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Davide Cali.

Davide Cali is an original thinker and creator. At twelve, he discovered his love of cartooning and story. At fifteen he discovered Monty Python. At 22 he wrote and illustrated for the monthly Italian magazine LINUS and his world opened up. He's an 'ideas man' as Dale Kerrigan says in the satiric Australian comedy movie The Castle. Davide Cali writes and illustrates children's books and graphic novels that are tongue-in-cheek, observing and commenting on human behaviour, politics and society. He enjoys playing with ideas and satirizing the status quo. Although born technically in Switzerland, he grew up in Italy where the status quo according to Cali, is 'the Roman Catholic Church and political turmoil'. While Davide Cali is secular, 'Catholicism is inground in Italian identity and culture' which influences Cali's thinking and creativity, although his philosophy is 'I live my life. I try to be a good guy.' Davide Cali's observations, characters, scenarios are quirky and humorous as they send up institutions, religion, relationships, politics and human behaviour.

A great influence on his books is US film maker, actor and comedian Woody Allen. Woody Allen the son of Jewish German immigrants, and regarded as one of the world's great stand-up comics, inspired Davide Cali to observe and write acutely with a great sense of the ridiculous underpinned by social commentary. Classic Woody Allen humour is that when Woody was young he was often sent to inter-faith summer camps, where he 'was savagely beaten by children of all races and creeds.' Davide Cali's humour also has that sense of surprise and juxtaposition of the politically correct with the reality. Cali's 10 Little Insects satirises commercialism as nine little insects die in the 'House of Blood' in the name of selling' Topperware'.

While Davide Cali is a cartoonist and creates his own storyboards and sketches for his books to support his text, he doesn't illustrate the majority of his books. He is continually working on his ideas and stories. At any one time, he has between twenty and twenty-five storylines in development. Illustrating each story takes around twelve months. As a result Cali made a decision that he would focus on being a writer, although he does occasionally illustrate his work. His books are very collaborative with the illustrator, although he does not interfere with the illustrator's creative control. He has collaborated with internationally

recognised illustrators including Serge Bloch, Gianluca Foli, Vincent Pianina and Anna Laura Cantone. His picture book I Can't Wait illustrated by Serge Block won France's prestigious Baobab Prize for the most innovative book of 2005.

Davide Cali has a wide range in his graphic and illustrated books. Davide Cali and Evelyn Daviddi's internationally best selling I Love Chocolate is warm and humorous, capturing the guilty pleasures of chocolates while celebrating its role in friendship and sharing. Enemy is very different, as Cali satirises and exposes the power of media to create and escalate racism which he feels is potentially is in all of us. Cali says that 'I don't like racism. It is evil.'

Cali is an award-winning author of over 40 illustrated kids' books, which have been published in 25 countries. Eight titles have been published in Australia by Wilkins Farago Children's Publishers including The Enemy, The Bear with the Sword and recently, 10 Little Insects illustrated by Vincent Pianina. 10 Little Insects' was selected as one of the best graphic novels of the year at the Angouleme International Comic Festival in France. There are two more 10 Little Insects titles coming. The second title 10 Little Insects in the Fog is inspired by Woody Allen's detective movies. Cali is excited that his books are being translated for the English speaking market, reaching USA, UK, Canada and Australia. (Review p24)

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Title Annotation:Three Visitors from Overseas
Author:Gervay, Susanne
Publication:Reading Time
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2012
Words:634
Previous Article:Eoin Colfer.
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