LA DALIA BLU di Filippo Scozzari

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During the gestation of “Frigidaire,” in the early 1980s, Filippo Scòzzari sought help from Oreste Del Buono, an important writer, who was a passionate fan of comics and crime literature. For the birth of the magazine, O.d.B. provided five million lire, never repaid, and the rights to adapt a screenplay written in 1946 by Raymond Chandler. The film, directed by George Marshall, had enjoyed considerable success and was released in Italy under the title “The Blue Dahlia.” It contained all the typical elements of noir: a femme fatale, an unsolved crime, a cynical but romantic anti-hero, rivers of whiskey, brawls, a grim metropolis populated by treacherous and corrupt characters… The comic adaptation was created by Scòzzari in twelve months of fierce seclusion, with extensive use of paper, pencils, erasers, inks, Winsor & Newton No. 3 brushes, and low-quality alcohol markers. Publishing the comic in installments starting from the first issue of “Frigidaire,” Scòzzari approached Chandler without reverence, eliminating unnecessary details and redundancies and adding his audacious touch to the smoky atmospheres of hard-boiled fiction. Page after page, with a regular layout allowing for minimal variations and a grotesque approach that swept through every character, the Bolognese author freed himself from a weak and convoluted plot, using pointed and metanarrative irony that reached its peak in the prodigious epilogue. Today, forty-four years later, many of the original pages are seriously compromised. The elegant grays, made with markers, have faded, and several blacks, used for touch-ups, have spread into horrid blotches. Coconino Press is preparing a new edition of the book. It will be the definitive one, and to emphasize this, the title has returned to its origin: “The Blue Dahlia” (Instead of “The light blue Dahlia”) All the pages have been scanned and then restored, corrected, rewritten, and redrawn, bringing the Scòzzari vs. Chandler duel back to where it all began. 

Text by Oscar Glioti

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