Diabolik is the secret of simple technology

Diabolik is the secret of simple technology

Diabolik turns 60 this year. An important span of time that has consolidated it as a phenomenon of costume, with stories that continue to captivate and amaze, remaining faithful to its classic formula. One of the strengths of Diabolik - which every year sells around 3,500,000 copies in various forms, formats and intervals - is technology. The character born from the genius of the Giussani sisters has always come up with tricks and perfected inventions that very often succeed in guaranteeing him the success of a plan or in offering him an unexpected escape route. In any case, technology, despite being a recurring element, never obscures the psychological side of the stories, which tell in filigree, through well-defined characters, the changing society, as those who have followed the comic from the beginning know well.

Always winning, 11, 1982

It is a technology that never exaggerates, that presents itself without ostentation and that periodically faces the pages with discretion and that obviously is not lacking in the two films, that of Mario Bava and that of the Manetti Bros. An important but not intrusive recurring motif, to which the exhibition “Diabolik. Between science and science fiction ”, in Milan, at the Spazio Acli in via Conte Rosso. An exhibition entirely centered on that theme, which joins those set up at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan ("Fifty years lived diabolikamente", 2012) and at the National Cinema Museum of Turin ("Diabolik alla Mole", 2021-22), where in a broader narrative panorama a significant space was also reserved for Diabolik's inventions.

From Colpo di billion, 2, 1967

We asked Mario Gomboli subject writer and director and editor of Diabolik, to explain to us what technology means for “the king of terror”, who in 60 years of history has become a real icon.

© Roberto Caccuri-ContrastoHow much weight does technology have in Diabolik's comics?

“A lot, and always. Not being a superhero with paranormal powers, Diabolik must prove himself brilliant not only in conceiving his complex criminal plans but also in devising innovative techniques to put them into practice "

As he explained in the introductory text of the exhibition" Diabolik. Between science and science fiction ", the king of terror has more the spirit of the bricoleur than that of the inventor, he prefers simple technology. How come?

“Too advanced technology is“ magical ”, sometimes even not very credible for our readers. Diabolik must always be understandable in his actions and in his working tools. So if he uses a laser, for example, this must appear as an advanced form of a banal blowtorch. ”

Does Diabolik still keep up to date on technological innovations?

"From the very first issues the creators, Angela and Luciana Giussani, asked friends and collaborators to" keep an eye on "the scientific or curiosity columns of the newspapers to keep them updated on what could be exploited in their stories . So in the pages of Diabolik you have seen lasers, ultrasounds, radiologists, even bungee jumping before they were in the public domain ".

Have there been episodes related to virtual reality and the metaverse?

“I remember one in particular, Simulated reality. In that story, Eva confuses the mind of a rich man and makes him wear a headset and a glove with sensors connected to a computer. Involved in virtual reality, the victim believes she is opening her vault and in doing so gives Diabolik the access codes. Not negligible detail: the episode dates back to January 1994 ".

What are the most curious inventions that have appeared in 60 years?

“We have seen it all: villas capable of lifting on hydraulic jacks, submersibles in the shape of rocks, robotic pigeons capable of flying… But the most ingenious innovations have appeared on the legendary Jaguar E-type, from time to time transformed into a helicopter, hovercraft, tracked vehicle or motorboat, in case capsizing in the water. And it is a reductive list ”.

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