Diabolik: The exhibition

Diabolik: La mostra
Il passato, il presente, il futuro

Diabolik: The exhibition
The past, the present, the future

18 june – 18 september 2016
Entry fee 5€; reduced 3€ (children under 10, people over 65, WOW subscribers)
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday (15-19); Saturday and Sunday (15-20). Closed on Monday.


DIABOLIK: THE EXHIBITION – THE PAST, THE PRESENT, THE FUTURE is a large exhibition itinerary illustrating fifty-four years of a true comic myth through original plates, vintage comic books, gadgets, memorabilia, 3d models and videos, combined with various multimedial materials available for free download in the official APP Diabolik.it. The visitor will be able to interact with the exhibition’s set up through the QR-Code and Augmented Reality technologies, discovering extra contents and virtually trying to open the strongbox in a time competition against Diabolik. Thanks to the collaboration with Astorina, Diabolik Club, Il CerchioGiallo, GlobalMedia and Pixartprinting, you will visit the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the most appealing crime comicbook’s star, following an itinerary that begins with genre literature which inspired the creation of Diabolik and leads to future projects, going through the graphic and psychological evolution of the character.

November 1962: the first issue of Diabolik, Il Re del Terrore (The King of Terror), is out in Italian newsagents’ shops, marking a turning point in Italian history of comics. Behind a cover displaying a screaming woman overshadowed by threatening eyes stands an engaging crime story, in which an unstoppable killer faces the forces of law and order. The pocketbook format, too, is a significant innovation: only two or three panels in a page.

Behind this groundbreaking idea, awarded by the readers with an incredibile and growing sales success, stand two sisters: Angela and Luciana Giussani. Angela, as the legend tells, got the original idea of the story in Milano Cadorna Railway Station, while watching commuters reading crime fiction pocketbooks. This is the starting point of the exhibition, with a section entirely devoted to the crime fiction’s criminals that have inspired the creation of Diabolik and influenced whole generations of writers and artists, from Fantômas to Arsène Lupin, including the very early publications of the publishing house Astorina, where the first Diabolik advertisements appeared.

The first story of Diabolik is exhibited in its three versions, displayed through the original plates and comic books. The first version of the story was made by the mysterious Zarcone, an artist literally missing. Next, there is the first remake of the same story made by Gino Marchesi in 1964, and a second one written in 2001 by Alfredo Castelli, with drawings by Giuseppe Palumbo, to celebrate the forty years of Diabolik. Particularly valuable is the original n. 1 comic book, a true gem researched by the collectors of the entire world.

Through wonderful original plates, the exhibition will present the ten fundamental stories of the serie and its three main characters – Diabolik, Eva Kant, and the inspector Ginko -, showing their evolution across the years and their relationships with other memorable figures, like little Bettina, the criminal boss King and Altea, Ginko’s girlfriend.

The visitor will be able to interact with a multimedial installation, realized with GlobalMedia, in order to explore the universe of Diabolik and his 800 and more adventures. A touchscreen panel will allow to discover the secret database of Diabolik, which includes a collection of every comic book cover ever published, a selection of his most engaging pages and a complete list of the story titles.

The section “The world of Diabolik” examines every aspect that makes the Diabolik figure and his adventures so unique: his havens, the tricks he conceives for his robberies, the traps, his distinctive skintight black body suit, the weapons, the masks he and Eva use to assume other identities at their will. A space is also devoted to the city of Clerville, one of the most beloved imaginary places in the world of comics, and to Diabolik’s famous black Jaguar E. A totem will allow visitor to interact with a virtual map of the city, and various models of the car will illustrate its secret tricks.

Through the years, Diabolik has became a true cultural phenomenon: his appearances on the press and the media are countless, as the examples of Diabolik’s adventures based on real events or the frequent campaigns devoted to social and ethical themes like pets abandonment and doping in sport.

The editorial history of Diabolik is testified by the exposition of multiple comic books in different formats, from the classic pocketbook to large size books, newspapers’ comic strips, sticker albums and, obviously, foreign editions, like the ones translated in Tamil language or published in Belarus, often characterized by bizarre variations towards Italian stories.

The King of Terror has been one of the first Italian characters to gain a distinctive role in the world of gadgets: thanks to the fans of Diabolik Club the exhibition displays dozens of t-shirts, bags, stickers, books, postcard and everything relating with Diabolik. He’s also starred in a movie directed by Mario Bava in 1968 and in an animated serie realized in 2000, and will be the main character of a coming television serie produced by Sky – all of which will be presented in the exhibition through interesting “behind the scenes” and videos.

An interactive installation by GlobalMedia will also include music videos (Beastie Boys, Tiromancino, Mesmerize), videogames (from the early ones by Simulmondo to the recent The Original Sin), parodies (with Totò and Arriva Dorellik) and much more. On comfortable and customized seats visitors will also listen to Diabolik’s “radiocomic” and follow the history of Angela and Luciana Giussani through Le Sorelle Diabolike (The Diabolikal Sisters), a documentary made in 2008.

Beside a space devoted to the various characters conceived as imitations or parodies of Diabolik, everyone with a K in the name – like Paperinik, or the hilarious Ratolik by Leo Ortolani –, the end of the exhibition hosts everything that goes Beyond Diabolik, with a display of plates drawn by great masters of comics. Furthermore, a section is devoted to DK, an editorial project realized in 2015 which has created an alternative version of Diabolik aimed at a new public.

Finally, the exhibition will expose an exclusive preview of some pages taken from the next issues of the serie: the best way to close a pathway that leads from the faraway 1962 to tomorrow, and beyond.

Thanks to the collaboration of Pixartprinting, the exhibition will be enhanced by scenographic enlargements and set up specifically realized for this circumstance.


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