Original title: Dylan Dog
Characters: Dylan Dog, Groucho, Bloch, Jenkins, Lord HG Wells ,, Death, Lord Chester, Madame Trelkovski, Professor Adam, Geoffrey M. Gideon,
Author: Tiziano Sclavi
Sergio Bonelli Editore|
Year: September 26
Gender: Horror comic
Recommended age: Teenagers aged 13 to 19
With the first issue published in 1986 "The dawn of the living dead" for DAIM PRESS (today Sergio Bonelli Editore), what is born, in addition to a normal comic series, will become a real Italian publishing and cultural phenomenon of the late 900s : Dylan Dog. Despite the tepid initial, soon thanks to word of mouth from the first readers, this character created by the brilliant Tiziano Sclavi, is followed by very young and not, even strangers to the world of comics, this is because the series is not a simple horror or splatter (also if some scenes would make us suppose), but often it becomes a journey inside our fears, our unconscious and what manifests itself with our dreams and nightmares, not surprisingly Dylan Dog he works as a nightmare investigator as a profession. His agency is located in an apartment in London, on Craven Road 7and his clients are always people who have been victims of a supernatural "mystery", people who would never go and tell the police about their misadventures as they would not be believed or would be taken for crazy, since they have seen ghosts with their eyes , monsters, witches, vampires, devils and the most paranormal there can be. Dylan Dog (whose face resembles that of actor Rupert Everet) is a former alcoholic, former Scotland Yard agent, perennially dressed in jeans with a red shirt and black jacket and his favorite hobbies are playing the clarinet and patiently building the model of a galleon, which perhaps will never end. Often the figure of the galleon appears in his dreams as a sort of metaphor, a dream symbol that allows him to travel in the imagination and the unconscious. In his agency he is helped by his faithful assistant Groucho
(perfect double of the comedian Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers) who with his terrible sense of humor and his puns, leads customers to get irritated. Groucho's practical help is to throw the gun at Dylan Dog in moments of difficulty, (a kind of catchphrase that almost reminds us of the spinach thrown by Olivia at Arm wrestlingotherwise, the help of this trusted assistant and inseparable friend is practically nil.
Dylan Dog does not do his job for money or calculation, but driven by a strong passion (and fear) for supernatural phenomena and for the taste of the unknown. This passion distinguishes him in all the things he does and in particular with women. Dylan Dog he loved and loves an infinity of women and even if the first impulse has always been that of sex, all of them have represented universal love for him. Among these we remember the fascinating and enigmatic
Morgana (which actually seems to be the mother who lived in another era), Anna Never an actress, a faded and distracted photomodel, Lillie Connolly an Irish redhead star of the book "Until death do you part"with whom he always marries in a dreamlike atmosphere, exchanging toy rings found in chips. Another inseparable character from the Dylan Dog stories and who represents attachment to the real world is Inspector Bloch, a former colleague and "teacher" of Dylan since Scotland Yard. Despite not having approved the choice of our protagonist to leave the police to devote himself to the supernatural, he is always willing to help him, Dylan in turn reciprocates when he is called into question in solving those cases where cold rationality cannot give an explanation. But despite the thousand adventures, the inspector will never believe these phenomena even having seen them with his own eyes and in this he represents all the rational people who reject the dream and the a priori fantasy. But how do you rationally reject a truth like the Death? In fact this is the number one enemy of our protagonist (and alas of all of us), who is depicted with the classic medieval image (remember the famous song by Angelo Branduardi "Ballo in F sharp"?), Skeleton and scythe with cassock and black hood, which accompanies her stories, talks with her and plays chess with her (as in the famous film by Ingmar Bergman "The seventh seal").
But the most complex and enigmatic enemy, protagonist of the most beautiful stories of the series, "Dawn of the Living Dead" and "History of Nobody" is undoubtedly Xabaras, a biologist who for his spasmodic search for the serum of immortality is willing to awaken the dead and turn them into zombies, in an attempt to capture their souls. Who instead represents the classic "Black man" of our childhood fears is without a doubt Mana Cerace, also protagonist of beautiful episodes that analyze the unconscious of each of us. One of my favorite books is definitely "Mephistopheles"the story of a man who, after awakening from a coma, loses his soul and embodies the devil, takes revenge for all the wrongs suffered in the past by people who are insensitive to his life. Monsters are often not fear but tenderness, in fact most of the time they represent the excluded, the marginalized, the different. The case of "Johnny Freak"(scripted by Mauro Marcheselli), what readers have called the most beautiful story of the series. While not slipping into the science fiction genre Dylan Dog he also encountered aliens, seen almost as divine messengers. But if we were to analyze the best stories scripted by Tiziano Sclavi, we will surely encounter great difficulties because, especially for the first 100 issues, each story leaves a deep meaning and a food for thought towards the very meaning of life and what lies hidden. behind its dark side. The genius of this horror genre also consists in making it clear that horror can arise from common everyday things: an illness, madness, overprotectiveness of parents. Often the fantastic stories of our protagonist are a pretext to talk about very hot real issues such as marginalization, racism, drugs, vivisection, alcoholism, so much so that it is used as the testimonial of several advertising campaigns sponsored by the government, against the use of drugs and against racism. The cartoon of Dylan Dog it is however revolutionary from many points of view, for example the narration through images, with the use at times of triangular cartoons, always subordinated to the narration and never ends in themselves, or the stories, with the grotesque that often seems to clash with stories dramatic and tragic, but which helps to dismantle clichés and try to transform horror by giving it another aspect, almost a metaphysical explanation.
To remember the beautiful sequence of cartoons that on "Nobody's Story" tells the life of any man without dialogue. It is no coincidence that this comic has been taken into consideration by intellectuals of the caliber of Umberto Eco and by other respectable writers and journalists. All the same of this enormous success Tiziano Sclavi, is always surprised. But it is no coincidence that this author is considered by many to be a sort of Italian Stephen King, in fact his literary production also boasts about ten novels, one of which in particular "Dellamorte Dellamore" has been transformed into a horror film, directed by director Michele Soavi, and has also had a lot of appreciation in the United States from directors such as Martin Scorsese and Tarantino. Before inventing the character of Dylan Dog, Tiziano Sclavi wrote several stories of Bonelli and non-Bonelli characters, let's remember Zagar, Mister No, Martyn Myster and Ken Parker.
But to the success of the noir character of Dylan Dog contributed by real masters of chiaroscuro and ink drawing such as: Angelo Stano (who also participated as an actor drawn in the episode "Morgana") from the stroke that recalls the great painter Schiele is also the author of the covers after Claudius Villa, its graphic creator, Conrad Roi , splendid in the nuanced shades with the use of the sponge that recall Dino Battaglia's designs, but which manage to be completely original and perfectly functional to the dramatic and dreamlike atmospheres of the Dylandogian world, Giampiero Casertano velvety and vigorous black, Bruno Brindisi with sweet faces and an elegant sign, but also Carlo Ambrosini,
Louis Piccato, Andrea Venturi, Piero Dall'Agnoland, Gustavo Trigo designers with an instinctive and fast sign, or even Nicholas Mari certainly more at ease with these atmospheres than those of Nathan Never (although with the latter character he created some graphic masterpieces), the duo should also be remembered Montanari & Grassani very fast authors of most of the stories. For the screenplays, Tiziano Sclavi joined: Claudius Chiaverotti,Gianfranco Manfredi, Mauro Marcheselli,
Pasquale Lipstick and many other great authors dthe Bonelli house.
Dylan Dog is copyright Sergio Bonelli Editore all names and images are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.