Member since 13/03/2004
Posted - 04/05/2021 : 01:11:09
| It is rare for an entire publishing sector to identify itself with a single name, a single publisher; the yellow axiom = Mondadori comes to mind; or, for the less young, sports almanacs = Panini. This is what actually happens in Italy with comics. Comics = Bonelli. Not that there is no lack of competitors, eh. But there is little to do, for 80 years there has been an undisputed name, which entered the popular imagination when there was no TV or internet or video games to dream. Tex Willer our Superman, Dylan Dog our Batman, the publishing house founded by Gianluigi Bonelli in 1941 as the most famous "story factory" in Italy even if it wasn't called that, but it was so popular that Audace, Daim press, Cepim always remained acronyms for insiders: everyone said, quite simply, "Bonelli's comics". Thus, in the 1980s, Sergio, Gianluigi's son, swept away any ambiguity by giving his name to the most important comic publishing house in Italy. In these days of celebrations and celebrations for the 80th anniversary, Fumettopolis could not exempt itself from the homage, and who better than the editorial director Michele Masiero could raise his glass with us?
"Lots of news in the fridge, frozen by the pandemic"
"Despite the publishing crisis, we are lucky - says Masiero, a Venetian who has been living in via Buonarroti in Milan for years - because even during the most difficult months of the pandemic, newsstands have always remained open. other sectors that have undergone severe restrictions we can consider ourselves lucky: thanks to some of the most loyal readers we have resisted the crisis well ”. So the last 14 months; the initiatives to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the publishing house will last weeks, you can listen to them - and see them - in the interview released on air on Sky Tg24 (click here), in these lines we are already trying to look further with him. What's in the near future?
"We have many things at stake, because due to the epidemic in the last few months we have kept a lot of news intact; also because we lacked the support of the great events, from Lucca Comics to Etna Comics to all the others, those are usually the best opportunities to launch new proposals. We hope to be able to resume in the autumn ”.
In the meantime, not even a small advance?
"A character like Nick Raider is back, the policeman that Claudio Nizzi created in the late 1980s, with a new mini series, a return long requested by fans and much anticipated".
From 'reboots' to TV series
In short, now only mini-series on the scheme of the seasons of the TV series: no longer planning to launch characters who, at least in the initial intentions, come out every month 'endlessly', like Tex?
"We'd like! We would like to have series that last decades, but now the market is evolving and the tastes of readers are changing: classic characters have had a following for years, but for a while we have been launching more targeted creations for younger generations. This audience is unlikely to come close to a series from, say, number 140 onwards; the new generations are looking for something more specifically created for them. And then they have on average a less strong attention, a less constancy in reading, so even the comics must be thought for seasons, as we did for example with Dragonero ”.
Should the Reboots, the 'regenerations' of the characters as Recchioni did for Dylan Dog be seen in this light?
"We did other rehearsals, in addition to Dylan, for example with Mister NO Revolution, imagining the same character (created in 1975 by Nolitta alias Sergio Bonelli) but on stage 20 years later, no longer a WWII veteran but a veteran of Vietnam. Even Nathan Never has had several lives, but in miniseries cycles, just to try and start over ”.
With the decrease in readers, which seems inexorable, what future does comics have in front of Italy?
"Well, in 20 years we will still exist, because tastes change, print runs go down and the market becomes a niche, of course, but we are growing in other segments: for example, the book market, the 'prestigious' one, is very solid, incomparable to 30 years ago - explains Masiero - when the comics market was almost only for newsstands, in the bookstore you could find at most a few author's magazines for a few specialists, now the bookstore is one of the few sectors that boasts more sign ”.
And Bonelli, how will he celebrate 100 years?
“We are transforming ourselves into a real media-company, we are working on the cinematic versions of our characters, we are taking them to the cinema and to television series”.
Well, they look like the announcements of the politicians! In the 90s there was already a lot of talk about the Dylan Dog or Martin Mystere series, and then nothing came of it.
“True, but this time it's different. We are in it as co-producers, no longer just giving licenses to other companies: we are in it in a creative way precisely because we want these projects to become reality. There are illustrious examples
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