Gipsy (in some translations spelled as "Gypsy") is a science fiction comic series by the Swiss artist Enrico Marini and his writer Thierry Smolderen. The eponymous main character is a charismatic Roma truck driver who works on a worldwide net of motorways as a freelance trader with his own large truck.
The series is drawn in a style that combines elements from the ligne claire school, American comics, and Japanese manga, and was first published in 1992 by Dargaud. It has six volumes so far published as of 2010. It has also been translated from the original French to German, Dutch, Danish and English, and rights have been sold in multiple other languages.
The 'Gipsy' setting posits a near future (roughly several decades into the 21st Century) where ozone layer damage has forced all air travel to be abandoned (except for some airships), while the world is now spanned by an interconnected mega-motorway system called C3C. At the same time, global cooling has intensified, and large areas of the globe are covered in snow, inhospitable and difficult to cross, but also allowing land connections via the northern arctic.
This stylistic tool allows the series to imagine a globalized future world where it still takes weeks to travel to from one point to another, and where private truckers and megacorporations compete (and sometimes fight) over lucrative freight. It also allows the series individual books to be set pretty much anywhere in the world, often travelling through remote and dangerous areas. The comics have so far been set in the arctic from Alaska to Siberia, in Mongolia, fictional Middle Eastern and Latin American countries as well as in Germany.
Tsagoi - called 'the Gipsy' for his Roma heritage, Tsagoi is an impulsive, charming and normally very carefree person, with his personality and athletic physique ensuring that he does not lack for romantic attractions. While generally a simple man with simple interests (his sister Oblivia, his truck, his women - in that order), he can also be quite intelligent and resourceful. His personal past and Roma roots can make him deeply melancholic at times, which usually ends up with him singing sad Roma songs or playing the violin. A good fighter, he is especially handy with throwing knives.
Oblivia - the little sister of Tsagoi, being maybe ten years younger, she spent much of her early life together with her brother in slum orphanage in Eastern Europe, before her brother fled to become a truck driver. However, Tsagoi was both very protective and successful, and soon started sending her money and eventually had her transferred to a Swiss boarding school, though without ever managing to see her again. Reunited as a teenager with Tsagoi a decade later — after Gipsy's money to pay for her school runs out through misfortune — she states that she cannot remember anything of her youth, and is shocked by her brother's rough behaviour and the often violent encounters on their travels. Only later on does she start warming up to him and rediscover her own Roma heritage. Moving to Los Angeles, she becomes a writer, describing her early life and exposing the activities of a major occultist-criminal organisation, the "White Wing", which serves as a loose thread tying the stories in the series together.
Heavy Metal publications
Heavy Metal Magazine introduced the series to the English speaking audience in 1995. In some countries one of the stories has been censored by ripping out a page of thousands of copies of the November 1997 issue. The magazine offered readers replacement for a small fee.
List of Stories published in Heavy Metal Magazine:
- Gypsy: The Wandering Star (60 pages, 1995-May - Vol. 19 No. 2)
- Gypsy: Siberian Fires (54 pages, 1997-November - Vol. 21 No. 5)
- Gypsy: The Day Of The Czar (55 pages, 2000-May - Vol. 24 No. 2)
- Gypsy: Black Eyes (54 pages, 2001-September - Vol. 25 No. 4)
- Gypsy: The White Wing (54 pages, 2002-September - Vol. 26 No. 4)
- Gypsy: The Aztec Laugh (54 pages, 2004-January - Vol. 27 No. 6)
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing (NBM) published the first two stories of the graphic novel series in paperback album format in 2000 and 2002.
List of NBM albums:
- The Gipsy Star (64 pages, ISBN 978-1-56163-268-8, 2000-September)
- Gipsy: The Fires of Siberia (64 pages, ISBN 978-1-56163-326-5, 2002-July)
At one stage in 2000, the comic was set to become the base for a major live-action movie produced by Barry Levine, with Demian Lichtenstein (of 3000 Miles to Graceland) to direct. However, this project apparently fell through in the early stages.
- Zilveren Dolfijn. "Gipsy" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Gipsy (database entry from the English website of Dargaud)
- Miscellaneous Facts at Heavy Metal Magazine Fan Page
- Based on Table of contents found at Heavy Metal Magazine Fan Page
- Reported by Comics2Film (from Comics2film.com, 15 November 2000)