The Zerocalcare conflict, a “short circuit” to make sense of


In recent days he had anticipated with some stories on social media where he would have been, which events he would have participated in at the pavilion in Piazza Napoleone in Lucca. With reservation and without. With signature copies and drawings, as he calls them. He had also ironically asked not to bring the portrait of his grandmother for him to copy, because he would have tried to make the drawings to please everyone.

And then? It has arrived short circuit. An almost yielding word, delicate and very much hers. Anyone who reads it and follows it knows it. The Roman cartoonist ZeroCalcare, author of two television series on Netflix (“Tear along the edges” and “This world won’t make me bad”), chose her to describe how he is and why he won’t be going to the Lucca Comics quest ‘year. Everywhere you can read the news of the choice not to participate and the related controversies: for him, as he wrote on social media, «the patronage of the Israeli embassy at Lucca Comics is a problem» and not the Israeli authors Asaf and Tomer Hanuka «who I hope they will be able to be there and that they will feel at home, because I have never thought that peoples and individuals coincided with their governments.”

But the short circuit is internal: generated by what ZeroCalcare itself feels about the dramatic situation being experienced in Gaza – where “6 thousand people have been killed” and “2 million are trapped and don’t know if they will be alive the next day”. Feelings that clash with the enthusiasm and joy that he could have felt firsthand, thanks to the affection of his fans, at the largest and oldest comics exhibition in Europe. In an increasingly polarized and divisive world, in which it is often necessary to express oneself on everything, just to hold a position against someone or something… So, this admission of not knowing how to manage this internal short circuit may sound almost strange. And perhaps for this reason it attracts even more criticism on social media «because this decision by ZeroCalcare arrived only at the last moment (Lucca Comics starts on November 1st, ndr)” and “because this choice harms its readers who had booked hotels and train tickets to be there”.

Having said that even when the Roman cartoonist had Sarah – one of the leading characters in his series “This world won’t make me bad” – say «There are three things that make you a fair person with others: help those who ask you without question, always go at the slowest pace and leave no one behind” he was however attacked for the bad romance or the swear words he used in the dialogues, without going into too much detail about the contents and values ​​he was proposing.

But let’s go back to Lucca Comics, or rather to the conflict in the Middle East and the Gaza strip where – writes Michele Rech, known to all as ZeroCalcare – «6 thousand people have been killed, and 2 million are stranded and don’t know if they will be alive the next day». And where, we add Future, 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed by the Hamas terrorist group on October 7 in an unprecedented attack.

From all this violence comes only the need to stop, think and, who can, pray. Without necessarily drawing up a hierarchy of pain, or saying I’m with them or against them. Perhaps this short circuit, if caused because we are close to people’s suffering, should not scare us so much.

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