“Animation Art Book”, Zerocalcare takes us behind the scenes


By John

«In the summer of 2019, Zero limestone he had begun to talk insistently about his desire to try to do animation. As his editors, we had two options: to try to dissuade him, so that he would not get distracted by his editorial production, or to indulge him, trying to help him, to allow him to express his creativity also in that new direction ».
Thus begins the new creative act linked to the art of Zerocalcare, a successful artist born in 1983 and icon of national comics, as well as a champion of catchphrases. One above all, the “s’annamo a pija’ n’gelato?” of Secco. Edited – as always – by Bao Publishing, “Animation Art Book” focuses in particular on the animated series created by the Roman artist in the last three years, “Tear along the edges” and “This world will not make me bad”, at the top of the views on Netflix, successful television products that have allowed the cartoonist to exponentially expand its popularity.
“Zerocalcare Animation Art Book” is a making of, a behind the scenes full of curiosities that focuses on the various steps necessary for the creation of an animated story, complete with sketches, production art, backstage photos and preparatory drawings. Not only of Zero and the Armadillo but of everyone, including Cesare, the teacher Gianna, Alice’s parents and the host of trash TV, Mauro Coccodrello. And again, the plans of the house from several perspectives, a very accurate world building in full Zerocalcare style, after all, Michele Foschini, co-founder of Bao, says that to create an animated product it was necessary to expand the team but «the finished product» could not be inhomogeneous and detached from his «by now endless comic production». The result is a flow of drafts and revisions on the script while the graphics department had to develop and bring that world to life, with an understandable dose of anxiety given the audience’s anticipation.
The narrative voice of the volume is obviously that of the artist, the icon of Rebibbia. Zerocalcare talks about the world of comics and the desire to make animation when interviewed in the pages of the book together with the other collaborators met over the years. Obviously light-hearted tone and a thousand curiosities, including the joke about avocados/lawyers which is revealed only on the last page and the moment in which Valerio Mastandrea said he could not dub other characters because he had to play the Armadillo – «the most difficult character to be recited, eccentric but never over the top»- says Andrea Fontana, the storyboard artist – assuming that it had to go exactly like this.
And obviously, the most awaited in the transition from paper to video was the protagonist, Calcare, with all his Italian gesticulating: It was nice to create an acting that was so exaggerated but still realistic and colloquial, that went hand in hand with Michele’s dubbing» , says Francesca Falasca, storyboard artist. And we had a lot of fun watching it.