Jodi Picoult, Tenth Circle (2006), Dustin Weaver (Illustrator) Wildclaw (2006)

“The book was called The Tenth Circle.

“The main plot of the novel is a family drama focusing on a relationship between a father and daughter, but there is a secondary story in the form of the father’s comic book which we see pages of between each chapter. The father is a professional comic writer/artist, who in his super hero comic, “WildClaw”, is writing a story that parallels the drama in his life.

“The superhero, WildClaw, journeys into hell to rescue his daughter from the devil in a Dante’s Inferno inspired tale. Along the way he is forced to face the darkness within himself.

“I was very aware that this was not just a typical comic book, it was also an illustrated novel and I decided to take a more illustrative approach to the art.  Running with the Dante’s Inferno inspiration I tried for an art style reminiscent of the engraved art of Gustave Dore.

“I also chose a layout stile where one panel would serve as a kind of anchor illustration To me this style of layout creates a sense of each page being “a piece” onto itself. It’s a style that I think isn’t usually preferable in comics. In comics you mostly want to keep the reader moving through the story. In this I wanted to create illustrative pages that kept you looking at them.” […]    –Dustin Weaver dustinweaver.blogspot.com, September 3, 2014

Devilman Lady Vol. 16 Chapter 7 – Demon Lord Dante

“Ryo Utsugi makes another appearance in one of Go Nagai’s works,’Devilman Lady‘. This time, he is the reincarnation of Dante Alighieri, Mao Dante. He can be found in Hell where Devilman Lady must combat him.” — Contributor Savannah Mikus

Check out the full chapter here. Devilman Lady Vol.16 was originally published by Kodansha on July 21st, 2000.

Click here for another post about Go Nagai’s 1971 manga Mao Dante.

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (FSU 2020)

Go Nagai’s Dante Shinkyoku

dante-shinkyoku-cerbero-nagai-go-infernoDante Shinkyoku is a manga adaptation of Dante’s Inferno by Go Nagai. Nagai is faithful to the text, as he includes snippets of the original poem (in the vernacular). Though he chooses not to include the entire poem word for word, he shortens main ideas for the sake of comic style dialogue and transitions. He also includes an intro introducing the Guelphs and their struggle.” — Contributor Savannah Mikus

The full Dante Shinkyoku series (originally released in 1994-1995) is available to read online here.

Click here for a discussion of Go Nagai’s work in relation to three other Dante-inspired graphic novelists (article in Italian).

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (Florida State University, 2020)

Gary Panter, Songy of Paradise (2017)

Gary-Panter-Songy-of-Paradise“The final issue of Jimbo – #7 – chronicles Jimbo’s descent into Hell, represented on the page as an abandoned mall. The comic is a scant 33 pages long, but Fantagraphics decided to make a big deal of it: they repackaged Jimbo #7 as Jimbo’s Inferno, a gigantic, 11×15 hardcover book, and followed it with Jimbo in Purgatory.

“The wider reading public began to notice what Panter was doing: each page corresponded to a canto in Dante’s classic poems. Though the improvisational-looking drawings were of robots or monsters or yokels on tractors, they were all part of a highly complex representational scheme that paid homage to, and made fun of, Dante all at once.

“The last volume in the trilogy ships this month: Songy of Paradise merges Dante’s Paradiso with Milton’s Paradise Regained, and tells the story of Jesus’s temptation in the desert, with a gap-toothed hillbilly named Songy taking the place of Jesus (Panter: ‘I didn’t want to deal with Jesus’).” –Sam Thielman, “Gary Panter: The Cartoonist Who Took a Trip to Hell and Back,” The Guardian, July 18, 2017

See also our previous post on Gary Panter’s 2006 graphic novel Jimbo’s Inferno here.

Dante’s Inferno: The Graphic Novel by Joseph Lanzara (2012)

Joseph-Lanzara-Dante's-Inferno-Graphic-Novel-2012

Dante’s Inferno: The Graphic Novel by Joseph Lanzara uses Doré’s engravings as a base to illustrate Dante’s journey. Quite interesting, despite, or perhaps because of some bold swerves form Dante’s own plot line!” — Francesco Ciabattoni

Available for purchase through many online booksellers, such as Amazon.

Contributed by Francesco Ciabattoni

Ron Bassilian and Jim Wheelock, Inferno Los Angeles (2015)

INFERNOlosAngelesCOV“Over 700 years ago, the poet Dante Alighieri found his way to the Underworld from the dark wood outside his native Florence, and the adventure he recorded in The Inferno still haunts us to this day.

“Now, in modern times, a new traveler finds his gateway to Hell beneath the urban jungle of the “City of Angels.” Inferno Los Angeles revisits Dante’s journey, weaving new characters and contemporary scenarios with the timelessly familiar scenes Dante described. It is an adventure of pure imagination, fraught with obstacles, monsters, horrific visions and prophecies — all visualized in an epic graphic style. Journey with him, as each step down this human whirlpool brings new dangers and monstrosities, as we delve ever deeper into the torments of our own minds.

INFERNO LOS ANGELES is a 136 page, full color graphic novel published in a deluxe over-sized hardcover edition by NeoClassics Press.”    —Inferno Los Angeles

 

Zander Cannon, Heck (2013)

HeckZander Cannon‘s graphic novel Heck narrates the journey of two travelers through nine circles of the underworld.

“After the funeral of his estranged father, faded hometown hero Hector ‘Heck’ Hammarskjöld finds himself the new owner of the old man’s house… and inside it, a portal to the underworld! With few other prospects on the horizon, Heck goes into business settling inheritance disputes by contacting the recently deceased, accompanied by his faithful sidekick Elliot. But when an old flame knocks on their door with an important message for her late husband, Heck and Elliot embark on a terrifying journey down into the nine circles, braving the horrors of Hell for an assignment that will reveal more than they ever imagined.”    — Top Shelf Productions

Contributed by Jacob de Heer-Erpelding (Bowdoin, ’15)

Hunt Emerson, Dante’s Inferno (2012)

Emerson_Inferno_cover“HUNT EMERSON’S INFERNO delights on many levels: as an ingenious translation of classic verse into knockabout farce; as an effortlessly readable introduction to the poem for those too busy or too intimidated to tackle it without a guide; as a delicious crib for anxious Dante students with an essay crisis heaving into view; and as a warm tribute from the master of one art form to the grand master of another. Hunt’s cartoon is followed by Kevin Jack-son’s essay on Dante, which explains how the comic has been developed from the original, points out some of the more complicated jokes, and invites readers to go back to tackle Dante for them-selves.” [ . . . ] —Last Gasp Books, September 6, 2012

To see a live demo of Emerson drawing one of the sketches, click here.

Go Nagai, Mao Dante (1971)

mao-dante-go-nagai-divine-comedyConsidered one of the most important authors of Japanese manga, Go Nagai is creator of a Dante-inspired comic series called Mao Dante (also known as Demon Lord Dante in English). Nagai published the first series in 1971, and he has revisited these Dantesque themes, characters, and images in several series since (among them his 1972 anime series Devilman). Nagai’s illustrations were originally inspired by the dramatic 19th century lithographs Gustave Doré produced for the Divine Comedy. In 2017, it was announced that J-Pop would re-release Mao Dante (see here).

See also Dante Today‘s posts on Nagai’s Dante Shinkyoku and Devilman Lady.

Click here for a discussion of Go Nagai’s work in relation to three other Dante-inspired graphic novelists (article in Italian).

Contributed by Andrea Sartori

Seymour Chwast’s Adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (2010)

seymour-chwast-adaptation-of-dantes-divine-comedy-2010“‘I, Dante, will tell you the story of my trip to the after world… but will I come back?’ So begins Seymour Chwast’s noirish graphic adaptation of what is perhaps the world’s most famous tale of spiritual tourism, the Divine Comedy. The list of artists who have tried their hand at visually interpreting Dante’s epic is both long and distinguished, but it would be safe to say that Chwast, a co-founder of Push Pin Studios and a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, may have had the most fun with the subject since Dante himself. . .
The book is more than an original take on Dante, though. It also represents Chwast’s fresh take on the graphic novel. Chwast eschews the expected rhythm of comic panels in favor of stunning drawings that leap and tumble all over the page. One of my favorite moments is a glorious two-page spread depicting the Emperor Justinian and a chorus line of flappers and vaudeville performers as they dance a welcome to Dante (and us) across a divine expanse. Justinian, of course, is dressed to the heavenly nines in a nineteen-thirties-style pinstripe suit, vest, and bow tie, and is sporting what one can only assume is his trademark pencil mustache.”    –Jordan Awan, The New Yorker, November 15, 2010