PaperManzoni, the new Disney volume to mark 150 years since Manzoni's death

From May 17, 2023, PaperManzoni, the new Disney volume inspired by Alessandro Manzoni uin celebration of the 150th anniversary of his death, will be available in bookstores.

On the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Alessandro Manzoni’s death, Giunti is publishing from May 17, 2023 PaperManzoni, the new Disney volume inspired by the famous author and his great masterpiece, I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed).

On the wave of the successes of TopoPrincipe and PaperDante, PaperManzoni aims to be a gentle and refined tribute to the Milanese author, through the unpublished illustrated story written by Augusto Macchetto, with drawings by Giada Perissinotto and Lorenzo Pastrovicchio and colors by Andrea Cagol.

Conceived and developed entirely in Italy, PaperManzoni is also enriched by an editorial part that aims to introduce the reader not only to Manzoni, but also to the Manzoni-inspired universe that emerges from the tale. Enriching this part is the rich backstage, which highlights the process that led to the creation of the illustrations and the definition of their colors. An ideal complement to the illustrated story is I Promessi Paperi, which closes the volume: a comic strip story, one of Disney’s most famous literary parodies, published in the weekly Topolino in 1976 and written by Edoardo Segantini with drawings by Giulio Chierichini.

PaperManzoni depicts an imaginary episode from the life of Alessandro Manzoni, set at Cascina Costa on the shores of Lake Como. The protagonist is little Alessandro (Donald Duck), who returns to these much-loved places together with his somewhat gruff uncle (Uncle Scrooge), to re-embrace his housekeeper Caterina (Grandmother Goose), who has taken care of him since childhood. Here he reunites with his dear friend Tonio (Scrooge), companion of many races and adventures. The two, in the middle of a golden autumn, amid the smell of fog and polenta cooked in the fireplace, observe a leaf that just doesn’t seem to want to come off the branch: “Will it be magic?” they wonder. Amelia the sorceress, not far away, observes the same leaf. She knows that it is magical: until it comes off, in fact, winter cannot begin. This leaf will be precisely the symbolic and conducting element of the tale: in a world yet to be discovered, seen through the eyes of those who do not know and therefore unexpected and extraordinary, a tale of complicity and friendship unfolds, made up of paths that meet, chase each other, divide and then find each other again and never leave each other again.

The narrative cue is real: Manzoni spent his childhood in the countryside on a farmstead near Galbiate, near Lake Como, in the care of his wet nurse Caterina Panzeri. PaperManzoni also opens with a branch-but of a tree that seems fairy-like. The one depicted in the unpublished Disney tale is a place of the heart for little Manzoni, where he meets characters and experiences moments that will be masterfully portrayed in the novel he will write “when he grows up.”

“In this tale, for fun and with affection, we have taken a young Alessandro Manzoni back to the meadows of his childhood and surrounded him with the magic felt by every little boy and girl when faced with the world,” said Veronica Di Lisio, director of Disney Division and editorial for Giunti Editore. “A world seen with eyes ready to marvel at what extraordinary things it has to offer. Had we happened to be there, we might have seen a disheveled child, red-cheeked after running with friends. As an adult, will Alexander have regretted those days? Will they have been an inspiration to him, in writing his works? The magic of being a child who looks at the world with curiosity and innocence and the genuineness of friendship, capable of overcoming even the most difficult obstacles, are among the ingredients that will make reading PaperManzoni sweet and moving.”

“When the proposal came for a story about Alessandro Manzoni, I immediately felt like disheveling him a bit,” explains Augusto Macchetto, author of the story. "You know, in portraits he is always distinguished, azzimato, very mannered. But is it possible he was also such an accomplished child? Or, like everyone else, will he have been up to his mischief, stained his dress, returned home disheveled? For, between the lines of The Betrothed, we also read a great desire to rebel, to do the very thing they do not want you to do. So I imagined a little shaggy, cheerful, restless child: he was a little Donald Duck. And lo and behold, the hair became feathers, and PaperManzoni immediately started running. Someone’s going to stop him in his tracks with ’it’s not to be done,’ I said to myself,’but I sure won’t...’"

Closing the volume is one of Disney’s most famous literary parodies, I Promessi Paperi. In this story, published from 1976 to the present in many countries around the world, we find characters such as Phantom Duck (Paperenzo) and Lucilla Paperella (Paperina), La Scocciatrice di Monza (Brigitta), Don Paperigo, the Bravotti (Dachshunds) and many others. A funny story set in a Milan infected by the outbreak... of the postal service.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alessandro Manzoni’s death, PaperManzoni will be presented on Wednesday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Circolo dei Lettori in Milan, in the great writer’s Milanese home, Casa Manzoni. Veronica Di Lisio and the authors will speak.

PaperManzoni is on sale in bookstores from May 17 at a price of €14.90.

Technical Sheet
Series: Comic Book Literature
Cover: hardback with metallic stamping
Format: 17.8 x 24.8 cm
Pages: 128 pages - 34 illustrated story, 74 cartoon story
Price: 14.90 euros

Cover PaperManzoni
Cover PaperManzoni

PaperManzoni, the new Disney volume to mark 150 years since Manzoni's death
PaperManzoni, the new Disney volume to mark 150 years since Manzoni's death