Legend has it that the inspiration for the creation of Diabolik, the first hero of Italian ‘fumetti neri’ (black comics – a subgenre of Italian comics inspired by crime and horror), came to the Giussani sisters while they observed commuters passing through Milan’s Cadorna station every day, right in front of the Astorina publishing house.
It was the 1960s, Milan was fast becoming Italy’s leading economic centre and Angela and Luciana, two upper middle class Milanese girls, were starting work on the adventures of the most famous masked hero of Italian comics. Diabolik enjoyed such rapid success that he became the main star of the so-called ‘fumetti neri’. The aversion teachers had for these comics was so intense that for several years Diabolik was either forbidden or clandestine reading for many children.
Now, the Italian Cultural Institute of Barcelona has decided to celebrate Diabolik with a dedicated volume, featuring a story set in Barcelona, and with an exhibition illustrating its genesis, which will open on 14 September 2021.
The new book was born from an idea by Claudio Stassi and is designed by Claudio Stassi (Dampyr) and Daniele Statella (Julia) and written by Andrea Cavaletto (Dylan Dog).
Claudio Stassi, from Palermo, lives and works in Barcelona. He has drawn episodes of the Dylan Dog and Dampyr series for Sergio Bonelli Editore. His graphic novel “Per questo mi chiamo Giovanni’” (This is Why I’m Called Giovanni), published by Rizzoli, is already in its third edition.
Daniele Statella, a graduate of the Scuola del Fumetto di Milano, has worked as an illustrator for Mondadori, Rizzoli and Astorina. He founded the Cultural Association Creativecomics, with which he organizes events related to comics, cinema and theatre, such as the annual Festival Vercelli tra le nuvole, Fumetti al Castello in Abbiategrasso (Milan), Sport & comics and Casale Diabolika in Casale Monferrato (Alessandria).
For more information on the exhibition iicbarcelona.esteri.it.