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Pulp fiction

Diabolik - Italy's Cool Comic and the Sisters Who Wrote It

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Diabolik - Italy's Cool Comic and the Sisters Who Wrote It

I learned about the sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani from reading an article about Diabolik the movie in the film magazine Video Watchdog (Curti & Di Rocco, 2014). I was intrigued because of the violence described in Diabolik and thought that was really cool that two women in 1960's Italy created such a comic at that time. I believe wholeheartedly that women can write just as much sick and violent shit as any man given the chance and incentive to (primarily for them to give THEMSELVES that chance and incentive).

"Negli anni Cinquanta, quando le poche donne che guidano un’automobile sono ancora guardate con curiosità e sospetto, Angela ha addirittura il brevetto di pilota d’aereo", quote from Astorina website.

Translated by Google:

"In the fifties, when the few women who drive a car are still regarded with curiosity and suspicion, Angela even has his pilot's license plane [sic]"

There are hidden jewels like Diabolik that can make any jaded comic book reader have new material to consume. I am a fledgling to the world of comics but I have the benefit of starting off my reading comics with cool works like this. I will search the world for the limited English versions of the comic and perhaps even learn enough Italian to get by since I know French and it’s kinda sorta similar.

Angela and Luciana Giusanni are Milanese-born writers who created Diabolik back in 1962 in Angela's publishing house Astorina (Wikipedia, 2014). Their writing was inspired by Italian and French pulp fiction. The comic centers around an anti-hero named Diabolik, a criminal who dancers to the beat of his own drum alongside his muse and partner, the sinister Eva Kant. He is from an island abandoned by his parents. He grew up trained to become a mastermind thief and scientific genius who engineers his wares and disguises at will, foiling his opponents every time unless he can't get out of a bind (literally or otherwise) he can rely on Eva Kant to come to his aid.


A woman having her own publishing house in Italy during the 1960's was unheard of and the Giusanni sisters, like Diabolik, also danced to the beat of their own drums. More like dubstep in the land of the jazz enthusiasts.


Diabolik was initially published as a black and white pamphlet and sold in Italian newsstands. It is now internationally consumed not just at newsstands but on the Astorina site along with other cool merchandise. Diabolik can be purchased in digital form as well.


There is a video game based on the comic for the Wii, DS, PSP, and the PS2. Also check out the Beastie Boys' music video "Body Movin" to see Diabolik''s drama-filled, action-packed inspiration. Thanks for the heads up on this Super Rad Now! I always wonder what films, art works, and stories inspire the music videos of today. Their references can be so random!


*Le sigh* The Diabolik tv series isn’t out yet anywhere, and when it does the US will be much deprived. But that won’t stop me from searching for the show online. Drool over the trailer here: 



1) R. Curti & A. Di Rocco. (2014). Maledizione! The True Story Behind Seth Holt's Accursed Version of Diabolik. Video Watchdog 176, 22-35.

2) Angela and Luciana Giussani. (2014). Retrieved July 31, 2014, from

3) Diabolik. (2011). Retrieved July 31, 2014 from

4) The creators: Angela and Luciana Giussani. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from


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