In this tragicomic graphic novel, the protagonist wanders the streets of Rome and Prague in the company of football fans and the occasional love-interest.
This ambitious and at the same time quite intimate work was influenced by Chris Ware and his composition of comics windows, which takes the reader away from the traditional linear style of reading. Franta also uses a similar style for filling his drawings with detailed backgrounds and a large number of figures. The fan-filled stadiums at football matches stand out in particular due to the number of people and the detail in the drawings.
In the first of two loosely connected stories, the protagonist has to find a partner for a planned romantic trip to Rome following an unexpected break-up. The journey and the holiday are full of tragicomic adventures, largely influenced by the amount of alcohol consumed. In the second story he meets a girl during a fight between football hooligans. Although she’s a fan of a rival club, she invites him to her home following a night in a bar, but the intense relationship doesn’t last long. The seemingly banal stories are elevated by Franta’s drawing style and his wealth of artistic and narrative ideas.
“It is no secret that Jiří Franta is an exceptional artist with a unique style, and this has been confirmed in his new graphic novel, which can be admired from many perspectives.”
About the author:
Jiří Franta (1978) has been drawing and painting his whole life. His main interest is painting but he also often creates installations, sculpture and videos. He is a member of the Rafani group, part of the artistic duo Franta–Böhm, and co-founder of the comics magazine KIX. He has exhibited in the Czech Republic and abroad, and has been a finalist on several occasions at the prestigious Jindřich Chalupecký Award.