Remember when you were a kid and your life revolved around Disney films (well not for me actually, because I found them all just a little bit too sinister…)? Remember the breathtaking magic of mice turning into steeds and the underdog triumphing over the evil stepmother? Well, it’s kind of like that with Dante isn’t it? Admittedly there aren’t any frogs-to-princes kisses, or talking candlesticks wooing the French feather dusters, but it’s pretty magical that Dante gets to wade through the levels of Hell with his homeboy Virgil at his side. He’s the underdog – the only alive person in a swamp of deceased souls – and he sure as hell gets his princess in the form of Beatrice. They don’t exactly live happily ever after, but I’ll bet they had a cheeky snog before he came back into the real world.
Anyway, where am I going with this? Dante’s stories lend themselves so well to the standard fairytale format of the good guy getting the girl and reigning triumphant over the baddies, that even Walt Disney -undisputed king of happy endings – could see that he was onto a winner. And what better way to show appreciation to the wonders of the Commedia than by creating an entire comic book devoted to its brilliance. Check these out:
The page-scans of the entire story can be found here. There is an English translation out there somewhere, but we’re Italianists, right? We laugh in the face of English translations… *hides English translations of all PhD primary texts*