Who is Dylan Dog

Groucho and the others

Groucho and the others

His crazy assistant Groucho, Inspector Bloch,the colorful Lord H.G. Wells, the stray Botolo…

Groucho, is not only Dylan's best friend, but he is also officially his assistant, although he doesn't really have very much to do, and if he could, he would do even less. Basically, his only task is to throw over to his boss, when the appropriate moment comes, the old pistol that Groucho is entrusted with keeping. But Groucho manages to get even this simple task wrong: he forgets to load the pistol, or else he can't find it as the crucial moment ("Maybe I sent it to the laundry") or, sometimes, he throws it too hard and hits Dylan full in the face. Of an indefinable age, a former actor (but as far as we know he only ever acted in one film in which he impersonated Groucho Marx, whose "mask" he has retained), Groucho never really takes anything seriously; he butts into conversations at the wrong moment, he irritates and scares away probable clients, who are more "terrified" by his stupid facetious remarks than by the monsters and ghosts; also, he makes passes at any pretty girl who happens to stray into his vicinity, even if things hardly ever work out, in contrast to Dylan ("But what is it with you and women, what do you do to them to make them all fall at your feet? Do you trip them up?" Groucho is a sort of "concentrate" of various types of humor, from that of the Marx Brother - as suggested by his name - to that of Woody Allen, including, along the way, the movies by John Landis ("Animal House, "The Blues Brothers") and those by Abrahams and Zucker ("Airplane, "Top Secret!"), without neglecting the great tradition of American comedy in which Neil Simon was one of the most celebrated script-writers. Apparently "useless" for the plot (although there are times when it is precisely Groucho himself who ends up - possibly by mistake - finding the key to unravel the mystery), Groucho is in actual fact an extremely important presence. Admittedly, Dylan's irony already contributes to alleviating the grisly atmospheres and the most gory scenes, but it is Groucho who perfectly counterbalances the horror with his demential comedy, made of jokes, quips in rapid succession, eccentric and quirky comments ("All this is more absurd than a squinting Cyclops!"), and, at times, a pinch of smart wisdom ("Who knows what's going to happen?… I'm very interested in the future: that's where I'll be spending the rest of my life").
                  
Inspector Bloch, of Scotland yard, was Dylan's "master" during the earlier days when Dylan was a freshly enrolled policeman; the inspector has become very fond of Dylan and has in a sense "adopted" him almost like a step-son. So the friendship between them is like a paternal friendship, although is it masked by the gruff manners of Inspector Bloch, who gives the impression of being indifferent to everything except to his much longed-for pension. He was bitterly upset when Dylan decided to leave the police force, just as he also disapproves of his so-called profession as an "Investigator of Nightmares", which he regards as contrary to his logical and rational spirit. But this doesn't mean that Bloch no longer considers himself Dylan's friend. quite the opposite: although Bloch doesn't believe in the occult at all, he always tries to help his old trainee in any way he possibly can. Even at the risk of losing that famous pension, given that his superiors, in particular the Superintendent, are decidedly hostile towards Dylan (they feel he brought dishonor on Scotland Yard by starting to work as a "quack" - to use the quaint terminology favored by the press). Dylan, for his part, does his best to be friendly and helpful towards his friend and "father", intervening whenever Bloch is facing inexplicable cases, which are a real challenge to his faith in rationality. And what very often happens is that each of them finds his own solution to the mystery: Bloch's solution is typically realistic, while Dylan's is typically supernatural. Which of them is right? Perhaps both…
            
There are also many recurrent characters in the Dylan stories, i.e. characters who, while not being "fixed "elements of each story, nevertheless appear quite frequently in the Dylan Dog stories. Here are the main ones:

Lord H.G. Wells. Fantastically rich and eccentric, he has profound knowledge and interest in all fields, from IT to magic, from philosophy to artificial intelligence. With his inventions and his theories that verge on (and indeed very often cross the border into) science fiction, he has contributed to solving numerous cases.     

Jenkins
. A Scotland Yard Agent, often Bloch's "comic foil", he has absolutely no sense of humor or irony, he takes everything quite literally, including wisecracks and paradoxes. Almost always the inspector, exasperated, sends him back to direct the traffic.
Botolo. A stray dog, extremely intelligent. He has helped and often saved Dylan in many adventures.