How to learn Italian reading Comics
In our articles with tips for learning Italian, we often say that it is very important to read authentic material. We have already talked about the importance of reading comics, “fumetti” in Italian, which, in addition to being engaging or fun, can give us a big hand in understanding the language, thanks to the use of images and short dialogues that develop in their baloon or “cloud of smoke” (fumetti comes from the word “fumo”, that means smoke). In the comics, moreover, are used the most common expressions, those we encounter in our daily life.
The history of Italian comics is just over 100 years old and begins with the Corriere dei Piccoli, a small magazine that has changed its name and shape over the years, published for the first time in 1908. The “corrierino” – as it was also called – it told of the transformations of Italian society through articles and comics, considered suitable for the training and education of the youngest. Since then, many comics have been born, which have enthralled readers of all ages. We have selected five interesting ones, to introduce you to this wonderful enchanted world.
5 Italian Comics to learn Italian language
It certainly does not need many introductions, this famous mouse designed by Walt Disney. In Italy Micky Mouse arrived with the name of Topolino and also the names of all his friends (and enemies) have been revised and Italianized. The substance, however, does not change, Topolino is universal and universally appreciated. He lives in Topolinia and is accompanied on his adventures by Minnie, his girlfriend, Pippo, his best friend, Pluto, his dog and Pietro Gambadilegno, his worst enemy. He has many friends, even far away, like those who live in Paperopoli: Paperino (Donald Duck), Zio Paperone (Uncle Scrooge), Paperina (Daisy Duck), Paperoga (Fethry Duck)… in short, let’s read Topolino to know the Italian version of these characters!
Born in 1962 from the pencil of Angela Giussani, it is definitely an alternative comic, which has little to do with the good educational purposes of comics for kids. Diabolik is in fact an unscrupulous thief, murderer, accompanied by his beautiful accomplice Eva Kant. We do not want to say that Diabolik does not have his own morality, certainly opposed to the moralism of the comics of that time. Diabolik is compelling, able to hook those who love crime and noir.
THE COMICS OF ZEROCALCARE
Zerocalcare is not a comic, but the stage name of a young author, who produces a lot of them. His first comic book is called La profezia dell’armadillo, which was published in 2011. At Zerocalcare we love the irreverence and genius with which he brings to paper (as well as in digital and animated version) what we all live, every day, slowly and recklessly. Especially during the first lockdown of this pandemic, his animated series (available on Youtube) was able to keep us company and make us laugh a little in front of the wickedness of the events that followed each other, winning the hearts and minds of Italians. Secco, Sarah, the Wild Boar Friend and the Armadillo are some of the characters you will know if you decide to read Zerocalcare. Ask at the bookshop.
One of the best-selling Italian comics, Dylan Dog is a character created by Tiziano Sclavi and drawn by Claudio Villa in the late 1980s. Horror genre? Maybe a little more fun, but charm, mystery and a certain splatter flavor are never lacking. The protagonist has particular vices, virtues and phobias, is afraid of bats, is claustrophobic, hypochondriac, suffers from vertigo, is teetotal and vegetarian (something not so common at the time), all characteristics that have made him a cult.
Makes his first appearance in 1974 in a strip in the Corriere dei Ragazzi, formerly Corrieri dei Piccoli. Its author is Guido Silvestri, alias Silver. Lupo Alberto is a blue wolf, who lives near the MCKenzie farm, and is in love with the hen Marta, although he is hindered by Mosé, the guardian dog of the farm. It also exists in cartoon form and makes you laugh.
If you want to know more or receive other comics advice, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.