Anthropomorphic animals are a classic of comics and cartoons, just think of the famous Disney characters: we have seen animals of all species live adventures and gags. It is much rarer to come across talking plants, as happens in Vivi e Vegeta, the beautiful film noir comic that I want to tell you about.
Vivi e vegeta is a very original graphic novel, written by Francesco Savino and drawn by Stefano Simeone, based on the idea that plants have taken refuge in their own world to escape the cruelty of human beings.
This is not a children’s comic: defined from the cover as a “vegetarian black”, it tells a story with dark and luscious colors, but also full of irony. The protagonist is the cactus Carl, who comes to the flower district in search of his missing girlfriend. Between ruthless killer sunflowers, a drugged tulip, a strange and a mysterious greenhouse, a fascinating plot unfolds. In the story, we also meet a group of combative vegetables, in the role of an unscrupulous biker gang.
Carl, Vivi and Vegeta’s cactus star.
A beautiful black comic
The comic is very well written: like any self-respecting black, there are incisive dialogues, a tight plot that does not lack suspense and twists. The originality of the plant protagonists and the puns in the writing amuse the reader. Nothing can be said about the ending to avoid spoilers, but it certainly won’t disappoint. The human being appears as a latent threat, he is mentioned but remains absent from the story. Our relationship to nature could have been a main theme but it would have been too obvious, it remains in the background and is even more present in this sense, it never fails to make you think, even with the weapon of biting irony.
Stefano Simeone’s designs elevate the tone and add value with a fast, perfectly functional line to the story and color that uses shadows to give atmosphere to the story. The anthropomorphic plants are very well studied, combining synthetic lines and particular details that make the plant species of each character recognizable.
Anthropomorphic vegetables in Vivi e Vegeta.
Born as an award-winning webcomic, Vivi e Vegeta is also available in a print edition, published by Editorial Bao. The book ends with a pleasant Christmas tale conceived by Nicoletta Baldari, it returns to the plant decor reviewed by a completely different graphic and narrative style.