17 Ekim 2012 Çarşamba



After Nathan Never and Legs Weaver, the other extremely efficient members of the Agenzia Alfa also gained the right to a series of their own: at first yearly, and then twice yearly, thanks to the fertile imagination of the indefatigable Serra, Medda & Vigna and their co-workers. So readers can now follow the individual or collective endeavors of Nathan and Legs' colleagues: the secretary Janine Spengler, the computer freak Sigmund Baginov, the burly Al Goodman, the robot Link, the playboy Andy Havilland, the two sisters May and April Frayn and the enigmatic Jack O'Ryan, the man whose disfigured face is hidden by a new artificial face. A veritable task-force of science fiction musketeers who, in the name of justice, do not hesitate to take on truly impossible missions, including comets that have been forced off their orbit, sentient computers and incredible cosmic phenomena!


Comics with the Bonelli griffe are famously a synonym of Adventure, and therefore of realistic stories, in which humor is an accessory element, even though it may at times act as a fundamental basis for the stories (as in the case of Zagor, Mark and Dylan Dog). Therefore this publication, with its emphasis on all that is comical and humorous in the Bonelli comics, occupies an important position in the history of the Buonarroti Street Publishing House. For not only is "I grandi comici del fumetto" extremely attractive as a publishing product (with full color annual albums), but it is also the expression of a highly significant project: that of hosting cartoonists who have turned smiling into a genuine mission. In line with this approach, the great master Benito Jacovitti was invited to preside over its inauguration, and for this occasion Jacovitti created "Cocco Bill diquaedilà", a crazy extravaganza surfing through the commonplaces of the western genre, in the company of the very popular cowboy who will only drink camomile tea. The unforgettable Jac "Lisca di Pesce" was followed by other celebrated names of made-in-Italy illustrated humor: in 1998 and 1999 Bonvi and Giorgio Cavazzano respectively wrote and illustrated "La città" (a blend of weird and mysterious stories set in the urban jungle of our own days, with its metropolitan tentacles closing in around us), and then "Maledetta galassia!", a science fictional trip into deep space, amid ominous alien entities and surprising discoveries. In the year 2000, the guest of honor was Antonio Terenghi who, with scripts by Alfredo Castelli, re-staged his ultra-famous Pedrito El Drito, the long-moustached sheriff, over whose unbridled passion for alcoholic beverages his strict wife Paquita tries in vain to gain control.


Magico Vento's stories unfold against a background of the Wild West where reality can turn into a nightmare. With his unpredictable and restless character, Magico Vento, for which Gianfranco Manfredi created both the subject and the scripts, is the launch pad of a new and absolutely original trend in fiction, springing from the blend of two much-loved and inspiring genres, the western and the horror genre. Magico Vento's world consists of the vast open spaces of the Great Prairies of Dakota, roughly in the 1870s, i.e. in the period following the War of Secession, when the transcontinental railway had only just been inaugurated and the dogged determination of the white man to civilize the West was about to result in seizure of even more land from the Native Americans. Although he is a medicine man, a shaman and a warrior, Magico Vento is not an Indian, but a former white soldier (whose real name is Ned Ellis), who has sided with the Sioux. Because of a fragment of metal that lodged in his brain, Magico Vento has lost his memory and therefore he knows nothing of his past, but precisely this traumatic event has opened up in his mind a window on the future, of which he has premonitions through dramatic prophetic visions. At his side, he has an intelligent and determined friend: journalist Willy Richards, known as Poe on account of his amazing resemblance to the famous writer. Together they must avert the wicked schemes plotted by their enemy number one: Howard Hogan, a diabolical wheeler-dealer, thirsty for power and determined to unleash new wars against the Indians in the name of the ruthless march of civilization. In the course of this saga that is full of unexpected developments and sudden turn-arounds, Magic Vento leads his readers towards the discovery of a Frontier infested by demons, specters, apocalyptic beasts: a sphere of the unknown where the supernatural may be lurking just ahead at any time.

Born in Italy but brought up in Africa (at Addis Abeba, to be precise, where he worked as a policeman at the Italian embassy), Napoleone Di Carlo has returned to Europe and has chosen Switzerland as his new homeland. He lives in Geneva, where he runs a small hotel, the Hotel Astrid, situated in a quiet secluded district. Here, he would like to devote himself to his great passions (criminology and entomology), but his friend Dumas, a police officer in Geneva, begs him for assistance, and so Napoleone is periodically compelled to set his hobbies and his normal occupations aside and embark on complex and risky investigations ("poised between the thriller and the noir genres", as was trumpeted in the blaze of publicity with which the series was launched). It is here that he reveals his talent as an investigator and his strong points as a man of action. The most remarkable aspect of this unusual character created and written by Carlo Ambrosini is, however, his ability to enter into communication with some strange creatures (invisible to everybody except himself) that emanate from his mind and dwell in a dream-like surreal landscape governed by rules of its own, a weird and wonderful world situated "above the ponds, valleys, mountains, woods, clouds and seas, beyond the sun, the ether and the boundaries of the starry spheres". Napoleone has to contend with these three creatures - the nymph Lucrezia, the little man with the face of a fish, Scintillone, and the butler Caliendo - even in the most dramatic or tension-laden moments, a circumstance that gives rise to scenes intensely pervaded with humor and subtle irony.
BRENDON (1998)

In 2029, despite the desperate attempts by scientists and world governments to avoid a collision, a giant asteroid crashes onto Earth, irremediably altering the planet's climatic and geological status. The Sun is blotted out and the Earth is shrouded in perennial night. This is the beginning of the "Great Darkness", a prolonged period of decadence and barbarity, dominated by anarchy and a climate of unspeakable violence. It is in this post-apocalyptic and medievalizing scenario that we find Brendon D'Arkness, the protagonist of a new series created by the script-writer Claudio Chiaverotti. Brendon lives in Nuova Cornovaglia, in a decrepit ancient mansion enlivened only by the presence of Christopher, a sort of puppet powered by solar energy, the final legacy of the Old Era. Having grown up sheltered under the wing of a master weapons instructor, Brendon becomes a knight errant, a mercenary who sells his skills to anyone who demands his services. Yet although he has embraced this disagreeable trade, he still retains a considerable measure of humane compassion, which always compels him to side with the weak and the underdog. He is a free wild spirit, crepuscular but not devoid of irony. A hero who fights against the monsters generated by the sleep of reason, in a world that seeks to rise from the ashes of the old world, yet cannot free itself from its own ghosts.
JULIA (1998)

Thirty-ish, with short dark hair, like her eyes, far removed from the stereotype of the top model, Julia Kendall has a naturally elegant figure, with a slender and highly-strung body reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, and features which, while not classifiable as belonging to the canons of classical beauty, make her definitely quite fascinating. Julia is fragile, reserved, averse to any form of violence. Yet she has embarked on a difficult and highly risky profession: that of the criminologist. And although she has resolved not to use firearms, in difficult situations she knows how to defend herself and she can summon up unsuspected energy. A criminologist like Julia is well versed in all fields of police investigations: she's an analyst, a psychologist, a detective, an anatomopathologist, specialized in careful detection of all the traces that can be scientifically uncovered at a crime scene. Her main preys are serial killers, but her field of investigation also ranges over the world of crime in general. Julia's method of investigation is based not only on the scientific knowledge she has acquired, but also on her own personal instinct, a special kind of sensitivity that enables her to get under the skin of the criminal she's tracking and gives her a heightened emotional awareness of the criminal's most likely next move, and of the motives that triggered the criminal action. Her intention, of course, is to ensure that miscreants are brought to justice, but also, and above all, to better understand - understand, not justify - the deep-seated pulsions that drive criminals to act they way they do. If there were such a category, one could define her as an "investigator of the soul". In any case, exploring his characters' most intimate feelings is an art in which Julia's creator, Giancarlo Berardi, is extremely proficient. After abandoning the nineteenth century and the wild Frontier lands that formed the background to the exploits of his most famous creature - Ken Parker - Berardi has shifted his field of action to a more recent period, namely our own time, which, however, is no less wild; furthermore, he favors a genre, the noir, which is particularly disturbing, tension-laden, full of unexpected developments.

GEA (1999)
Created by Luca Enoch, Gea is an orphaned fourteen-year-old girl with an obscure past. She lives along in a great big loft in an imaginary metropolis, together with her inseparable cat Cagliostro. Gea plays the bass guitar in a rock band, she dresses according to the "dark" look, she has a huge library of books full of ancient texts, she rides a moped, she does kendo for sports (an ancient Japanese martial art), and collects CDs and old vinyl records. But behind her appearance as a fragile and saucy young girl, Gea hides a great secret: she is a Bulwark, a sort of "sentinel", and her mission is to defend the Earth against the intrusion of beings from other dimensions, beings which are sometimes scared and disoriented, sometimes bellicose and evil, and thus seriously determined to invade our planet. These are the beings Gea has to battle against, on the pages of her six-monthly series, deploying all her grit and determination and, above all, her magic sword, that emanates rays of pure energy!

Jonathan Steele is a private investigator who operates in a world that mysterious events have profoundly and abruptly changed: in 2020 (the year in which his adventures take place) modern technology on Earth has had to learn to coexist with magic. Twenty-four years old, an Australian by birth, Jonathan Steele - subject and scripts by Federico Memola - works on behalf of an very special investigative agency, which has its headquarters in Paris although it operates world-wide. In addition to chasing down normal criminals, Jonathan often finds himself having to deal with creatures of the fantastic (inspired both by traditional fantasy and ancient mythology), wizards, witch-doctors, and a kaleidoscope of really extraordinary situations. While frequently moving on the margins of the law, Jonathan Steele is a positive hero, a pragmatic very independent-minded individual fully accustomed to facing all sorts of unexpected predicaments. Two fascinating girls assist him in his investigations. They are quite different from each other, both in their appearance and their character: one is the sophisticated Jasmine Rashad (of Pakistani nationality, but born and brought up in Germany), a top model who has a degree in archaeology and is an expert in esoteric arts, while the other is the high-spirited Myriam Leclair, a Canadian photo-reported endowed with magic powers.


After two years of preparations worthy of a cinema "colossal", three gifted young script-writers (Michele Medda, Antonio Serra, Bepi Vigna), already known from their contributions to Martin Mystère and Dylan Dog, launched the first science fiction series of the "Bonellian" new trend. In 2099 (but it would be better to say in 2177, if we abide by our Gregorian calendar), the great urban conglomerations of this Earth will be technological infernos of steel and concrete, subdivided into several levels and populated by mutants, unscrupulous criminals, psycho-narcotics dealers, and so forth. In this panorama of generalized chaos, the State has set up private surveillance organizations that sell security at inflated prices. The most famous of these is the Agenzia Alfa, the workplace of Nathan Never, a morose but tenacious former police officer tormented by gloomy memories, who has to contend with trigger-happy cyborgs, ill-tempered scanners and very powerful multinationals that are plotting against mankind. Together with the fascinating and energetic Legs Weaver and other staunch companions, he fights his war in defense of values that nobody seems to believe in any more: Law and Justice. In this scenario reminiscent of "Blade Runner", he becomes the protagonist of petrifying science fiction thrillers, when an imaginary future blends with realistic and hard-boiled detective story plots, which gradually define his identity. Who is Nathan Never really? What is hidden in his troubled past? Is he a hero or an anti-hero? Perhaps he is simply a human being in a less and less human world.

ZONA X (1992)
The year in which Martin Mystère reached his tenth year of happy presence on new-stands also saw the birth of Zona X, a bulky album that came out every four months (but it would later be transformed into a bi-monthly and subsequently monthly publication). Within the space of 196 pages, Zona X hosted two complete stories "on the boundaries of the possible", presented, or purportedly sponsored, by the detective-archaeologist-traveler created by Alfredo Castelli. Respecting the motto ""throw the gates open to fantasy", over time Zona X offered self-contained stories, series and mini-series that shared the common feature of the unusual, the bizarre, the inexplicable. For instance, "Magic Patrol", whose protagonists are several members of the mysterious Elsewhere base; "La stripe di Elän", the first Bonellian fantasy revolving around the feats of a group of figures who journey back and forth between Earth and a magic world where technology has progressed no further than the sixteenth century; "Legione stellare", a space-opera set in the entire galaxy of the Thirtieth century; "Robinson Hart", an intrepid time policeman, who wanders around between ancient Rome, Arthurian Brittany and the wild West…


This trail was opened up, in 1987, by the Almanacco del Mistero [Mystery Alamanac], inevitably "sponsored" by Martin Mystère. Then, in 1991, it was followed by the Almanacco della Paura [Almanac of Fear], which was linked - how could it have been otherwise ? - to the horror-pervaded world of Dylan Dog. Finally, to satisfy the pressing requests of thousands of readers, Sergio Bonelli decided to broaden the "Almanac Project" to include some of the most significant characters and genres of the Publishing House, as well as the 'classics' Martin Mystère and Dylan Dog: the West, with Tex; Adventure, with Mister No and Zagor; Science Fiction, with Nathan Never; Thrillers, with Nick Raider… In the summer of 1993, it was actually the Almanacco del Giallo [Thriller Almanac] that officially inaugurated a two-monthly collection whose basic approach - which was very favorably received by the public - has not changed since then. Thus in addition to a previously unpublished comic strip containing a complete story about the hero from whom the strip takes its title, the Almanacco offers a critical excursus on the best films and books seen and read during the previous twelve months (thematically linked to the publication), accompanied by a vast and extensively illustrated collection of articles, news flashes and short essays. In 176 pages (192 for the Almanacco di Martin Mystère), it provides fascinating insight into the innumerable genres and multifaceted emotions that make up the mosaic of popular fiction.


There are some characters that seem to enjoy eternal youth and who, despite floundering in deep water in terms of their sales track record, never let their trusting and affectionate public down. Ken Parker is one of these. After the official "Bonellian" cycle was closed in 1984, the fair-haired scout invented by Berardi & Milazzo was sporadically offered hospitality in container-journals, until 1992, when a small Press managed by Parker's own creators devoted the Ken Parker Magazine to this hero. It was a large-sized monthly publication in which there appeared not only the new Ken Parker adventures but also comic strips by other authors, and, additionally, articles, essays and prose stories. In 1994, Ken Parker Magazine was taken over by Sergio Bonelli Editore, so that Lungo Fucile finally "returned home". Enhanced by an enriched and rejuvenated graphic apparatus, the journal broadened its scope, proposing, among other things, short unpublished tales interpreted by the best-known heroes of the Bonelli "stables" (Tex, Dylan Dog, Mister No, Martin Mystère, Nathan Never…) and interesting profiles of the different literary genres (thrillers and detective stories, science fiction, the western, exotic adventures…). When, in 1996, having reached its thirty-sixth issue, the Magazine was compelled to abandon its (too few) readers, Ken would not give up and emigrated onto the pages of two new collections according to the usual Bonelli pattern: Ken Parker Collezione - which presented the complete Ken Parker stories that had previously been published in installments in Ken Parker Magazine - and Ken Parker Speciale, which presented totally new and complete adventures every six months, containing no fewer than 180 pages about the tormented character. But in January 1998, even Ken Parker Speciale had to be pensioned off: but those who know Ken and love him shouldn't worry, because they are well aware that Lungo Fucile has a thousand lives, and that sooner or later he will once more set off on his journeys across that crepuscular West of which he was a pioneer!


Those who are familiar with the jargon of the real super-keen fans, or those who have inside knowledge of this field, would say that Legs Weaver is a spin-off, in other words a series whose protagonist was born on the pages of a different series, in which he or she played a supporting role. What is certain is that with the ebullient character she displays at every turn, Legs had fully deserved an album all of her own, where she can express with the greatest possible freedom - and finally as a genuine protagonist - all the energy and irony she had already exhibited as Nathan Never's companion of adventures. So, in 1995, her creators (Medda, Serra & Vigna) decided to tell a new adventure every month about Rebecca "Legs" Weaver all on her own, focusing more clearly on her many-sided personality. During the years she spends at the Rogers Academy, a sort of university where future special agents are trained, Rebecca meets Oliver Lawrence, one of its founders. She marries him, but shortly afterwards she is unjustly accused of her husband's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Blackwall prison. In 2091, when Edward Reiser founds the Agenzia Alfa, he asks Legs to become the first Alfa agent in exchange for her freedom. In 2093, in a mission that leads her to hunt down an art thief, she meets May Frayn. May agrees to join the Agenzia Alfa. This marks the beginning of their friendship and their decision to go and live together, and it's also the start of a long list of amazing, surprising escapades!

15 Ekim 2012 Pazartesi


GIL (1982)

A Vietnam veteran, Gil Moran is weary of violence and bloodshed and can no longer stand military orders and hierarchy, so he decides to live by the day, riding across America on his white horse. His adventures - admittedly somewhat symbolic, but nevertheless rich in current relevance - were an attempt to tune in certain problems (such as ecology) that were felt as burning issues in modern society, and also to raise general consciousness on these and other issues of current concern. However, the operation proved to be premature, and this series by the script-writer Ennio Missaglia and his brother, the illustrator Vladimiro Missaglia (with the assistance of the unerring hand of Ivo Pavone) failed to achieve the hoped-for success, and closed after barely a year of life.


Martin Jacques Mystère, who lives at number 3, Washington Mews, in New York, is a writer and archaeologist "of the impossible", constantly on a quest for the truth about the most controversial mysteries of the past, present and future. And who's his faithful companion? The Neanderthal Java, a real cave man, discovered by Martin in a prehistoric "niche" in Mongolia. Martin is perhaps the first comic book character to habitually use a personal computer and to consult the Internet (revealing by this and other characteristics that he is nothing short of a veritable alter-ego of his author, the script-writer Alfredo Castelli). Martin's path often crosses with that of the Uomini in Nero, a sort of ancient black-cloaked sect hostile to any discovery or hypothesis that might cast doubt on the Establishment or undermine mainstream culture. Another recurrent adversary of the "Detective of the impossible" is Sergej Orloff, a distorted mirror image of our hero. For Martin actually began his career as an archaeologist together with Orloff, and jointly they learned the teachings of the Tibetan master Kut Humi, before their paths dramatically split. Preparation of the character of Martin was rather labored: originally appearing (with the name of Allan Quatermain) in the weekly "SuperGulp", during the period prior to publication he was also given the name of Doc Robinson for a while, before coming out at news-stands with his present name, in the graphic rendering by the very accomplished Giancarlo Alessandrini. Martin Mystère is a character in constant evolution, who has evolved from a focus purely on archaeological research to the study of modern technology and hypotheses about the future, thereby developing in tune with a modern and extremely lively reading public. Indeed, Martin's readership is nothing short of a genuine "co-worker" of the series, helping to shape his fate through the numerous letters that daily arrive at the editorial office.


Kerry Scott quits Nantucket, in the United States of America, and goes to Yellowstone, in search of his father, who mysteriously disappeared in that area. When he gets there, the young hero of this story meets a number of strange characters (in constantly changing and unexpected situations): the bad-tempered Meryl, the enigmatic Queeg and the short-sighted McBull. Fascinated by the beauty of the unspoilt landscape of this area, the young man easily allows himself to be persuaded to become a trapper, and starts a new life in this marvelous region. One of the predominant features of the Kerry stories (which for a while appeared as an appendix to the adventures of Il Comandante Mark) is the presence of magic elements, very cleverly infused by the creator of the series, Tiziano Sclavi, who succeeded in reworking certain classical comic strip (and cinema) "Frontier" situations. Thus readers are presented with more credible and modern characters, who are, however, surrounded by an aura of the fantastic which now and then sends shivers down your back, prefiguring in its tones and narrative pace some of the main themes of the author's most successful creation, namely Dylan Dog. After Sclavi's launching of the Kerry series, authorship was partly taken over by Giorgio Pellizzari and Marcello Toninelli. The very carefully executed and particularly elegant artwork for this short series was by Marco Bianchini and the brothers Domenico and Stefano Di Vitto.


After a barrage of cannon balls has pounded her saloon and razed it to the round, the alluring Bella goes off with Bronco, a highly cultured Native American, and together they embark on a series of peregrinations in search of a stroke of luck that will "set them up for life" .In a Far West ravaged by the War of Succession, amid spies, paranoid officers, megalomaniac Indians, weird inventors, music-hall sailors and Chinamen, the amusing pair use their fists, spray bullets all over the place and race around under the clever and tongue-in-cheek guidance of Gino D'Antonio, who created the script and some of the artwork for this hilarious series. Its witty tone made use of the pattern of the "hero and the flashy beauty" already tried out by D'Antonio himself (with artwork by Ferdinando Tacconi) in a couple of issues of the collection "Un Uomo, un'Avventura". Here the model was enriched with a most amazing assortment of citations, from "Flash Gordon" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The graphic rendering for Bella & Bronco was entrusted to the highly effective hand of Renato Polese, who was perfectly at his ease in this western comedy, and also to Alessandro Chiarolla, the Cassaro twins and Giovanni Freghieri. The only feature lacking in this amusing series was popularity. After sixteen issues, our two irrepressible heroes had to give up in the face of an unbeatable enemy: the public, who were probably disconcerted by the ironic and "irreverent" tone of the stories.

DYLAN DOG (1986)

He is the best investigator in his field - not least because he is the only one. London newspapers often define him as a "charlatan", or even a "con man": he is accused of deceiving people by exploiting their credulity and gullibility, people's tendency to believe in the supernatural, because he won't agree to investigate normal cases. He will only take on mysteries that are usually written off as figments of the imagination or hallucinations. Ghosts, zombies, werewolves, all sorts of monsters. Arcane creatures, dark and murky goings-on, inexplicable happenings. But in actual fact Dylan Dog is simply a man who is trying to understand fear, horror, nightmares. Fears and nightmares that his clients have, but his own as well. And his adventures are journeys into the most obscure and secret labyrinths of the human mind, so that the nightmare may vanish and become just a dream… Dylan Dog is definitely an extraordinary case within the history of Italian comics. A highly innovative character (at least as much so as Ken Parker) both on the plane of graphics and in the narrative story-line, within a few years this series achieved the most amazing success precisely at a time when the comic strip market was experiencing severe sales difficulties. Much of the credit must certainly go to the surprising scripts by the creator of this character, Tiziano Sclavi: through a re-elaboration of horror themes and macabre elements, Sclavi managed to tune in to hidden wavelengths of his young readers, in a period of increasing disaffection among the younger generation, who were less and less inclined to engage in reading, even comic strips. Dylan Dog, the "Investigator of Nightmares", is 'assisted' (in a manner of speaking) by Groucho, a likeable nutter whose appearance and surreal humor recalls that of the actor Groucho Marx. Other characters who play a fairly important role in the series are Inspector Bloch of Scotland Yard (constantly about to go into retirement), the diabolical Professor Xabaras, Dylan's father and, at the same time, his adversary. Determinedly rejecting any semblance of traditional structure, Sclavi provides very little information about his characters and their past, focusing attention instead on the developing story and the exciting sequence of events, rendered with cinematographic technique through extended sequences that are sustained by convincing and thoroughly modern dialogue. The image of the tall, dark and handsome hero, a man of few words (modeled on the actor Rupert Everett), as well as the romantic atmosphere and themes of many of the adventures, had the result of winning over a notable percentage of the female reading public, making this the first time that Bonellian comics had found favor with the fair sex.


As had already been the case for the legendary Collana Rodeo in the Seventies, TuttoWest was also an anthology, created so that some of the most celebrated "Bonellian" heroes of the Fifties and Sixties could be presented to the younger generation (as well as being refreshed in the minds of the faithful readers for whom, in the past, they had already become familiar and much-loved figures) . TuttoWest, as Sergio Bonelli wrote in one of the columns where he answered his readers' letters, "will be a door thrown open wide into the world of adventure, and a way to bring the "golden years" of Italian comics back to life today. Characterized then as now by the "epoch-making" signature of G. L. Bonelli, TuttoWest will give you a chance to make the acquaintance of virtually all of his extra-Tex production…". Delving into this almost inexhaustible goldmine of inventions and imagination, the forty-five issues of TuttoWest rediscovered several unforgettable little gems (Hondo, Il Cavaliere del Texas, El Kid, Kociss…), which were followed by equally important "period" mini-series such as "Gordon Jim" and "La Pattuglia dei Bufali" by Roy D'May, and "Il Giudice Bean", with a script by the still young Guido Nolitta. Plus one novelty: the brief saga of River Bill, an amusing fresh-water sailor, begun by Nolitta and then completed by Mauro Boselli, with artwork by the venerable Francesco Gamba.


Devoted to the high-risk exploits of a New York Homicide Squad agent, the Nick Raider series filled what risked becoming a veritable gap in the Italian comic strip market. Not since the times of "Pattuglia dei senza paura" (1948) had our Publishing House produced an album specifically focusing on investigative themes. Structured on the same basis as the 87th Precinct novels (by the American author Ed McBain) and television series such as "Starsky & Hutch", Nick's adventures proved be to much appreciated by the vast reading public keen on detective stories. The contents, created by Claudio Nizzi who had already authored a number of successful Tex episodes, range from pure investigative mysteries to action-packed thrillers, without ever neglecting the need for a proper plot and logical coherence. To complete the picture, there are a number of other characters who cooperate with Nick in ensuring the positive outcome of the investigations: for instance his black partner Marvin Brown, who is always ready to "shoot" out a salvo of wisecracks, old Lieutenant Rayan, gruff yet likeable, Captain Vance, constantly contending with his tyrannical wife, the young bespectacled Jimmy, the little informer Alfie, the huge Lieutenant Bowmann of the police laboratory and the garrulous Doctor Blum, the forensic pathologist

11 Ekim 2012 Perşembe



This splendid collection of large-sized publications was prompted by the desire of Sergio Bonellli and the script-writer-cum-illustrator Rino Albertarelli to "round out" some of the characters of the epic stories of the West who, in the comic strip albums, were often treated with a certain insouciance as compared to the true historical course of events, because the albums necessarily gave priority to the theme of adventure. The outcome of this new undertaking, which offered veritable biographies of the characters, was a series of some of the finest comics ever published in Italy. Albertarelli conducted in-depth documentary research (and each album listed an exhaustive bibliography of the works consulted to write the book) and succeeded in transferring the real feel and historical background of the Frontier onto his pages. He freed "legendary" characters such as General Custer or the Apache chief, Geronimo, from the aura of the fantastic they had acquired in popular imagination, he restored them to their rightful setting in History and provided a reliable interpretation of their lives, which is still considered valid today. So we find Billy the Kid, Sitting Bull, Wyatt Earp and many many others coming to life through the splendid cartoon pages of the great illustrator, in drawings rich in detail and amazingly realistic, inspired as they were by the testimony of the (rare) period photographs. It is here that we finally become acquainted with the real face of those who, for better or for worse, created the myth of the Far West. After Albertarelli passed away, the ambitious project, which was too closely linked to his personality and his graphic style, was abandoned, and the series closed with album number 10, dedicated to Hermann Lehmann, the white man who lived among the Indians and refused ever to renounce his Indian nationality. Albertarelli had managed to provide illustrations for only forty-three pages of this story, so the album was completed by Sergio Toppi, who wished thereby to offer his own magnificent graphic talent as a tribute to his great late lamented colleague.

MISTER NO (1975)

Jerry Drake, a former American military pilot who earned himself the nickname of Mister No during the Second World War on account of his rebellious nature, decides to abandon his own country, the ideals of which he no longer shares, and to go to ground in Brazil, amid the shanty-town hovels of Manaus, a city that retains only a few buildings testifying to its ancient splendor. A drifter in our "civilized" world, in Amazonia Mister No finds a lifestyle that suits him, and happily "changes his spots" by becoming a sort of "tourist operator" who hires out his dilapidated old plane, a Piper, as well as his own skills as a pilot, to tourists or anyone else who might need him. Our hero lives from day to day, trying to keep out of trouble (but the latter regularly ferrets him out), running after some skirt or other or spending his evenings over a good few glasses of cachaça with his friends, one of the most important of these being the German Kruger, known as EsseEsse. While Jerry Drake's adventures maintain a rigidly realistic structure, they have ranged over virtually all the genres of popular fiction, from pure action to detective stories, touching on science fiction and high comedy, at times dragging the character out of his "natural" environment and propelling him as far as Italy, Africa and the United States. But there is also no lack of episodes about the character's past, from his youth in the Thirties up to the war, and then also during his subsequent years as a drifter wandering all over the world, up to his definitive stopping point in Manaus, in the nineteen-fifties). The character Mister No is the work of Guido Nolitta, alias Sergio Bonelli, to whom this series offered an opportunity to convey his immense love for an environment that is perhaps the last remaining place where one can plausibly have a real present-day adventure. In this respect, Nolitta was vastly ahead of his time, prefiguring some of the ecological themes that are widely felt today. Provided with initial sketches by Bonelli's various co-workers, the character was then defined by the elegant hand of Roberto Diso, whose lively and attractive illustrations succeeded magnificently in depicting the natural scenery that forms the back-cloth to this unconventional pilot's adventures.

AKIM (1976)

A character created in 1950 by the script-writer Roberto Renzi, with artwork by Augusto Pedrazza, Akim is a "tarzanid" who, for years, was the mainstay of the publications of the Tomasin press. After surviving a shipwreck that causes the death of his father (Count Rank, the British consul in Calcutta), little Jim finds himself alone with his mother, lost in an unknown land. His mother is then killed by a panther, while the little child is rescued by a gorilla, who brings him up as if he were its own offspring. After this decidedly "Burroughsian" beginning, Akim grows up but is still faithfully accompanied by the gorilla Kar and the little monkey Zig. He then faces all sorts of adventures and has to contend with mad scientists, ruthless hunters, monstrous and terrible spies. The characterizing element of this story is the fact that the animals in the comic "talk" just like humans (although Akim is the only one who can understand them). This series was quite successful abroad (in particular in France), and was continued in Italy in 1976 by the Altamira publishing house (which later merged with Sergio Bonelli Editore). The same creative team was maintained unchanged, and was joined by Pini Segna, who contributed a special freshness of graphic design. In this renewed series, Akim's origins were modified, representing our hero as the sole survivor of an air crash; this marked the beginning of a "historic" character of Italian comics, who is still remembered affectionately by many eager fans. The new series came to an end in 1980, after forty-eight issues, at which point the character was ceded to the Quadrifoglio press, which continued the series up to issue number 84.


This is a luxury series in color, based on a project of the publisher Sergio Bonelli (with Decio Canzio as editor) designed to demonstrate the narrative and graphic potential of a medium, namely comic strips, so often cold-shouldered by "high-brow" criticism. Each album, created by the greatest Italian illustrators and script-writers (with the occasional presence of foreign authors), addressed a different historical period, describing it through the adventures of a man who becomes the symbol of the era and place in which the given story is set. Starting out from this perspective, thirty albums were composed, clearly showing that when comics are supported by adequate resources, they constitute a medium that is not only capable of addressing extremely serious themes (as in the album "L'Uomo del Sud", devoted to brigandage, by Alarico Gattia, to mention just one), but can also broaden its horizons and look towards new graphic and narrative approaches, as was the case in L'Uomo della Somalia" by Hugo Pratt, or in "L'Uomo di Canudos" by the Brazilian writer Jô Oliveira. Among other albums of great interest within this series, mention should certainly be made of those by Attilio Micheluzzi "L'Uomo del Tanganyka" and "L'Uomo del Khyber"), which gave an exceptionally precise reconstruction of the environment, and those by the great Sergio Toppi ("L'Uomo del Nilo", "L'Uomo del Messico", and "L'Uomo delle paludi"), whose "open" page allowed the mind to range beyond the confines of the illustrated page. Other significant contributions include the work of Giancarlo Berardi and Ivo Milazzo, who gave a fine portrayal of the revolt in the Philippines in 1902, and that of Bonvi, with a rather unusual chronicle of the battle of Tsushima between Russia and Japan in 1905. And one cannot fail to mention the work by Gino D'Antonio, sometimes as sole creator - for instance in "L'Uomo del Deserto" - and at times with the assistance of Ferdinando Tacconi ("L'Uomo del Deserto" and "L'Uomo di Rangoon"), with Guido Buzzelli ("L'Uomo del Bengala") or with Renato Polese ("L'Uomo di Pechino") were actually some of the best stories of those years. Other prestigious names appearing within the series are Aurelio Galleppini ("L'Uomo del Texas"), Guido Crepax ("L'Uomo di Pskov" and "L'Uomo di Harlem"), Milo Manara ("L'Uomo delle nevi"), Giancarlo Alessandrini ("L'Uomo di Chicago", Fernando Fernandez ("L'Uomo di Cuba"), Enric Siò ("L'Uomo delle Piramidi") and Robert Gigi ("L'Uomo del Giappone"). For the sake of completeness, it is appropriate also to mention the issues containing "L'Uomo del Klondike" (Gattia) and another three fascinating stories by Pratt: "L'Uomo del Sertão", "L'Uomo dei Caraibi", and "L'Uomo del Grande Nord". Finally, a mention of the two issues containing "L'Uomo della Legione" and "L'Uomo del New England", highly polished works by the unforgettable Dino Battaglia.


Ken Parker appears before us on a rainy day towards the end of 1868. A character "in the process of becoming" created by the script-writer Giancarlo Berardi and the illustrator Ivo Milazzi, he is destined to lose his brother at the beginning of the story, and to end up among the Hunkpapa Indians after losing all memory of who he is. While living among the Indians he takes the gentle Tecumseh as his wife, only to see her die, after which he sends little Theba (the son he acquired through marriage) to Boston; not until some years later does Ken decide to join Theba in the big city - where he finds his son almost grown-up - but he soon has to leave again. While this story started out as a traditional Western, it soon turned out to be an acquired taste for connoisseurs, and became increasingly transformed into a testing-ground for creative experiments by the duo Berardi-Milazzo. The difficulty of regularly producing stories of an adequate qualitative level forced the authors to close the monthly album and to try other alternatives, for instance publication in various container-magazines, or, later, in large-size color albums; eventually, in 1989, Berardi and Milazzo set up their own do-it-yourself press, Parker Editore, with which they proceeded, first, to publish a complete reprint of the fifty-nine issues of Ken Parker (in the Collana Serie Oro), and later to launch their own journal , "Ken Parker Magazine" (1992), which was to be taken over by Sergio Bonelli Editore two years later. But we will provide further details about this phase of the story a little later on… In any case, Ken Parker marked a turning-point in the western comic genre (and not only in this genre), both as regards its progressive-minded themes and also its innovative language.

JUDAS (1979)

Judas, whose real name is Alan Scott, used to be a bandit, but after his girl-friend Vivien's death during a robbery in which he took part, he delivered himself and his cronies to justice (thereby earning himself the epithet of Judas). After serving his time in jail, he joins the Pinkerton agency to fight against delinquency. He longs to redeem himself and compensate for the wrongs he committed in the past, because he is sorely tormented by the memory of Vivien and is constantly plagued by the name he has been branded with, which forces him to life a life of loneliness and hatred in which even his colleagues shun him. This series aimed to offer a presentation in the by now classical "giant" format, reviving stylemes and themes already well tested in the popular weeklies of the preceding years, especially since the Italian western was enjoying a great vogue at that time. But despite the good scripts by Ennio Missaglia and the well-drawn illustrations by his brother Vladimiro and by the talented hand of Ivo Pavone, this series was not favorably received by the reading public, and closed after sixteen issues.

10 Ekim 2012 Çarşamba



A French merchant vessel sinks off the Atlantic coast of North America, and only a boy and an old man survive. Given a fraternal welcome by the Indians, the pair live with them for many years. Growing up with the name of Mark and called "Wolf" by the Native Americans, the hero of this series, in adulthood, embraces the causes of the American rebels in their struggle against the English domination. A large number of colonists cluster around him, all eager to fight the hated Redcoats, and they set up a sort of small irregular army that becomes known as the "Lupi dell'Ontario" ['Ontario Wolves'], commanded by the courageous Mark. The protagonist is surrounded by several interesting supporting figures: the pessimist Gufo Triste, the massive Mister Bluff and Marks' eternal fiancée, Betty. But the dog Flok deserves a special mention as one of the most successful comic elements of these stories. The series, whose reprints are achieving notable success even today, was a creation of the team Giovanni Sinchetto/Dario Guzzon/Pietro Sartoris, the famous EsseGesse trio who were by now highly experienced. Its enduring popularity shows that a well orchestrated product of constant quality is a perfect recipe for long-lasting popularity.


A hero with fiery red hair, an expert at disguises and an infallible marksman, Alan Mistero saw the light in a series of weekly albums published by his creators, the trio Sartoris-Sinchetto-Guzzon, better known as EsseGesse. The series later reappeared, published by the Araldo press, as an appendix to Il Comandante Mark. In line with the habitual canons of its authors, the likeable avenger was flanked in his adventures by two"comic relief chracters": the sophisticated Conte and the greedy Polpetta.

GUN FLINT (1966)

Nominated special agent for the repression of banditry in the West by President Lincoln himself, Gun Flint, in the company of a friendly tramp called Dakota, decides to continue his mission even after the president's assassination, thus turning into a wandering avenger. Written by Maurizio Torelli, this brief saga (which appeared as an appendix to Il Comandante Mark) was at first illustrated by Franco Bignotti, whose work was then continued by Enzo Magni (better known as the pictorial portrayer of the character of Pantera Bionda), when the title of the series was changed to Gun Jim.

RED BUCK (1966)

A short series reflecting the atmosphere of the famous book "North-West Passage" (the protagonist's nickname, Wobi Madaondo, White Devil, was also taken over from the main character of the book). In North America prior to the War of Independence, we find Red Buck, a very skillful border-man, and the funny Ulisse, of French origin, who fulfils the role of comic relief. With scripts by Cesare Melloncelli and the graphic rendering of Sergio Tarquinio, this character appeared in issues nr. 3 and 4 of the Nuova Collana Araldo.


The Collana Rodeo set of publications has the great merit (which could without exaggeration be called "historic", at least in the framework of Italian comics) of having presented some of the best comics ever published in Italy. In addition to the grandiose Storia del West (which will be described in further detail below), the Collana Rodeo albums included the reprints of some cult stories (such as Gordon Jim, Il Sergente York, Un ragazzo nel Far West) and a number of stories never published before. Among the latter, several rather unusual albums created by G. L. Bonelli deserve a special note. First and foremost, the science fiction story Judok, a sort of "Tex in Space", wonderfully illustrated by Giovanni Ticci, and then the fine detective series "Rick Master", whose protagonist is a likeable late nineteenth-century American detective, for which the artwork was created initially by Letteri and then later by Tarquinio. Turning to other stories, an interesting case among previously unpublished characters is that of Joselito, written and illustrated by Armando Monasterolo. Joselito Herralde is a young torero who, together with the likeable journalist Nick Dundee, finds himself caught up willy-nilly in the Mexican revolution. The series with Joselito as the protagonist continued for a total of seven issues. The Collana Rodeo also featured a number of extremely interesting stories that were self-contained within a single album. Here are a few of the most significant examples: "Il mestiere di spia", a spy story written by Andrea Mantelli and illustrated by Roberto Diso,; "L'esploratore scomparso", an album drawing its inspiration from the search for Livingstone, written by Decio Canzio and illustrated by Alfio Ticci; "Wyatt Doyle", a western story with a script by Giancarlo Berardi and artwork by Giovanni Forgiarini; "Requiem per un legionario", also by Andrea Mantelli, with artwork by Renato Polese. Worthy of note is also the story "L'astronave perduta", a wonderful science fiction adventure, written by Giorgio Pezzin and illustrated by Luigi Corteggi, who for years was the highly competent art-director of Sergio Bonelli Editore. To conclude, two final citations: the stories "La ferita da un milione" and "Guadalcanal", both of which appeared as an appendix to the reprint of Yuma Kid, illustrated by the great Hugo Pratt and written by the Argentinean script-writer Hector Oesterheld.


Young Brett MacDonald, arriving in America towards the beginning of the nineteenth century, takes part in the famous Lewis and Clark expedition which made its way through the uncharted lands of North America and eventually reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean, opening up the West to the thousands of adventurers who would radiate outwards to conquer new territory. After meeting and marrying the Indian girl Sicaweja, Brett decides to stay in the unspoilt lands of the West. The couple later die in the siege of Alamo, leaving a son, Pat, who, together with his own children, eventually becomes the focal point of all the salient events of this epic saga of the Far West. A saga which, in this comic strip version , appeared for the first time as part of the Collana Rodeo, subdivided into seventy-three highly exciting episodes. Brought to its conclusion in 1980, the series was reprinted in 1984 in a new version, which presented all the original episodes, revised and corrected, as well as two entirely new stories (at the beginning of the great saga), thereby giving greater scope to historical events that had previously been treated somewhat superficially. The aim of this complex historical fresco - an aim which it most certainly accomplished - was to offer a fuller and truer picture, albeit within the limits posed by fictional narration, of an era that both the world of comics and cinema usually address (or rather, used to address) in a fairly superficial and convention manner (at times, even with a partisan spirit). The script for the entire work was composed by Gino D'Antonio, while the artwork was contributed by some of the most highly skilled Italian professional illustrators, including D'Antonio himself, Renzo Calegari, Renato Polese, Sergio Tarquinio, Giorgio Trevisan and the Spaniard Luis Bermejo.