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CONCEPTUAL FINE ARTS

Frankenstein Magazine is out for a game

Stefano Pirovano

If you are tired of being stuck at home, a comic book with no comic book artist is there to help win over today’s mental numbness

The fifth issue of Frankenstein Magazine is out. Dedicated to games, it is the most daring yet, squeezing a wide range of papers and printing techniques into a rich volume. It includes stickers, playing cards, inserts of various kinds: 30 original contributions by as many artists. Its motto: we need to have fun.

Because of the pandemic, the Milan-based magazine took a rain check on a physical launch. Perhaps an interesting coincidence considering the focus of the issue is indoor games. “We’re stuck at home so much these days that we wanted to provide new ways to kill time,” says Stefano Coizzi, one of the editors and founders together with Emiliano Mattia Fadda, Marcello Mosca and Dario Guccio. 

Frankenstein Magazine is two years old and it is still hard to categorize. It is a classic comic book to some extent, except that most contributors have never made comics before. Instead the magazine invites artists, illustrators, writers, journalists to think of this medium and produce accordingly. Previous experience with images and text is nonetheless welcome.

Frankenstein Magazine issue 5: Festa in casa by Ilaria Di Emidio.
Frankenstein Magazine issue 5: 3 Giochi by Flaminia Veronesi.

The result is a choir of different voices, an odd yet compelling mix. Despite the variety, the contributions wind up fitting into a fine and exciting whole. “We crafted our own identity,” explains Dario Guccio, “trying to stay away from that fanciness you see in similar publications, making sure we break with the canon.” Frankenstein Magazine doesn’t target a specific audience. Rather it reflects and distorts a certain community of creative personalities, who spontaneously meet and decide to collaborate with each other because of elective affinity as some would say.

Marcello Mosca clarifies: “We do have an artistic direction, but what comes out of our work is multiplicity. This comic/non-comic has no heroes or villains. It has voices.” Co-editor Stefano Coizzi further grasps a philosophical aspect of the project, perhaps the same that got the brand Gucci on board for the fourth issue. He says: “The variety is such that the message is more the work of the reader than ours.” Clearly Ricoeur and Derrida still have a lot to offer. 

Frankenstein Magazine issue 5: Serpenti e Scale by Ivo Molino.
Frankenstein Magazine issue 5: Image d’Epinal.

Not even the magazine’s mascot, a genderless and authorless blue puppy called Frankenstein offers any stable ground for us to be on. The vanishing point is gone, just like in Pollock’s tightest paintings. Frankenstein prefers to remain a stray dog, ambiguous, sexually fluid, contradictory like their name and kawaii forms. We did ask this puppy some questions, knowing that the future issue of the magazine will be dedicated to him/her/it/them.

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How do you choose your collaborators? Where are the parts of Frankenstein from?

Frankenstein for Frankenstein Magazine: I choose spontaneously, following my instinct, according to the people I meet. I look over different fields, browsing different image cultures. I often end up working with authors who have never experimented with comic books, and therefore take a much more daring approach to the medium.

How do you imagine yourself in five years? Will you calm down or will you still terrify with discrepancies?

Frankenstein for Frankenstein Magazine: I am a curious being. I still want to explore all editorial areas, looking to fill in the cracks of the industry. The magazine format is just one of the many roads you can take to create something beautiful and try to change the world. That’s where I am right now. Maybe in a few years I will be a yellow dog, a pink one, a green one… Rather than growing up, I would like to multiply.

We wonder in which section of the library you are most comfortable.

Frankenstein for Frankenstein Magazine: I could perhaps hide in the self-publishing section, which is where the desire to experiment and excitement strive. It might actually be better to create a separate section for me, and when the number of issues increases, a special shelf will have to be built. I have a hybrid identity and I don’t belong to any specific community. Booksellers need to ask themselves some questions.

What is the best moment of the day to read Frankenstein Magazine?

Frankenstein for Frankenstein Magazine: Anytime you feel like leaving the world as you know it. Maybe in bed or on the toilet. An appropriate place seems to be the train. Read while traveling.


Here is the list of Frankenstein Magazine’s contributors up to now:

Clode, Alessandro Bresciani, Oliviero Fiorenzi Venerus, Giulio Scalisi, Daniel Sansavini, Juliette Mancini, Pietro Agostoni, Flore Chemin, Bob, Spugna, Simone Campana, Lorenzo Matteucci, Sabrina Costantini, Lucas Ferrero, Marco Laudadio, Ettore Tripodi, Marco Pio Mucci, Ivo Molino, Giuditta Aresi, Fabio Tonetto, Stefania Ruggiero, Dan e Dav, Andrea Cleopatria, Alessandro Carano, Giangiacomo Rossetti, Daniele Milvio, Ginevra Dondina, Claudio Sale, Liuba Gabriele, Fabio Malpelo, Qiaoyi, Francesco Joao Scavarda, Juta, Elisabetta Bianchi, Michele Rossetti, Virginia Gabrielli, Peio, Ilaria Di Emidio, Matteo Pomati, Flaminia Veronesi, Piereeno, Nygel Panasco, Gabriele Lunati, Antonio Manente, Loris De Marco, Emanuele Marcuccio, Beatrice Franzoso, Mizuki Fukud, Maria Chiara Moro, Clara Mazzoleni, Margherita Morotti, Alice Bloomfield, Matteo Stefanelli, Noémie Degen e Simon Jaton, Piotr Niepsuj, Lorenzo Grammatica, Giulio Noccesi, Emi Ozaki, Adele Maury, Marco Cavaliere, Valentina De Zanche, Dario Giallo, Giulia Ratti, Aya Takano, Francesco Marello, Costanza Canderolo, Sathyan Rizzo, Mino Luchena, Antonie Cossé, Gabriele Cremonesi, 31 Rogger, Alice Bein, Corrado Levi, Davide Stucchi, Greta Xella, Marcello Jori, Melek Zertal, Lorenzo Mo, Lukas Weidinger, Florence Mouget, Tato, Mariuccia Casadio, Septoleaf, Léo Bret, Yorikuki Ikegami, Fabio Cherstich, Larry Stanton, Ratigher, NailsByMei, Myriam El Assil, Gian Marco Battistini, Davide Busnelli, Léopold Pudron, Kim Blue, Garrett Young, Tea Hacic, Roberto Cerreto, Crumble, Sarah Mazzetti, Caroline CDBC, Generic Animal, Patrick Angus, Esther Kim.

April 12, 2021