History of the publishing house

History of the publishing house
  • 1982

    Gil

    A Vietnam veteran, Gil Moran is weary of violence and bloodshed and can no longer stand military orders and hierarchy, so he decides to live by the day, riding across America on his white horse. His adventures - admittedly somewhat symbolic, but nevertheless rich in current relevance - were an attempt to tune in certain problems (such as ecology) that were felt as burning issues in modern society, and also to raise general consciousness on these and other issues of current concern. However, the operation proved to be premature, and this series by the script-writer Ennio Missaglia and his brother, the illustrator Vladimiro Missaglia (with the assistance of the unerring hand of Ivo Pavone) failed to achieve the hoped-for success, and closed after barely a year of life.

  • 1982

    Martin Mystère

    Martin Jacques Mystère, who lives at number 3, Washington Mews, in New York, is a writer and archaeologist "of the impossible", constantly on a quest for the truth about the most controversial mysteries of the past, present and future. And who's his faithful companion? The Neanderthal Java, a real cave man, discovered by Martin in a prehistoric "niche" in Mongolia. Martin is perhaps the first comic book character to habitually use a personal computer and to consult the Internet (revealing by this and other characteristics that he is nothing short of a veritable alter-ego of his author, the script-writer Alfredo Castelli). Martin's path often crosses with that of the Men in Black, a sort of ancient black-cloaked sect hostile to any discovery or hypothesis that might cast doubt on the Establishment or undermine mainstream culture. Another recurrent adversary of the "Detective of the impossible" is Sergej Orloff, a distorted mirror image of our hero. For Martin actually began his career as an archaeologist together with Orloff, and jointly they learned the teachings of the Tibetan master Kut Humi, before their paths dramatically split. Preparation of the character of Martin was rather labored: originally appearing (with the name of Allan Quatermain) in the weekly "SuperGulp", during the period prior to publication he was also given the name of Doc Robinson for a while, before coming out at news-stands with his present name, in the graphic rendering by the very accomplished Giancarlo Alessandrini. Martin Mystère is a character in constant evolution, who has evolved from a focus purely on archaeological research to the study of modern technology and hypotheses about the future, thereby developing in tune with a modern and extremely lively reading public. Indeed, Martin's readership is nothing short of a genuine "co-worker" of the series, helping to shape his fate through the numerous letters that daily arrive at the editorial office.

  • 1983

    Kerry il Trapper

    Kerry Scott quits Nantucket, in the United States of America, and goes to Yellowstone, in search of his father, who mysteriously disappeared in that area. When he gets there, the young hero of this story meets a number of strange characters (in constantly changing and unexpected situations): the bad-tempered Meryl, the enigmatic Queeg and the short-sighted McBull. Fascinated by the beauty of the unspoilt landscape of this area, the young man easily allows himself to be persuaded to become a trapper, and starts a new life in this marvelous region. One of the predominant features of Kerry stories (which for a while appeared as an appendix to the adventures of Il Comandante Mark) is the presence of magic elements, very cleverly infused by the creator of the series, Tiziano Sclavi, who succeeded in reworking certain classical comic strip (and cinema) "Frontier" situations. Thus readers are presented with more credible and modern characters, who are, however, surrounded by an aura of the fantastic which now and then sends shivers down your back, prefiguring in its tones and narrative pace some of the main themes of the author's most successful creation, namely Dylan Dog. After Sclavi's launching of the Kerry series, authorship was partly taken over by Giorgio Pellizzari and Marcello Toninelli. The very carefully executed and particularly elegant artwork for this short series was by Marco Bianchini and the brothers Domenico and Stefano Di Vitto.

  • 1984

    Bella e Bronco

    After a barrage of cannon balls has pounded her saloon and razed it to the round, the alluring Bella goes off with Bronco, a highly cultured Native American, and together they embark on a series of peregrinations in search of a stroke of luck that will "set them up for life" .In a Far West ravaged by the War of Succession, amid spies, paranoid officers, megalomaniac Indians, weird inventors, music-hall sailors and Chinamen, the amusing pair use their fists, spray bullets all over the place and race around under the clever and tongue-in-cheek guidance of Gino D'Antonio, who created the script and some of the artwork for this hilarious series. Its witty tone made use of the pattern of the "hero and the flashy beauty" already tried out by D'Antonio himself (with artwork by Ferdinando Tacconi) in a couple of issues of the collection "Un Uomo, un'Avventura". Here the model was enriched with a most amazing assortment of citations, from "Flash Gordon" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The graphic rendering for Bella & Bronco was entrusted to the highly effective hand of Renato Polese, who was perfectly at his ease in this western comedy, and also to Alessandro Chiarolla, the Cassaro twins and Giovanni Freghieri. The only feature lacking in this amusing series was popularity. After sixteen issues, our two irrepressible heroes had to give up in the face of an unbeatable enemy: the public, who were probably disconcerted by the ironic and "irreverent" tone of the stories.

  • 1986

    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. 

  • 1987

    Tutto West

    As had already been the case for the legendary Collana Rodeo in the Seventies, TuttoWest was also an anthology, created so that some of the most celebrated "Bonellian" heroes of the Fifties and Sixties could be presented to the younger generation (as well as being refreshed in the minds of the faithful readers for whom, in the past, they had already become familiar and much-loved figures) . TuttoWest, as Sergio Bonelli wrote in one of the columns where he answered his readers' letters, "will be a door thrown open wide into the world of adventure, and a way to bring the "golden years" of Italian comics back to life today. Characterized then as now by the "epoch-making" signature of G. L. Bonelli, TuttoWest will give you a chance to make the acquaintance of virtually all of his extra-Tex production…". Delving into this almost inexhaustible goldmine of inventions and imagination, the forty-five issues of TuttoWest rediscovered several unforgettable little gems (Hondo, Il Cavaliere del Texas, El Kid, Kociss…), which were followed by equally important "period" mini-series such as "Gordon Jim" and "La Pattuglia dei Bufali" by Roy D'Amy, and "Il Giudice Bean", with a script by the still young Guido Nolitta. Plus one novelty: the brief saga of River Bill, an amusing fresh-water sailor, begun by Nolitta and then completed by Mauro Boselli, with artwork by the venerable Francesco Gamba.

  • 1988

    Nick Raider

    Devoted to the high-risk exploits of a New York Homicide Squad agent, Nick Raider series filled what risked becoming a veritable gap in the Italian comic strip market. Not since the times of "Pattuglia dei senza paura" (1948) had our Publishing House produced an album specifically focusing on investigative themes. Structured on the same basis as the 87th Precinct novels (by the American author Ed McBain) and television series such as "Starsky & Hutch", Nick's adventures proved be to much appreciated by the vast reading public keen on detective stories. The contents, created by Claudio Nizzi who had already authored a number of successful Tex episodes, range from pure investigative mysteries to action-packed thrillers, without ever neglecting the need for a proper plot and logical coherence. To complete the picture, there are a number of other characters who cooperate with Nick in ensuring the positive outcome of the investigations: for instance his black partner Marvin Brown, who is always ready to "shoot" out a salvo of wisecracks, old Lieutenant Rayan, gruff yet likeable, Captain Vance, constantly contending with his tyrannical wife, the young bespectacled Jimmy, the little informer Alfie, the huge Lieutenant Bowmann of the police laboratory and the garrulous Doctor Blum, the forensic pathologist.