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 MYSTÈRE (1982)
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 IL TRAPPER (1983)
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.
BELLA & BRONCO (1984)
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)