EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 290
album: Artonauti 4 – King Solomon’s ring (WizArt)
stickers: 192 (1-192) + 42 cards elements
starter pack: album + 3 packets 3,90€
box: 25 packets (5 stickers + 1 card) 0,80€ each
There was a lot of anticipation for the fourth chapter of the Artonauti saga, the album comes out with a slight delay compared to what was initially foreseen but we forgive them, the important thing is to have it here, in your hands! There are sticker albums that we get to know as we leaf through the pages to review them, others that we cannot resist curiosity and immediately go to peek up to the last page.
Artonauti is, of course, of the second type. The project is now a cornerstone of Italian sticker publishing, something to be proud of. Maybe at the beginning not even the creators expected such a success, even if the setting, since the first album, was clear to create a series of stories. Other publishers, with much heavier names, have tried to copy the idea but with little success.
Bringing the youngest closer to art and making it rediscover by the older ones, through stories, comics and stickers. Since the 1950s (even earlier, actually) our little paper friends have known how to be the protagonists of this good intention, they once were, they still are. The strength of Artonauti is also to meet the current interests of the younger generations, the choice for this fourth album to link the fantasy adventure to art is tangible proof of this.
We don’t want to reveal too much of the story, but this album contains all the hallmarks of a fantastic adventure, time travel, meeting a mythical king like Solomon, searching for a ring, safeguarding our land and its elements that are imagined here as realms: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Will our heroes succeed? This is where art, or rather Art, comes into play. Through unique works we will be able to understand secrets, discover realities, places and protagonists of this adventure.
Naturally, Arcimboldo’s paintings from the 1500s could not fail to be present and indeed they are the natural opening of the four chapters of the album. It is an incredible method for discovering even details that perhaps, despite having possibly seen these masterpieces live, we have not stopped enough to study them. The stickers cover these gaps, the Artonauti album shows you how to discover the details, sometimes you just need to find the right sticker!
We have the pleasant sensation that, even more than in past albums, the Artonauti invite you to carefully read the captions, to follow the directions, to somehow follow the tracks. We are very (very very) rarely supporters of the theory of not sticking stickers, in this case not doing it really wouldn’t make any sense. Without the stickers, the album is not understood, it is like reading a book where the lines are printed only alternately.
The graphic setting of the four chapters is similar to each other, it follows a varied and linear scheme at the same time that we appreciate. Four chapters like the four elements that traditionally make up the unique and essential universe.
Let us add that we, great lovers of shapes, are put to the test with Artonauti 4. The stickers are classic rectangular but must be inserted within the image printed in the album. A job to be done with care for the collectors but also for WizArt who created the graphics, cuts with minimal defects would be enough to not assemble the sticker perfectly with the drawing underneath. Considering that we are facing wonderful paintings, the final result must take your breath away.
We are also put to the test by some interactive parts of the album, with quizzes, rebuses, sentences or words to complete. We collectors, of the old guard, tremble at the mere idea of finding pen marks on our beloved albums! Of course we’re joking (up to a certain point.. but it’s right that especially the younger ones have fun without thinking too much about keeping the items untouched “from newsstands”), our suggestion is maybe to get two albums. One to attach and the other to fill in, why not? 🙂
The paintings are never casual, they are part of a historical moment, an environment, a season, even a thought or a desire. The Artonauti are also good at giving notions that go beyond art but are somehow part of our daily life. Once again we have the sensation, pleasant, that everything is connected, when those 4 elements are part of us just like we are part of them.
If the 192 stickers are often “frames” of paintings alternating with the comics of our adventurers, the 42 cards re-propose the works of art as a whole. 42 like the playing cards, 10 per color plus two King Solomon Jokers (which we haven’t found yet! Could it be the rare one on the album?!?), perhaps not to be used to play poker but the interesting game explained at the bottom to the album.
Detail that we liked: on the back of the stickers it is also written which painting it refers to, the author and the year of realization. We like the details, by now you know it if you follow our reviews.
Considering our social commitment with the Adotta Con La Figurina project and the production of solidarity stickers, it is commendable on the part of WizArt to have linked the album to the fundraiser for Sightsavers Italia Onlus in order to save children living in the most poor of the world. In this case, no need to make transfers or deposits, to make your contribution, buy the Artonauti packets!
Unfortunately, the paper crisis has also affected our Artonauti friends, the album is slightly affected by the less than excellent quality of the paper (a few creases scattered between the pages) and the cost of the packet has increased by 20 cents compared to Artonauti 3. On the other hand however, it remains one of the most advantageous prices on the market, above all when considering the quality/price ratio and the incredible work of preparation and involvement of experts, teachers and scholars that every sticker adventure entails.
Long live the Artonauti!