally, he has created numerous animated shorts, presented and awarded at the film festivals of Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, and Venice.

10 – Filippo Scòzzari / Nuvolari

“Death is the true companion of the pilot. In racing, I courted her a thousand times, but she didn’t want me. I guess she’ll make me die in my bed.” The deep and tacit relationship between a pilot and risk: Tazio Nuvolari in an existential portrait far from any rhetoric, illustrated by the sharp pencil of Filippo Scòzzari, one of the most brilliant and corrosive authors of the comic scene, creator of the revolutionary magazine Frigidaire with Pazienza, Liberatore, Mattioli, and Tamburini. A giant nourished by science fiction and American underground comics who reworked and recounted everything, in hatred of mediocrity, with grotesque and anarchic irony, with slashes and laughter.

Italy / Exhibitions

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