Zerocalcare is the pen name of Michele Rech, Italy’s best-selling graphic novel artist of the past twenty years.
Michele, born in 1983, spent his very first years in France before moving to Rome.
His comics blog, Zerocalcare.it, has become one of Italy’s most read and shared on social media.
His first book, The Armadillo Prophecy (BAO, 2012) is structured as a set of inter-connected humorous stories, leading to the acceptance of the news that an old friend had passed away. The book has now been reprinted seventeen times in Italy, shooting toward 100,000 copies sold. It is now considered a modern classic among Italian graphic novels.
In the same year Un polpo alla gola was released (BAO; Tentacles at My Throat, Europe Comics), a longform graphic novel about his school years.
Dimentica il mio nome (BAO, 2014; Forget My Name, Europe Comics) is the true story of his grandmother's passing, through his eyes. The book was shortlisted for the prestigious Strega literary award, making it only the second time in its sixty-year history that a story told in comics form has been considered for that honor. Brutally honest and touchingly deep, this book has been repeatedly reprinted in Italy, where it has sold over 100,000 copies.
In the early months of 2015, Zerocalcare published a reportage in the Italian magazine Internazionale, a sort of heartfelt diary of his trip to Turkey, Syria and Iraq, to document the struggle of the Kurdish people against ISIS. The report was later published together as Kobane Calling (BAO; Lion Forge in English), the most important graphic novel of 2016 in Italy. This powerful and touching memoir has also sold well over a hundred thousand copies in Italy, and has given voice to a whole nation fighting for the right to exist.
His latest work Tentacles is My Throat is released in 2018.