Monday, July 31, 2006

A tribute to Dylan Dog

And when night, darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. (J. Milton)

From out of Italy comes this comic book featuring a rather bizarrely named London private eye, DYLAN DOG. And it isn't just his name that's rather peculiar. For Dylan specializes in the strange and inexplicable world of the supernatural and occult. Accompanied by his trusty sidekick / assistant / butler, Groucho (who seems to be the ghost or at least the reincarnation of a rather famous comedian: Groucho Marx), Dylan looks into some pretty squirrelly business, often involving werewolves, vampires, ghosts and all sorts of demons and devils of our time and age–he is a penniless nightmare investigator who defies the whole preceding horror tradition with a vein of surrealism and an anti-bourgeois rhetoric: the true monsters in many of these stories are human beings–all while using simple detective work to crack cases. He's also an endless romantic, regularly interrupting investigations for a nostalgic horror film d’essai or very simply for a date, during which he will undauntedly fall desperately in love.

Created in October 1986 by Tiziano Sclavi, Dylan Dog, is a comic book character shaped for Sergio Bonelli Publishing. Dylan Dog is the most celebrated protagonist of an Italian horror series. In this case, though, "horror" is a limiting definition: in actual fact, Dylan Dog's adventures have always alternated traditional horror with numerous "tributes" to the classical monsters (Frankenstein, the Werewolf, Dracula and many others), with a passing nod to the modern splatter of movies by Dario Argento and George Romero as well. There are also numerous references to the surreal and the fantastic, but always with a pronounced vein of irony, so that over the years the series has evolved into a sort of sophisticated horror comedy. By virtue of this special blend of ingredients, Dylan Dog has undergone a constant development, - slowly at first and then gathering pace until it exploded into a veritable cult phenomenon, becoming the most widely sold comic strip in Italy: it has achieved over a million copies a month, considering both previously unpublished stories and reprints*.

* Sergio Bonelli Editore

6 Comments:

Blogger Leon said...

Sounds like something I'd like to read, or if it gets popular enough, be made into a movie.

1:38 AM  
Blogger melinda said...

interesting. the thing that strikes me right away is how different the illustration style is from japanese manga (comics). it looks almost painterly. the content sounds intriguing as well. of course, over here in japan, there are comics covering just about every topic that you can imagine, from the mundane - say, the antics of a pair of cats - to the most bizarre fetishes (decency prevents me from mentioning them here).

3:58 AM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

Funnily enough, they already have made a movie out of that Leon: Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109592/

11:53 AM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

Oh yes, the Italian fumetti (comics) are, from a stylistic point of view, completely different from the Japanese Manga and Hentai.

“(decency prevents me from mentioning them here).”
Prego prego, sentiti libera di dire quello che vuoi… (By all means, please fell free to say whatever you like).

11:57 AM  
Blogger melinda said...

oh, but i'm still a lady.

shaman, you are so sly. i knew you were doing some secret nihongo no renshuu (practice) - mou sugu shaman-san no hou ga hanseru you ni naru ka na. pretty soon you'll be speaking more japanese than me.

do you ever read manga?

btw, thanks for your nice comment - i was bummed that i had to activate word-ver, but i was more bummed that someone had spammed me!

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ti lascio un salutino...
Quando tornerai a trovarci???
Hugs and kisses,
Mari

2:30 PM  

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