Pinocchio by Winshluss

Pinocchio
by Winshluss
Last Gasp, 2011

An ambitious, crass, hilarious mindfuck. French cartoonist Winshluss (Vincent Paronnaud) largely de-Disneyfies Pinocchio and reintroduces the sadism of the original Carlo Collodi story. There’s no dialogue in this new version except for the sordid reveries of Jiminy Cricket, now an alcoholic cockroach and failed writer who crawls into Pinocchio’s head and stays there watching TV for most of the story.

Pinocchio is now a mute robot, designed by Geppetto as a military killing machine. Instead he turns out to be quite the innocent, wandering from one exploitative situation to the the next and doing whatever he’s bid, whether it’s assembling toys in a child-labour sweatshop or participating in a bizarre fascist coup on tarnished Enchanted Isle – wayward boys transformed into gun-toting wolves marching under a candycane-swastika flag.

Among the new characters are a disturbed gumshoe with a dead cat in the fridge and a head like an Easter Island statue, a bereaved father, a lesbian surfer and a rather sweet penguin who Geppetto befriends when he’s swallowed by Dogzilla, and is later turned into a suicide bomber. The integration of these diverse and grotesque story strands is extremely well done – the structure is as impressive as the wicked humour.

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