Italians are known the world over for their passion and their unique cuisine, but what the world doesn’t know is they make great comic books. Although they are not as popular as their DC and MARVEL counterparts, they have their fair share of fan followings and the characters range from the heroes to the anti heroes and with a comical twist to detective comics. Here are some of the best Italian comics.
This comic book stars the protagonist of the same name as the comic and was created by writer Alfredo Castelli and artists Giancarlo Alessandrini. First published in 1982 in Italy by Sergio Bonelli Editore, it told the tales and adventure of Martin. It has been adapted into various languages and often the name has been changed in different countries. For example, the comic is known as Martin Mystery in the US. He seems to be quite the detective with a little bit of James Bond’s sauve and Indiana Jones’ talents. He is an adventurer, television producer, archaeologist, anthropologist, art historian and collects unusual artifacts. He helps many police agencies around the world to solve crimes. There has been an animated TV series loosely based on the comic book named Martin Mystery and a video game has also been produced.
This is an Italian horror series that features a paranormal investigator who gets romantically embroiled with his female clients in every episode. You may think of him as a modern day Casanova and the whole series is more or less based out of London where he resides, even though he travels frequently overseas for various cases. He is not particularly fond of many modern amenities and hates cell phones and does not travel by plane because of motion sickness. A queer oddity, his character is quite unique as well as the premise of the comic which ensures that the popularity of this comic doesn’t wane and keeps going strong since its inception in October 1986. It is published in Italy until date and the English version has been published by Dark Horse. Other language versions have also been released in different countries all over the world.
Created by writer Gian Luigi Bonelli, this comic series is very popular in Italy and features a character named Tex Willer. An Italian interpretation of the American Wild West, it is clearly influenced by stories of old American westerns as well as classical characters from that time period. He’s a tough guy with a strong sense of justice who becomes a ranger and defends the honest characters in the storyline from unscrupulous elements. The first volume was published in 1948, and there has been no looking back since with various adaptations of this character being made in various countries. Illustrator Aurelio Galleppini helped make Tex one of the most loved comic characters of all time in Italy.
This is one of the most loved comic characters and appeals to both children and adults alike. Lupo, meaning wolf in Italian is distinguished by his characteristic azure color and is engaged to a hen in the farm. The stories all revolve around the McKenzie Farm where the other characters in the comic live and on Lupo’s various attempts to break Marta out of the farm. Created by Guido Silvestri in 1974, the protagonist transforms into a man at times and his attempts to break Marta free is usually foiled by the alert sheepdog Moses who does everything in his power to stop Lupo. The Lupo brand spawned a huge merchandizing franchise and is very popular with teenagers.