Books - Francesca Mancuso
self portrait of Francesca Mancuso

Once upon a time, while I was looking at ancient anime websites by no apparent reason, I came upon Francesca's comics and illustrations, it happened to be one of the happiest findings in quite a few months, as this italian comic artist really touched my heart with her honest autobiographic stories, the kind you don't find many like them often, even if they are happening around us everyday in every city.

So I couldn't do less than talk about her in my website, somewhat is a way of paying for her works, that can be read for free in this places:

From my point of view, the most interesting of her comics are the autobiographical ones, even if they are not the most graphically elaborated, specially I like the one titled "Are you seeing anyone? shit they constantly tell you just because you're single:

AY front page of Are you seeing anyone? by Francesca Mancuso
Página/s del comic ¿no tienes pareja? de Francesca Mancuso

Other work of her that touched me deeply was Orange Juice, it tells her experience trying to make friends in the London of early XXI century, while not being fond of drinking and at the same time being herself and saying what she thinks, I think this is a quite often repeated story that seldom gets told, few people will be left indifferent by it:

OJ Page 58 of comic Orange Juice by Francesca Mancuso
Página extraída del comic Zumo de Naranja de Francesca Mancuso

It's obvious that many of her works don't show a happy and perfect world, but the truth nowadays is that few people have an easy and "rose colored" life, and maybe the worst part of it is that is not easy to talk about it with anybody, somewhat most people seem to expect that we smile while saying and doing what everybody expect us to say and do, that's exactly what Francesca doesn't do and the reason I like her works so much, they remember me to good old writers like Violette Leduc or Valérie Valère.

FM: Francesca Mancuso feeling overwhelmed by life
Ilustración de Francesca Mancuso

Even though, she also has plenty of happy and cute drawings in her portfolio, just have a look at the links at the beginning of this article, is just that, at least me, feel more attracted to those that talk about similar problems and situations to those that I have to deal with in my life.

FM: Believer girl protected by the blanket of her faith
Ilustración de Francesca Mancuso

Other comic I found quite interesting was Recruitment, we have a problem, this isn't autobiographic, but was "sort of commissioned" by somebody else, even so it says many hard truths about the way labour market works and why so many talented and well prepared people can't find a proper job:

HR Page of Francesca Mancuso comic Recruitment, we have a problem
Página extraída del comic RRHH, tenemos un problema de Francesca Mancuso

Anyway you look at it, a courageous and brave artist that is able to transmit us her reality in such a way that helps us understand our own's, not by chance she happens to climb mountains without fear whenever she has a chance:

Francesca Mancuso climbing a mountain

The final teaching I get from her comics is that it's worthwhile to be ourselves no matter what, life is too short to try to do what others expect us to do instead of what we really want to do from the bottom of our hearts.

OJ Page 64 of comic Orange Juice by Francesca Mancuso
Página extraída del comic Zumo de Naranja de Francesca Mancuso



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