1986

Dylan Dog

Dylan Dog

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.