Comic Review: Leone: Notes on Life (Image Comics)

“Leone, Notes on a life”, an original graphic novel released in English by Image Comics, gives us a fluidly composed story of an immigrant musician to the US. It’s specifically […]

“Leone, Notes on a life”, an original graphic novel released in English by Image Comics, gives us a fluidly composed story of an immigrant musician to the US. It’s specifically about an Italian man who came to New York City and lived in Harlem in 1940.

Writer Carmine di Giandomenico (Detective Comics, The Flash, Daredevil: Battlin’ Jack Murdock, etc) uses a seesaw approach: one step forward, and then a chorus of the past. It’s poetic, multilevel, multiversed, with codas and verses and intertwining dialogues and melodies. It is not a straightforward story, therefore, and you should be ready for this; back and forth we travel with Leone, to his childhood in Italy, to his musical performances in the US, to the friction within his family in times of war. Back and forth, in a skyscraper of memories, accompanied by Francesco Colafella’s lyrical art; nicely drawn facial features, whimsical musical interludes that bring to mind a watercolour, leading to scratchy and hard-edged line drawings. It’s Chet Bakerish, swinging on a scaffold, a head full of stars.

It’s not your average tale, and not told in an average way. It swings, gives us a late-night version of the story, with meandering solos and truncated notes. It’s expressive, impressive, and a very strong example of the flexibility and effectiveness of the graphic novel medium. Lettering by Fabio Amelia, translation by Arancia Studio.

Image Comics, Leone: Notes on a life, $16.99 for 157 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!