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Dylan Dog
Dylan Dog.jpg
Dylan Dog #62 cover by Angelo Stano
Publication information
Publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore
Publication date October 1986 -
Main character(s) Dylan Dog
Creative team
Writer(s) Tiziano Sclavi
Paola Barbato
Claudio Chiaverotti
Pasquale Ruju
Michele Medda
Artist(s) Angelo Stano
Bruno Brindisi
Corrado Roi
Claudio Castellini
Creator(s) Tiziano Sclavi

Dylan Dog is an Italian horror comics series featuring an eponymous character (a paranormal investigator) created by Tiziano Sclavi for the publishing house Sergio Bonelli Editore. Though published in Italy, the series is mainly set in London, where the protagonist lives, though he occasionally travels elsewhere.

Sclavi's progressive disinvolvement has left other authors the task of carrying forward character continuity. After being absent for several years, Xabaras returned in 2004.

Dark Horse Comics has published the English version of Dylan Dog. It is also published in Croatia under Ludens, Serbia under Veseli Četvrtak, Denmark under Shadow Zone Media and in Spain under Aleta Ediciones.


The Character

Dylan Dog was created by Tiziano Sclavi, an Italian comics and novel writer, while the graphic representation of the character was elaborated mainly by Claudio Villa, who was its first cover artist too, taking the inspiration from the English actor Rupert Everett, as he saw in the movie Another Country[1].

Dylan Dog is a penniless nightmare investigator (in fact, his title in Italian is "L'indagatore degli incubi", which translates as "The Investigator of Nightmares") who defies the whole preceding horror tradition with a vein of surrealism and an anti-bourgeois rhetoric.

His clothes are one of his defining characteristics: he always dresses the same way, in a red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans; he bought twelve identical outfits after the death of his lover Lillie Connolly. Even during the worst weather, he never wears an overcoat or even carries an umbrella, since, according to him, an overcoat "would ruin his look", and he thinks that an umbrella is a "useless invention. Especially when it doesn't rain."

One of the principal supporting characters in the series is his assistant (or rather, comic relief), Groucho, a punning double of Groucho Marx. Another supporting character is Inspector Bloch, who was his superior when he worked at Scotland Yard and remains his father figure (in fact he calls Dylan "Old boy") even after Dylan struck out on his own to become a private investigator specializing in the supernatural.

Dylan lives with Groucho at 7 Craven Road in a cluttered apartment with a doorbell that screams. His hobbies include playing the clarinet and constructing a model ship which apparently never manages to finish; he has many phobias, including claustrophobia, bats and heights. Dylan is also particularly susceptible to motion sickness, which is one of the reasons why he rarely travels, and anyway never by plane. Once an alcoholic, he now never drinks. He is a vegetarian. Dylan cares little for many aspects of modern life. He hates cellphones and to record his memories, he still uses a feather-pen and an inkpot. Naturally, he loves literature (poetry in particular), music (his tastes range from classical to heavy metal), and horror films. Though perpetually penniless, he doesn't seem to be interested in money. In fact, the usual first piece of advice he gives to numerous clients who have found themselves in his study over the years is to go to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

He does not believe in coincidences.

He's also a hopeless romantic who loves and loses a new woman in nearly every issue. In fact, in a majority of his cases, his clients are women, with whom he often has a sexual relationship.

The infamous screaming bell. Indagatore dell'incubo is Italian for "The Investigator of Nightmares".

Dylan Dog seems to have an Oedipus complex: many of the numerous women he pursues resemble his mother Morgana, and he dramatically collides with the shadow of his father -- Xabaras -- (Slight transformation of Abraxas) cut into two halves, which seems to allude to the ambivalence of this father figure and of Dylan's feelings for him.


The series is mainly set in London, where the protagonist lives, though he occasionally travels elsewhere, such as imaginary realms such as "La zona del crepuscolo".

Supporting characters

Inspector Bloch, Dylan's superior when he worked at Scotland Yard, remained his friend and father figure even after our hero quit the force. Bloch and Dylan often help out in each other's cases. Bloch is more rational and grounded than Dylan and often disregards supernatural explanations. He is an old but competent officer who dreams of retirement. Though Dylan causes enough trouble on his own, Bloch is also plagued by his hapless underling, Jenkins, whom he constantly threatens to sentence to a life of directing traffic. His graphic representation was inspired by English actor Robert Morley.

Dr. Xabaras is Dylan's worst enemy.

Groucho was a Groucho Marx impersonator whose character became his permanent personality (hinted to be because of memory loss in 'Oltre quella porta' issue 228). Now he lives and works with Dylan Dog as his professional sidekick. He enjoys puns and women, though he does not share his employer's luck with the ladies. Groucho's goofy, off-beat personality helps temper Dylan's moodiness. He also reminds his boss when their finances are in dire straits (almost always), shows up with a pistol in the nick of time and throws it in Dylan's hand right on time, and makes tea. At some point in every issue Groucho makes one or two jokes that annoy Dylan and the person listening to the joke (often a client of Dylan's). An example: "...once, I had a dog which could utter its own name. It was named Woof."[2]

Groucho, Dylan's assistant, on the cover of a spin-off devoted to his solo surreal adventures.

The Women of Dylan Dog

Dylan Dog typically has a lot of success with women. Even, in the earliest issues, in almost story, he usually ends up going to bed with a client or love interest and claiming to have fallen in love with her. At the end, the client or love interest either dies or breaks up with him.

However, some of Dylan's female companions have made indelible impressions on the minds of his fans on account of the stories in which the women have appeared or merely on account of their character. Again, particularly explicit in the story is the oedipus complex, as Dylan continually falls in love with women who resemble his mother Morgana (fumetto).

New issues

Dylan Dog series debuted in October 1986 with a comic book entitled "L'alba dei morti viventi" ("Dawn of the Living Dead"), plotted and scripted by Tiziano Sclavi and illustrated by Angelo Stano; it proved to be a huge publishing success in the years to come. May 2003 saw the publication of Issue 200, entitled "Il numero duecento" ("Number Two-Hundred"), plotted and scripted by Paola Barbato and drawn by Bruno Brindisi.


The first reprint series came out in July 1990, the second in June 1991, and the third in June 1996, this time called Collezione Book (Collection Book); in October 2006 the bi-monthly reprint Grande ristampa was released.

February 1997 saw the release of the Super Book, a tri-monthly release that reprinted the special annual issues that had come out ten years before.


In August 1987 a special annual release was added to the monthly series, called Numero Speciale (Special Issue), with one story longer than usual and, in addition, small extra books on various horror-related subjects.

Another annual release was added in March 1991, L'almanacco della paura ("The Fear Almanac"): together with Dylan Dog stories, it includes articles and curiosities about film, literature, and other topics, all related to the horror theme.

January 1993 saw the appearance of a new annual book, the Dylan Dog Gigante ("Giant-Size Dylan Dog"), so called because it was much larger than the monthly book and because it contained more stories.

Dylan Dog maxi (Maximum Dylan Dog) came out in July 1998. This was another annual release that collected together three previously unpublished stories.


In October 1990 an irregularly numbered issue came out: Dylan Dog e Martin Mystère - Ultima Fermata: l'incubo! (Dylan Dog and Martin Mystère - Last Stop: Nightmare!). It presented an unpublished story in which the nightmare investigator teamed up with another famous Bonelli character, Martin Mystère. Alfredo Castelli and Tiziano Sclavi wrote and plotted this story, and Giovanni Freghieri did the drawings. The story had a sequel in 1992.


Claudio Villa created the covers until Dylan Dog #41 (1990), after which he was replaced by Angelo Stano. While Stano has also illustrated several stories, Villa has illustrated only a short one, in the seventh Dylan Dog Gigante.

Dark Horse

American publisher Dark Horse Comics has released seven English volumes of Dylan Dog, six in 1999, and one more in 2002. In this version, Groucho became a cleanshaven fellow called Felix because of legal dispute with Groucho Marx's estate. Mike Mignola drew new covers for the 1999 releases.

A 680 page volume, Dylan Dog Casefiles, was released in 2009 (ISBN 1595822062), to tie in with the upcoming movie Dead of Night. It includes English translations of seven memorable issues. This volume also includes some art by Mike Mignola.


Dellamorte Dellamore

In 1994 Italian director Michele Soavi directed the film Dellamorte Dellamore (known abroad as Cemetery Man or Of Death and Love), with a screenplay written by Giovanni Romoli and based on Tiziano Sclavi's similarly titled novel.[3] Francesco Dellamorte (his mother's surname was Dellamore) - a sort of Italian alter ego for Dylan Dog - appears for the first time in the third special issue of Dylan Dog, Orrore nero (Black Horror), released July 1989, in which he met the Nightmares Detective, but the Sclavi's novel was written before the special issue.

Francesco Dellamorte also appears in a short sequel of Orrore nero, entitled Stelle cadenti (Falling stars), where Dylan, Groucho, Francesco and Gnaghi are walking together during saint Lawrence's night, watching shooting stars and talking about life and death. But they are not alone, that night...

English actor Rupert Everett played the protagonist, Francesco Dellamorte, while Italian model and actress Anna Falchi played the female lead. Although Everett, playing Dellamorte, wore Dylan Dog's trademark costume, the Dylan Dog character did not appear in the movie.

Dead of Night

Kevin Munroe is directing Dead of Night, an adaptation that will star Brandon Routh.[4] It is currently set for a 2010 release.[5]



  • Italian author Umberto Eco said: "I can read the Bible, Homer, or Dylan Dog for several days without being bored."[6]
  • Dylan Dog was named for poet Dylan Thomas.
  • Dylan's address is Craven Road n°7, London, in reference to director Wes Craven.
  • Dylan's license plate number is DYD 666.
  • Dylan Dog is the most widely sold comic book in Italy: including both reprints and new stories, it sells over a million copies each month.


  1. ^ [Italian Dylan Dog's fan site]
  2. ^ "...una volta avevo un cane che sapeva dire il suo nome. Si chiamava Bau." issue: "Golconda!", page 69
  3. ^ Dellamorte Dellamore at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Kevin Munroe Brings Dylan Dog to Cinemas in "Dead of Night", Comic Book Resources, May 13, 2008
  5. ^ Dead of Night at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ Eco Umberto in Ostini Alberto (1998), Dylan Dog, indocili sentimenti, arcane paure, «Umberto Eco e Tiziano Sclavi. Un dialogo», Milan, Euresis)


External links

The template below has been deprecated (see discussion), and will soon be replaced automatically with the corresponding category.
Dead of Night
Directed by David R. Ellis
Produced by Ervin Rustemagić
Written by Screenplay:
Joshua Oppenheimer
Thomas Dean Donnelly
Tiziano Sclavi
Starring Brandon Routh
Studio Arclight Films
Release date(s) 2009 (USA)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million




The Strip Art Features(SAF) Comics-based Dylan Dog was set into motion by the head of the company, Ervin Rustemagić.

The movie will be directed by David R. Ellis, who started his career as a stuntman and in recent years has directed such movies as Final Destination 2, Cellular and Snakes on a Plane. The screenplay was written by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly.

The "Dylan Dog" movie, which is being produced by Arclight Films in Los Angeles, has a budget of $35 million. Principal photography is planned to start soon on locations in Connecticut.

  • Director gets dropped, new studio comes in and brings new director.[1]
    • New director[2]
  • Routh believes filming has a mid-January start in New Orleans.[3]


Brandon Routh as Dylan Dog[4]


  1. Douglas, Edward (May 14 2008). "David Ellis: What Happened with Dylan Dog & Asylum?". Crave Online. Retrieved on 11 July 2009. 
  2. MrDisgusting (April 4 2008). "Director Signed on for 'Dylan Dog' Adaptation!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved on 11 July 2009. 
  3. Sanchez, Robert (October 30 2008). "IESB Exclusive: Brandon Routh on Zack and Miri and a Dark Superman". Retrieved on 11 July 2009. 
  4. "Brandon Routh is Dylan Dog!". SAF Reporter. October 2007. Retrieved on 2009-07-11. 

==External links==

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