GEEKROCKER REVIEW: Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli
Wee Claire reviews Gabriella Giandelli's dreamlike tale of a Milanese apartment block...
When we were young we read to escape, to journey into distant lands and experience dreams as reality. Being an adult, stories lose their magic and it takes much more to be transported into the snug, safe, dreamscape of our youth. When this does happen though, it feels wonderful and Gabriella Giandelli executes this perfectly with her sublime graphic novel "Interiorae".
A shape-shifting anthropomorphic white rabbit takes us through a Milanese apartment block, giving us a momentary glimpse into the life of the inhabitants. Each shares a different woe, a tragedy or a sense of loneliness. Although we never grasp the real essence of these people for more than a mere page or two, we know they share the weight of life on their shoulders, amongst the dreary corridors and ominous nooks of their living space.
Every evening, our furry protagonist takes us down to the basement where "the boss" lives and feeds off the dreams of each dweller. This black blob - "the Great Dark One" - is the heart of the building, it's fuelled by these peoples' lives, even if many feel their lives lost and empty. The Great Dark One becomes satiated on their dreams.
Giandelli's pale ghostly illustrations reflect the sombre, mysterious mood Giandelli skilfully creates. This isn't a story about great feats of human strength or otherworldly adventures, this is a simple tale about real human lives. Interiorae forces us to look through the mundane and see beyond our four walls, bringing a hint of magic and mysticism behind everyday life.
As the hours count down in Interiorae, there's the feeling that something big is about to happen, a twist or an explosive conclusion. Although the ending feels apt, there's the yearning for something more and it feels a little premature. However, despite this, Gabriella Giandelli has created a bewitching world deserving of your time. Interiorae shows us that if we look hard enough, there's a little bit of magic waiting around every darkened corner.
Interiorae is out now on Fantagraphics