Le avventure di Fanfulla (1967)

Texts by Mino Milani

Drawings by Hugo Pratt

This single story appeared in “Corriere dei Piccoli” issue 41 (October, 1967), edizioni Corsera-F.lli Crespi.

Fanfulla of Lodi was firstly a soldier of fortune, then a knight, finally a flag captain, and moreover, his real name was Bartolomeo Tito Alon. There is a considerable amount of historical information available on this Italian mercenary leader but not all the events narrated in this comic book match the facts. However, this comic book deals only with a specific historical period starting on May 6, 1527 with the “sack of Rome” by the Landsknechts of Frundsberg, whose ranks Fanfulla joined. The action then moves on two years to another siege, this time in Florence in 1529. The figure of Fanfulla portrayed by Pratt is that of a burly, rough warrior possessed of a certain cruelty as was essential for survival in those dark times. The black scarf (like a bandana) that covers one eye and part of his forehead, enhances his dark, grim looks and arouses fear in his adversaries (as well as the readers) despite his gestures of kindness. In this work, Pratt tried to free his work from the rigid graphic constraints imposed by his editor Carlo Triberti and altered the layout of the comic pages by introducing widened and asymmetrical panels and the use of blocks of black. The aim was to reinforce and invigorate the momentum of the story, but this did not please Triberti who shortly after informed Pratt that his working relationship with the magazine had come to an end.