A Musical Duet
In the 1950s, the Emmy-winning animator and New Yorker cartoonist R.O. Blechman created a proto graphic novel that was based on a medieval legend: The Juggler of Our Lady. More than half a century later comes Amadeo & Maladeo, the tale of two Mozart-esque half brothers. The aristocratic Amadeo begins his musical career playing violin for the King and Queen of Austria, while penurious bastard-born Maladeo plays violin for pocket change on a street corner. Both face the trials and tribulations of fame as their stories intertwine and come full circle. Amadeo and Maladeo serves as an elegant and unvarnished metaphor for the hardships contemporary artists still face and that appears to be a universal condition of civilization. Drawn in Blechman’s expressive, patented “wavy line” pen and ink style, Amadeo & Maladeo is a story made powerful and moving by its gentle, fable-like telling.