I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a comic book reader and there’s really only been four comics that I’ve ever actively made it a point to track down and/or read. One was Strangers in Paradise, which I was introduced to by my first college roommate, who told me that she was my Katchoo. Secondly, there was an old comic book series from the 70s called Tomb of Dracula that Jeff loves. The entire series has been collected in four trade paperbacks and, last Christmas, I ordered all four of them. Of course, since I ordered them all in August (patience and impulse-control not being my strong suit), I had a lot of time to read through them before wrapping them up and giving them away. (And, to my surprise, I enjoyed them in all of their platform shoed glory.) Third, there’s The Walking Dead which Arleigh introduced me to. And finally, there’s Dylan Dog.
I haven’t read a lot of Dylan Dog, largely because it’s an Italian comic and English translations aren’t easy to come across. (And apparently, when an American company did try to reprint the series in English, they ended up getting sued by the estate of Groucho Marx.) So, I can’t claim to be an expert on Dylan Dog because almost all of my information about this series comes second-hand. Honestly, if you asked me to tell you about Dylan Dog, I could probably give you the Wikipedia equivalent of an answer (i.e., that Dylan Dog is a private investigator in London who deals with super natural cases.)
Why does Dylan Dog fascinate me? Well, some of it is because of what I’ve heard about it from sources that I trust. I hate that answer because it sounds so flakey and simple-minded but luckily, that’s not the only reason. There’s also the fact that Dylan Dog’s investigative partner is a guy named Groucho who looks (and apparently acts) just like Groucho Marx. The other is that Dylan Dog was created by the same author — Tiziano Scalvi – who is responsible for inspiring one of the greatest movies ever made, Michele Soavi’s Dellamorte Dellamore. In fact, Dellamorte Dellamore started off as an attempt to make a Dylan Dog film and the film’s main character had appeared – in a supporting role – in Dylan Dog. From what I’ve heard, Dellamorte Dellamore – with its use of the paranormal as a metaphor for alienation and other deeper philosophical concerns — captured the sensibility of Dylan Dog.
Finally, one of my favorite authors — Umberto Ecco — is on record as saying, “I can read the Bible, Homer, or Dylan Dog for several days without being bored.”
So, that’s why I raised an eyebrow when I came across the trailer for Dylan Dog: Dead of Night while looking up grindhouse movie trailers on youtube.
And then I watched the trailer and that eyebrow quickly went down.
Number one, no Groucho. That already indicates that this is a compromised film. Number two, I may not be able to “read” Dylan Dog but I can look at it well enough to know that Dylan Dog is not a firing-two-guns-at-once type of hero. Number three — New Orleans? Bleh. I’m officially bored with movies that try to be ”colorful” by filming in New Orleans. Number four, Taye Diggs? I’m sorry but any series that could inspire Dellamorte Dellamore deserves better than New Orleans and Taye Diggs.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on April 29th, 2011.