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Samuel Stern: “The White Horse”

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Samuel Stern: “The White Horse”

Samuel’s apocalypse continues and in this troubled journey between present and past, between reality and nightmare, between light and shadow, the gaze turns to Angus who was Red’s tutor.

Samuel Stern “The White Horse” with drawings by Giampiero Wallnofer on a screenplay by Massimiliano Filadoro and Marco Savegnago, published by Bugs Comics, comes to celebrate the 50th issue dedicated to the Edinburgh bookseller, in a story that reveals Angus’ past; a past entirely constructed by himself as an orphan and finding in reading a place of refuge but also of particular encounters that will mark him forever: like the woman in the dark.

A rather convoluted book, where not everything you read in the first pages is reflected in the final ones, a comic told as if it were far from the world we know, which encounters all its anguish and fears in a shocked climate but which tries to give a partial explanation of what the shadow that grips Samuel and other individuals is: a kind of newborn conscience, waiting to incarnate on other planes, recalled by strong feelings such as anger, guilt, dependence. However, the shadow is not evil because it is the dark impulse, without which there would be no movement in the Universe and this creates to tend towards the light, not to fight it.

One gets the impression that the authors are trying to collect all the threads, scattered so far, giving an explanation that fades between the philosophical and the theological in a context that risks getting lost in abstract, complex concepts and losing a logical and concrete.

Reading thus becomes difficult, complex, labyrinthine and impractical, no longer having an eye on the fulcrum of the story which loses its linearity, to push itself onto levels to be decoded and far from the narrative structure with which it was born. It’s a shame, because the drawing is engaging, thanks to a dry and expressive line and with the meticulousness of some details, almost as if it wanted to make the readers themselves embark on this journey, in a context of oppressive atmospheres. The dreamlike imprint, used in the pages, develops the monstrous creatures in a credible way, which gives the impression that those frightening and unmanageable demons arise from ourselves.

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A narrative that expands more and more, including many protagonists who have accompanied Samuel up to this point but above all, it has led to some real twists, each of these protagonists has something they keep hidden, secrets, mysteries, all connected with the shadow and the hosts of demons and their legions. The reading has now gone from horror to drama without realizing it, but it’s a shame that everything is not very tangible, we are catapulted into a vortex of discoveries, deductions, revelations that risks imploding and leaving nothing on the field of reading.

And the Apocalypse continues….

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