Ranxerox by Tamburini, Liberatore, Chabat, review

Ranxerox is a satire of contemporary society highlighting the violent and sadistic elements inherent in it.

Ranx is a cyberpunk comic by Stefano Tamburini, Tanino Liberatore, Andrea Pazienza, and Alain Chabat. The series has been well received internationally by critics and readers, and it has been translated and published in various countries including France, Spain, the United States, and Japan. The work is a powerhouse of violence, drugs, obscenity, graphic erotica, amorality, and provocations of all kinds and is recommended for an adult audience used to graphic erotica.

Related article: Pompeo by Andrea Pazienza, review

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Ranxerox was also serialized in the Heavy Metal magazine and Croc

The character was conceived by Stefano Tamburini, author of the texts and initially also of the drawings with the collaboration of Andrea Pazienza and Tanino Liberatore, in 1978. Andrea Pazienza created, based on drafts drawn up by Tamburini himself, a few strips of the first black-and-white stories alternating with Liberatore, who then became the only illustrator from the end of 1980.

Initially called Rank Xerox, the character is an anti-heroic, amoral, and almost unstoppable android with foul language (in the Italian edition he often expressed himself in strict Roman dialect) and endowed with superhuman physical strength but driven by irrational violence, impulsiveness, and ferocity. He was built with parts of a Rank Xerox photocopier – from which he had taken his name – and various other bioelectronic components, by a university robotics student, politically active in a group of the extra-parliamentary left, in a futuristic and dystopian Italy to act as a weapon of defense against police charges, but ending up instead becoming the henchman of a caustic and precocious little girl called Lubna and thus finding himself following her in the most reckless adventures in a sprawling and cyberpunk Rome.

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The city, anticipating many of the aesthetic traits of the cyberpunk genre, is an amoral society on the verge of social collapse. People seem to feel nothing anymore, men are slaves to blind and brutal violence, selfishly focused on immediate gain and lacking any trace of empathy. Paradoxically, the only one with real feelings is Ranxerox madly in love with Lubna due to a technical glitch.

The plates drawn by Tanino Liberatore express the energy, nervousness, and confusion of the streets of this alternative Rome. The comic is a satire that systematically violates all the rules of political correctness.

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His name, however, did not please the Italian subsidiary of Rank Xerox, which in February 1980, through its team of lawyers, sent a letter instructing the editorial staff of the magazine “Male,” where Ranxerox stories were published at the time, to change the name, to prevent their brand from being associated with a character. From then on, the name was changed to Ranxerox.

The character debuted in June 1978 in the magazine “Cannibale”. In 1979 the comic appeared briefly in the magazine “Il Male“. Later, after the closure of “Cannibale“, it was published in the new magazine “Frigidaire“, published by Primo Carnera, until the death of its creator in April 1986. In 1996 the third part of the Ranxerox stories was published in Italy, in the Selen magazine of Edizioni 3ntini & C, with texts by Alain Chabat, which concluded the story left interrupted by Tamburini’s death.

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Ranxerox in New York

Visionary comic book artists Stefano Tamburini and Andrea Pazienza both died of overdoses, the former in 1986 and the latter in 1988, at the ages of 31 and 32, respectively.

Tanino Liberatore also created the artwork for the Frank Zappa album The Man from Utopia; the image of Zappa on the cover closely resembles RanXerox. Andrea Pazienza is considered one of the most representative and innovative Italian comic artists.


Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by retrofuturista

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