Everyone knows Batman and Superman, they are probably the most famous comic characters in the world. In the last 10 - 15 years, thanks to Hollywood, also names such as Marvel & DC became popular again and a new wave of comic lovers is growing up. But how is it possible that an Italian comic is selling in Italy more than Spiderman comics in the whole Noth America?
In this article we will start our journey through the world of Italian 'Fumetti', a tradition more than a simple genre, that helped to shape the Italian pop culture of the last century.
Dylan Dog is a creation of the author Tiziano Sclavi, published for the first time in October 1986. The story tells about Dylan, a private paranormal investigator every month involved in different supernatural cases. Dylan is a Londoner, he is in his 30s, and before becoming a paranormal PI he worked for Scotland Yard. He is described as a playboy with many different phobias. The stories are a mix of horror, surreal, and sometimes comic events. The protagonist is helped by his sidekick Groucho (directly inspired to Groucho Marx) and they fight against werewolves, ghosts, demons, and nightmares. The stories are filled with suspense, references to politics, pop culture, and drag the reader into a terrifying and foggy imaginary world.
One of the most interesting aspects of this comic regards his writer, Tiziano Sclavi. The writer depicts detailed descriptions of London, you will find pubs, streets that you probably have walked on, and names such as '7 Crave Road', Dylan's home/office address but he has never been to London, or anywhere else in the UK! Dylan is a fictional character that contains his fears and nightmares but it also happened to be the second most-read 'fumetto' in Italy.
Dylan Dog, published by Bonelli editore, sells somewhere between 110-120 thousand copies each month - more than Batman or Superman in the US!!!. Another curious fact is that while in the US comics tend to be around 20 pages per issue, in Italy the most common format is around 90/100 pages per issue. Dylan Dog produces almost 4000 pages per year (between regular series and specials) and that is the highest number in the world for comic pages produced each year.
Issues of Dylan Dog can be found translated into English (in the UK it was published for a short period of time by Dark Horse) and, even if you find it in Italian I would highly advise you to read it! If you liked this article leave a comment, follow us on our social media pages or subscribe to our monthly newsletter! And stay tuned for new articles on Italian comics & graphic novels!