Comics Enriched Their Lives! #21 (a/k/a Comics That Never Were #4)


by

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Of note are [Milo Manara's] two collaborations with Federico Fellini (a comic book enthusiast and a cartoonist himself), both in the director’s final years. The first, Viaggio a Tulum, appeared in 1986; the second and final one was supposed to be a completed version of Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, the movie Fellini had attempted to make during most of his career (the autobiographical 8 1/2 refers to the director’s failure to start the production of this very film).

Curiously, due to Fellini’s illness and a bizarre printing accident when the comic was serialized in the magazine il Grifo, even the comic book version was left unfinished. The next two installments would have told of Mastorna’s travels in the afterlife, but due to a printing mistake, the word END appeared at the bottom of the last page of the first episode. The always superstitious Fellini then decided it was a good place to stop and withdrew from the project. Il viaggio di G. Mastorna is to this day considered by many Italian film critics the most famous never-filmed movie in the history of cinema.

—Simone Castaldi, Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s

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6 Responses to “Comics Enriched Their Lives! #21 (a/k/a Comics That Never Were #4)”
  1. T. Hodler says:

    I hadn’t yet seen Jog’s mention of Manara and Fellini when I posted this, by the way. That I read this passage about the same subject on the train this morning is entirely coincidental.

  2. DerikB says:

    Tim, how’s that Castaldi book on the whole? Hadn’t heard of it before, wondering if it’s worth reading.

    • T. Hodler says:

      I may review it soon, but to put it in a nutshell in the meantime: it is worth reading if you are interested in either Italian comics, the history of satire, or in European politics of the ’70s and ’80s.

  3. Robert Boyd says:

    I read (I can’t remember where) that once syndicated comics from the U.S. were cut off to Italy (and I don’t know whether it was Italy or the U.S. that cut them off), that a very young Fellini took over drawing Flash Gordon.

    I also read someplace that E.P. Jacobs did the same thing for Flash Gordon in WWII.

    If these are true, it would be fascinating to compare how Jacobs and Fellini handled the story differently than Alex Raymond. Indeed, it would be cool to see the bifurcated strips printed side by side.

  4. Jeet Heer says:

    A parallel story involves the young Michael Moorcock writing the dialogue for Tarzan comics:
    “It was an inauspicious start for the man who would become one of the most important genre writers of the latter half of the 20th century. In1956, at the age of 16, Michael Moorcock began contributing to Tarzan Adventures, a weekly boys’ magazine containing both text and comics. Over at Tarzan Adventures, Moorcock scripted text to Hal Foster’s Tarzan strip. The only English plates of the strip had been destroyed in the Blitz, so the magazine had to work from Spanish-language plates. The Spanish-illiterate Moorcock would whatever seemed to fit the illustrations, often including well-known sf people of the time as characters. Sometime in 1957 Moorcock took over the editorial reigns of the magazine. He remained as editor until 1958, when he was dismissed for placing too much emphasis on written fiction rather than the cheaper-to-produce black & white strips.”

    I’d love to see the result of this fusion of Moorcock and Hal Foster.