1919 – the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire is losing control of the city port of Fiume to pirates. A self-styled "Pirate King ", Gabriele d'Annunzio (poet, Italian war hero and Dadaist) storms the city with 3000 loyal Italian footsoldiers. He declares Fiume a free Republic: a utopian city-state, with himself as Commander. The city soon descends into looting and surreal decadence, reminiscent of the last days of Rome. Amid this chaos, the beautiful Mina, a black-haired young singer, is lost in this city gone mad, consumed by a love affair with a young soldier. Haunted by the horror of the trenches, a soldier, Lauriano, hunts Fiume's alleys in vain for the ghost that haunts his dreams.
David B. is a founding member of L'Association, the fiercely independent publisher, which is a major creative force of the French comics scene. His bestselling autobiographical work Epileptic is considered a masterpiece of the comics medium. His many prizes include the Prix de Cheverny (2007), the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist (2005) and the top prizes for Comics Writing (2002) and Best Comic Book (1998, 2004) at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. He received an Eisner Award nomination for "Best Reality-based Work" (2006).