Qui, Quo, Qua to build stories inspired by ancient documents


By John

A story with Qui, Quo, Qua as protagonists to bring the little ones, above all, but also an adult audience closer to the cultural and life richness of the world of archives: the three Young Marmots, accompanied by the Great Mogul, introduce the reader to the work of the archive and of archivists, sorting envelopes and volumes under the guidance of the director. Moving, packing folders and reading the papers, they find a document that helps them solve an important problem at the Neapolitan headquarters of the Giovani Marmotte, which risks eviction. It is the plot of the first story with the ducks as protagonists (4 more will follow in the coming months) published in the newsstand issue of 'Topolino' inspired by the documentation preserved in the Neapolitan State Archives. A project resulting from the collaboration between the State Archives of Naples, directed by Candida Carrinoand Panini Comics, represented today in the presentation by Serena Colombo, editorial coordinator. An opportunity also for a special masterclass, with two school groups from the elementary schools of Naples and Torre del Greco, by the screenwriter and designer of Mickey Mouse Blasco Pisapia who literally enchanted the children with drawings made for them in the classroom and with explanations about the comic.

«It emerges how an archive document can solve a problem of everyday life – explains Candida Carrino – so the Archive presents itself not as a dusty accumulation of documents, but as a true House of Stories, which tells the story of all of us». «Mickey Mouse's characters – she adds – reflect the ancient masks which have their own characterization but which evolves in modernity; with comics we introduce the little ones to a world full of life made up of correspondence, envelopes, folders and linings.” The Panini Comics team has developed 5 ad hoc comics, which will be published in 2024, to then be included in a special collection. How to attract readers in the digital age? «We aim high with quality and content to capture the attention of young people fascinated by what they don't know, we shine a light on the printed paper» underlines Serena Colombo. The series “Qui, Quo, Qua and the adventure in the archive” opens (story and screenplay by Marco Bosco, drawings by Blasco Pisapia) set in the imaginary Torremare but with unmistakable signs of reference to Campania as well as in future episodes.

In subsequent stories, other Mickey Mouse protagonists will have to deal with archive papers: they tell of Amelia wearing a dress made with eighteenth-century San Leucio silks thanks to a document she finds in the Archive; of the scribe-stonemason Paperostenes who engraves the contract for the sale of a farmhouse on a piece of marble; Of Uncle Scrooge and Rockerduck struggle with their ancestors to conquer an inheritance; by Sigismondo Gastonberg, legendary virtuoso pianist who performs playing with three hands. They are all stories that take inspiration from the documents present in the State Archives of Naples, and find a representation in the Pisapia tables. «The kids always give back double what you give them» says satisfied at the end of the masterclass Blasco Pisapia, 57 years old, architect, Neapolitan with parents from Irpinia (and in the first story there is a tribute to a town in the province of Avellino), who works in Milan. «It's a fantastic idea to bring kids – even if half of Mickey Mouse's readers are adults – to a normally 'closed' world” he adds. And he talks about the commitment to be accurate even when making a comic: «As in the story in which Donald Duck is found in the Byzantine era in the Cumae of the seventh-eighth century – he says – is interesting because there is a reconstruction of the environment that is not easy: there is no graphic reconstruction of the Cumae of the Byzantine era”. a discussion of verisimilitude must also be made with a certain accuracy; Polino in itself is a guarantee of care but if you work for a client like the State Archives you cannot afford a less than accurate setting”.