Italy’s Fumetti

Curiously sophisticated pulp comics

Topics: Imprint,

Italy's Fumetti
This article originally appeared on Imprint.

ImprintFumetti literally means “small puffs of smoke,” which suggests the speech balloons common to most comic strips. In Italy, fumetti has become synonymous with comic strips, and particularly photo-comics, where written dialogue (in a balloon or not) is superimposed over a photo that was probably shot especially for the comic or, perhaps, a series of stills excerpted from a film.


Italy is the land of the fumetto. It started in 1908 with the premiere of Il Corriere dei Piccoli; this newsprint magazine was the first mainstream journal dedicated to comics. Other comics periodicas followed, including Il Giornaletto (1910), Donnina (1914), L’Intrepido (1920), Piccolo mondo (1924), Il Vittorioso, L’Avventuroso (1934), Il Monello (1933), and L’Audace (1937).

But comics were not simply herded into a publishing ghetto. Pulp magazines, which virtually every industrial nation had on their newsstands, were platforms in Italy for what was a curiously sophisticated comics art. The content was pulpish, like “Bacio Sotto Le Stelle” (Kiss Under the Stars), serialized in the popular Grand Hotel magazine — but just look at the exquisite drawing and sophisticated sequential style of the irregular panels. And that was 1947. Ten years later, Grand Hotel switched over to original photo-fumetto, deriving some plot lines from the movies. The photography for these may not have the same nuance as the illustrative comics. But “Passioni Nell’ Ombra” (Passion in the Shadows) is effectively composed to achieve dramatic narratives.



If you are wondering about the magazine covers, it is postwar Italy attempting to Americanize itself through pulp art.

.
For a decade-by-decade look at comics art, check out 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, available at MyDesignShop.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>