East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The need for secret histories

As I am writing this, huge crowds have gathered in Lucca for what is the largest event in Europe centered on Comics and Games. For the long Halloween weekend, hundreds of thousands of visitors will crowd the narrow alleys of medieval Lucca, prowling the stands of publishers big and small, meeting artists and authors, trying new videogames, ogling cosplayers, and suffering the bad weather, the crowd and the noise.
Then they will come home, will arrange all that they bought on their beds or on their living room floor, and take a picture, that they will post on their socials, showing the world their “loot”.
Which is curious, because looting implies taking without paying, while the merchandise on display in these photographs cost a nice chunk of money – to which one must add the travel expenses, the lodging and food.

But these are the rituals of those that, in my country, call themselves “i nerd che hanno vinto” – the nerds that won.
And this, I think, is revealing – because we had a name, for people crowding conventions, that we used for decades before the nerds won whatever it is they did. We called it the fandom.
The fact that these shopaholics do not identify as fandom, but as a quite different tribe, the nerds that won, is telling.

Continue reading


Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

5140EdKTZDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I mentioned a few weeks back the graphic novel Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, written and drawn by Tony Cliff (NOT the Trotskiist activist of the same name).
I was planning on getting me a copy as a celebration award for completing my novel, but a friend beat me and gave me a copy as a gift.
I read the book on my way back from Lucca (and this made me one of the few men to come home from a comic fair holding a comic that was not on sale at the fair), and then again last week, just because it’s too good a story.

And I must confirm my first impression – this work is an utter delight. Continue reading


Back from Lucca

10540909_635917346522604_2164219406474007097_nI just got back from Lucca, a nice Renaissance town in central Italy where I attended the first two days of Lucca Comics & Games, Europe’s largest comics and games convention/fair (and the second largest in the world, or so they told me).

I was there to present my own work – I did a Savage Worlds/Deadlands campaign book called Messico e Nuvole. A little book that allows SW and Deadlands players add some more spaghetti to their western.
And just as Italian directors took a skewed perspective on traditional westerns, I did take a skewed perspective on traditional Deadlands (a game I love).
The end result will not be, probably, everybody’s cup of tea – but it’s all right like that.
Anyway, the first two reviews have been spectacular, so maybe there’s more estimators of old Italian Westerns out there playing Deadlands than I thought. Continue reading

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Service Announcement – 72 hours away

berightbackJust a quick note to let you all know that for the next 72 hours I’ll be attending the Lucca Comics & Games convention and fair, as part of the Savage Worlds Italia band of savages.

The Italian edition of the Savage Worlds RPG (that I translated) has won the Game of the Year 2014 award, and I’ll be also presenting a book of mine.
And in case you’re wondering, my book looks like this…


In these days there will be regularly scheduled posts BUT, being away, I’m not sure I’ll be able to moderate the comments.
Please let this not deter you – have your say the way you feel like.
I’ll go through all waiting comments as soon as I’m back, and I’ll post a reply to all of them.

Thank you.
That’s all.