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Italy - fumetti - devil - Diabolique


Cover of the first issue of Diabolik, start of the genre "fumetti neri".
Image sourced here. [Aug 2005]


Diabolik is a fictional character, born from an idea by Angela Giussani.

He first appeared in print in November 1, 1962 with the title Il re del terrore (English King of Terror).

The Italian filmmaker Mario Bava adapted the story for a 1968 feature film Diabolik (Danger: Diabolik), the story of a skilled thief living out of a ritzy "bat cave" who steals $10 million from the Italian government. A Dino De Laurentiis production (producer of Barbarella). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabolik [Aug 2005]

Fumetti neri

Le Fumetti Neri est un genre de BD née en Italie avec le personnage Diabolik créé par les Giussani. Il s'agit de bandes dessinées dont le héros n'est justement pas un héros, mais un malfaiteur. Diabolik lui-même est inspiré très librement de Fantômas. Les autres héros de fumetti neri sont tous inspirés de Diabolik et ils présentent souvent un K dans leur nom. On a ainsi :

En France, les fumetti neri (ou BD noires) sont quasiment toutes parues en Petit format, le plus souvent dans des versions très censurées. --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumetti_neri [Aug 2005]

see also: fumetti - Italy - comics

Italian comic

An Italian Comic is a comic book that generally is comprised of a graphic novel, with album length stories (ca. 60 pages). It is locally know as Fumetto, altough this latter term is used, in common english, to describe a specific comic genre (see Fumetti). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_comics [Apr 2005]


Diabolik was created in Italy in 1962 by two sisters, Angela and Giuliana Giussani, and was first published in Milan in a pocket-sized comic book, drawn by Gino Marchesi. He is one of the many Italian characters inspired by the French Fantomas. Diabolik's black-clad silhouette is more than reminiscent of the film serials of Fantômas shot by French film director Louis Feuillade in 1912 and 1913.

Unlike Fantômas, however, Diabolik began the tradition of choosing his victims among the underworld rather than the honest folks, and while eroticism remained low key, the degree of sadism and violence inflicted upon his enemies became significantly more pronounced. Diabolik was made into a live action film in 1968, "Danger Diabolik", directed by Mario Bava, starring John Philip Law as Diabolik and Marisa Mell as Eva Kant.

Mike Murphy notes that there was a Diabolik animated series "Only available on FOX Kids European affiliates in the late 90s as it was demurred import to the US as it was deemed "immoral' -- despite the fact that the protagonist was a James Bond-style superthief and was pitted against worse criminals. There was a toyline as well." --http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/diabolik.htm


Il fumetto di Diabolik nasce da un'idea di Angela Giussani, idea che le viene vedendo tutti i giorni i pendolari alla stazione (lei abitava nelle vicinanze); pensa così di scrivere un fumetto con un formato che si potesse leggere aspettando il treno e poi in viaggio, per riporlo infine comodamente in tasca. Nasce il "formato Diabolik" poi ripreso da molte altre pubblicazioni del genere. Così congegnato, Diabolik avrà un successo insperato nel tempo.

Il personaggio
Il primo numero, uscito il 1° Novembre 1962 portava il titolo Il re del terrore. Diabolik è un ladro all'inizio spietato ma quasi sempre vincente. Nel terzo numero della serie incontra la bellissima Eva Kant che diventerà la sua compagna di vita; il loro scopo è rubare denaro e gioielli senza porsi molte domande, senza scrupoli e con sicurezza. L'incontro di Diabolik con Eva Kant ammorbidirà il carattere, pur sempre forte, del re del terrore il quale da spietato e crudele ladro assassino diventerà un personaggio via via più umano. Eva Kant, cosa molto particolare per un fumetto anni 60, non è mai stata sottomessa al partner ma anzi dalle prime il suo aiuto si è rivelato indispensabile al protagonista. --http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabolik_%28personaggio%29 [Apr 2005]

Danger: Diabolik (1968) - Mario Bava

  • Danger: Diabolik (1968) - Dubbed in English - Mario Bava [Amazon US]
    Master criminal Diabolik's got it all. He's got a black leather suit and ski mask, a pair of Jaguar XKEs, gadgets galore, an underground headquarters, and of course the ravishing Eva (played by Sixties Euro-hottie Marisa Mell). Together, the two of them pull off daring capers, staying a step or two ahead of the police, the government and rival mobsters all the while. Think the Sixties Batman TV series, James Bond, Barbarella, Matt Helm, and even a bit of Austin Powers for this distinctly Sixties crime romp. Director Mario Bava, as usual, made the most out of a less-than-lavish budget, with wild sets, an Ennio Morricone score, striking photography, and a psychedelic-soaked feel all the way around, with Bava's trademark camera work making it a visual delight in many scenes. Terry-Thomas comes in as a bumbling government official (the scene where his press conference is disrupted by Diabolik's "exhilarating gas" is a classic). It's all very tongue-in-cheek fun, based as it is on a comic book from the period. John Phillip Law, of course, is no better than he ever is as the rather fey master criminal, passing off his wooden performance as "stoic", but it works. Unlike contemporaries like Bond, though, Diabolik eschews the swinging Sixties life for a happily monogamous relationship with Eva (who wouldn't?). This is some goofy brain candy that's perfect for an evening of Sixties-retro fun. --Jerry Renshaw

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