Montalbano in comics thanks to a team of Italian and British illustrators

Thanks to a team of Italian and British illustrators, a story from Commissario Montalbano has become a comic book.

Fifteen Italian and English cartoonists are celebrating Andrea Camilleri, father of the famous Montalbano, by producing an unpublished comic strip recounting one of the stories of the well-known Commissario di Vigata: The Smell of the Devil.

The latter had been written by Camilleri himself and published in 1998 in the collection Un mese con Montalbano. And now the imagination of the fifteen cartoonists has given life to the interpretation and illustration in cartoons of this story, thanks to the project born on the initiative of theItalian Cultural Institute in London.

It is a tribute to Italian comics, the theme among other things of the 20th Week of the Italian Language of the World, but above all to Camilleri, who passed away in July 2019.

The plot of The Devil’s Smell consists of the unmasking of a scam by Commissioner Montalbano: the scam is carried out against an elderly lady with the alleged presence of the devil. Each illustrator drew the characters in the comic strip in his or her own style. "The challenge was to put the brief together," commented coordinator Massimo Fenti. “After adapting Montalbano’s wonderful story into a comic book script, I had to create a very detailed description of the characters and environments to make sure that despite the strong difference in style of the various authors, the characters were recognizable from page to page and the story flowed smoothly. So, the reader will excuse us if Clementina’s hairstyle varies a bit from one panel to the next, if Filippo Fulconis’s mustache comes and goes, or if a cordless phone appears on a page turner. These variations on the theme make reading a game, in which the reader cannot help but notice how many different voices exist in the chorus of Italian and international comics, and not only in the obvious visual language.”

Collaborating with Massimo Fenati on the project were artists Sergio Algozzino, Paolo Bacilieri, Alessandro Baronciani, Thomas Campi, Lorena Canottiere, Daniel Cuello, Matthew Dooley, Giulio Macaione, Jon McNaught, Federico Manzone, Andrea Serio, Posy Simmonds, Alessandro Tota, and Lucas Varela.

Montalbano in comics thanks to a team of Italian and British illustrators
Montalbano in comics thanks to a team of Italian and British illustrators

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