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Monday, June 22, 2009

For the Love of Fumetti

My first contact with Fumetti came about six years ago, when an Italian pen pal of mine mentioned he collected comics. I had been collecting comics since I was five; it was something we both had in common and decided that I would send him some of my favorite American titles and he would send me some of his favorite Italian titles. I really didn’t know what to expect, I sent him some Spiderman issues from the eighties and he agreed to send me some of his from the eighties as well.

When I first got the package I was a little taken aback, the shipping box wasn’t very wide, but was heavy. I opened it up and found four 5x7 inch books. They were quite a bit smaller than American comic books but were a lot thicker. They all had nicely illustrated covers, and the interior art was in my opinion somewhat better than some of the American comic book art of the era.

I took each title out one by one and flipped through it. The first was Kriminal, a skull faced antihero who had a good looking female sidekick. There was some action but this particular issue had quite a bit of dialogue and at the time I couldn’t figure out that Kriminal could change his appearance to look like anyone. The Second was Satanik, from what I could make out Satanik had an ugly face and a pretty face, in this issue she fought a vampire. The last two were something different altogether they were two issues of the title Storie Blu. Both covers featured naked woman and monsters, the stories were convoluted but I got the gist of what was happening. There were monsters, aliens, hardcore sex scenes, and gratuitous violence. I was hooked.

Everything I loved about Italian genre cinema was in these comics. I quickly shot off an email to my friend in Italy and inquired about the titles. He explained to me that they were an erotic/horror hybrid that was popular for a while in Europe. He told me about other titles I might be interested in and said that he had literally hundreds of titles taking up space on his bookshelves. Needless to say other exchanges were made; I have quite a collection of them now. My knowledge is limited but I would like to share what I know about the titles I have.

About a year ago I googled “fumetti”, thinking I wouldn’t get a hit. I never had before. To my surprise I found a site called The Groovy Age of Horror. The fellow who ran it had a nice backlog of short fumetti reviews. The format was simple a cover scan a short synopses about the book and a few key page scans that told the story in short form. I’m now totally addicted to Groovy Age, not just for the fumetti but for all his post. Curt, the guy who runs it, always has something discussion worthy to post. Check it out for yourself here.

1 comment:

Adam Blomquist said...

Good to have you back. As always, some great, informative stuff.

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