EUROPEAN MANGA: Why is Frezzato’s Lost Village Worth Thousands & Yet Nobody Sells It

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Panel from 'European manga' Lost Village (Keepers of Maser Vol 6), Max Frezzato, 2005.

Last time I’ve checked, asking price for Lost Village,  last, sixth volume of Italian artist’s Massimiliano Frezzato Keepers of Maser comics series – was around 2500 US dollars. (There is one more sequel, drawn by Routolo)

That’s a bit too much for the purpose of having more than one copy to spread on book shelves to enjoy it and educate my kids in aesthetics, for they grow taste according to what they are exposed to, I thought at the time.

Frezzato 2005.

And yet, today Lost Village is nowhere to be found, even with that price tag.
Slightly disappointed, for larger format of American edition amplifies the impact of the panels, which adds the above mentioned value, I went for Italian retailers, and bought the copy there, for 17 euros, regardless of it being written in unfamiliar Italian language – as story was never the reason I fell for it at the first place, and I recommend you to do the same, if you are one of those who read SF’s comics for art and design excellence.

Detail showing meticulous aquarelle, Frezzato 2005

The best from the series of this high quality “European manga” which came into fashion during late 1990-es – Lost Village is the artist’s “free style” masterpiece, with bold and fresh colors, stunning contrasts and beautiful compositions of panels.
The influence of Japanese mangaka Miyazaki is obvious, both in simplicity and beauty of main protagonists, but also in bodily constitution of secondary characters and presence of cute robots and animal companions… Frezzato is not ashamed to dress them in stripes, just like Miyazaki did with his characters in Nausicaa and animated movies afterwards: it is actually some sort of homage to his idol.

Elegant erotica follows the footsteps of Italian master Manara, Frezzato 2005

But Frezzato went forward: except showing how good a draftsman he is, the meticulous watercolors of each one of the panels exercised his superiority with paint-brush as well.   Besides, he moved the action into deep space, and added personal drama involving romance and death, which are things Miyazaki would never do. The female
protagonists are also at the same time elegant and sexy in a purist way – and we expected no less from Italian author who learned from the master of erotic comic art Milo Manara.
After this, Frezzato engaged in few philosophical and intimate comics such, but is mainly preocupied with  illustrating Italian children’s books, which was welcomed in art galleries and got huge following in his home country… And surely payed off better then comics art, as not that many panels and compositions are needed to illustrate a single page, while also the earnings are probably much better then comics publishers could ever do.

Action in deep space breaks with Miyazaki’s tradition of keeping it all on Earth

Nevertheless, as true comic artist never gives up his mischievous character, Frezzato added Eropinocchio – erotic addition to his portfolio on famous children’s story Pinocchio, and in 2012. Italian publisher Pavesio issued his funny sexy but very intimate SF Too much fantasy on Motherflower, also published in English inside magazine Heavy Metal, along with a “hippy trippy mushroom headmelt” The Key. Hopefully Heavy Metal will decide to again publish Lost Village in a form of large format album, to enable new comics art fans to dive into the phantasmagorical world of this author, without robbing the bank of mum and dad on the way. Until then, hurry to get it in French or Italian language, while it’s still available.