Overview

Parade (with fireworks) #1 ADVANCE

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Parade (with fireworks) #1 ADVANCE

Credits

  • Words: Mike Cavallaro
  • Art: Mike Cavallaro
  • Inks: Mike Cavallaro
  • Colors: Mike Cavallaro
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Sep 12, 2007

Based on a true story passed via oral tradition, Mike Cavallaro’s comic debut is a 20th century Italian fable given four-color life.

Parade (with fireworks) tells the tale of an Italian family inside an era of its decline, a family that once ran their own farm, their own business, though after a failed attempt to set-up an export arm in America (other American ethnicities driving them out with gangster-style violence), things now reach a crescendo back in their homeland.  The politics of the times rule the Italian peoples’ mentality - every man passionate for either Communism or Fascism.  When the nephew they sent overseas returns to re-embrace his Italian heritage, he finds only a charged atmosphere, of ideologies on the brink of war.  The story then, takes place on a particular day, during The Feast of the Epiphany.  A band has been hired to play, and standing to either side of this band are the family members of the nephew (they for Communism), and on the other, another family that are their sworn enemies (those for Fascism).  A battle of wills ensues, and ends, of course, in tragedy.

Mike Cavallaro has managed to make Parade a very accessible story, regardless of its heady topics, foreign setting, and outrageous number of characters.  In fact, much like the tale most assuredly is in its oral telling, its execution is simplicity itself, with sparse though highly affective dialogue that proves both brash and profound, like most things Italian, and thereby captivating in its passion, capturing the spirit of the characters and their surroundings perfectly.  It’s a tale easy to be swept up in, and it’s a shame this was made into a two-issue mini rather than the more obvious one-shot it should have been.  I suppose that I will indeed come back for #2, as the story is excellent, and the cliffhanger-ish last page demands that I return, but ultimately I think the story itself would have been better served as a single serving.

Nevertheless, the book is well worth the wait for its sister second-half, though it’ll be Cavallaro’s art that proves the most gargantuan draw for the series.  He’s like Scott Morse with a heftier animation flavor and a flair for color.  The pages are gorgeous, and the storytelling flawless - great layout, great expression, fantastic composition.  Regardless of whether or not slice-of-life comics are your bailiwick, you’ll be hard pressed not to be charmed out of your resistance by Cavallaro’s artistry.  For anyone who’s been lucky enough to get their hands on an issue of 66 Thousand Miles Per Hour, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  For anyone who hasn’t, that’s another book you should look into to see Cavallaro at his genre-fiction best.

So a masterful work, if bizarrely divided into two standard single-issue parts.  Parade is ultimately meant to be the first in a larger epic titled “Seven Years Without the Sun”, which will, in its entirety, chronicle all of Cavallaro’s forebears’ traditional stories.  So get in on the ground floor, and treat yourself to one excellent comic, and get ready for a whole lot more to come.

 

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