Born in Pisa, Italy, Gianni Alfonso Pacinotti (Gipi) is a cartoonist, filmmaker, and author. He started his journey into illustration through publishing and advertising. He was almost 30 when he decided to start creating comics. His work appeared in magazines such as Cuore, Il Clandestino, Il Manifesto, Lo Straniero, and La Straniero.
I only discovered the work of Gipi about a year ago, but the time between finding his work, and falling in love with it, is virtually non-existent. His artwork is energetic, with a free-form technique that permits for mistakes. Using hog brushes and watercolour to create backgrounds, and racing around the page with a pen to create characters. Yet, always with clear intentions, which the end result attests to.
I decided to get my feet wet with his graphic novel Appunti per una Storia di Guerra (Notes for a War Story). Originally published in 2004 by Coconino Press, a year later it was published in France by Actes Sud, and in 2007 was reprinted in English by First Second. That turned out to be a superb place to start, I did not know it then, but Appunti per una Storia di Guerra won the 2005 Goscinny Prize for Best Script and was proclaimed Best Book at Angoulême in 2006.
Gipi has a total of five graphic novels under his belt, the remaining four being Garage Band, LMVDM – La mia vita disegnata male (My Life Badly Drawn), unastoria and Gli Innocenti (The Innocents). The latter earning him both an Eisner Award nomination and a Max & Moritz Prize.
To find out more about Gipi, you can read his Words Without Borders interview, you can watch him work in this lovely interview by Massimo Colella, and lastly follow him on Facebook.