Lazarus Zendak is a physician, anatomist and taxidermist well-known for his anatomical preparations, especially foetuses and children preserved in formaldehyde. One day his beloved daughter Rachel, who usually helps him with his experiments, falls from a cliff and the man, driven mad by grief, decides to create a surrogate child. So he feverishly starts working on the creation of a homunculus: to this purpose he mixes human semen, mandrake’s heart, blood, strawberry sap and dew and waits for the homunculus to gestate, feeding him with his blood. He finally flees with his creature to a faraway country, to prevent people from seeing and judging it.
Stefano Bessoni tells this gothic fairy-tale in a nursery rhyme and black and white pencil illustrations in his typical macabre yet humorous style. In verses and images, he explores the obsession that pushes a man to defy Nature and presents three recipes for making a homunculus, namely a miniature human being artificially created through alchemic rituals, whose legend dates back to the beginning of 1500. Three recipes are suggested here: Paracelsus’ recipe for homunculus in a pumpkin, Dubuffet’s recipe for homunculus in an egg and, last but not least, the recipe for homunculus in vitro by Zendak himself.
The author and illustrator:
Stefano Bessoni is a director, illustrator, and stop-motion animator. He was born in 1965 in Rome, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1989 he has been making many experimental films, video and theatre installations, and documentary films. In the 1990s he worked for many TV production companies as camera operator, cinematographer, and film editor. He taught film directing at the NUCT (Roma Film Academy) in Cinecittà and at the Griffith Academy in Rome. He also teaches many workshops on illustration and stop-motion animation at schools and festivals in Italy and abroad.
He has won various awards with his most recent films, Canti della forca, which was recognized by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a “film of national cultural interest”, and Krokodyle, Best Fantasy Film at the 6th CINEFANTASY in San Paolo, Brazil, Best International Film at the PUERTO RICO HORROR FILM FEST 2011, Special Mention at SITGES 2011 - 44° Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya, and a Special Mention also at FANTASPOA 2011.
His books for #logosedizioni are: Alice Under Ground (also available in Italian and Spanish), Gallows Songs (also available in Italian), Homunculus, Mr Punch, Pinocchio, Stop-motion. La fabbrica delle meraviglie, Stop Motion Workshop. First Level (Also available in Italian), Stop Motion Workshop. Second Level (Also available in Italian) Wunderkammer, Oz, Rachel, Rebecca, Giona and Theo.
|Dimensions||cm 14,8 x 21,0|
|XL - LA REPUBBLICA||01-09-2011|
|Horror, è questione di alchimia||WEIRDTALES.IT||www||30-09-2011|