"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didn't have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix--a powerful, fast-talking mercenary--changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for--if they're even fighting for anything. "Notes for a War Story" is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.
Gipi's pencil and watercolor art is forceful, realistic, and evocative, the ideal medium for depicting the rough and raw subject matter of this graphic novel. NOTES FOR A WAR STORY won the 'Best Book' prize at Angouleme, the international comics festival. First Second published his GARAGE BAND in Spring, 07.