“The Divine Comedy Like You’ve Never Seen Before”

“Take a peek inside! In a bustling studio in Brooklyn, New York, contemporary artist George Cochrane is immersed in a monumental challenge: to exquisitely letter and illustrate every page of Dante’s Divine Comedy, completely by hand – INCREDIBLE!

“George’s obsession with Dante is apparent through his achievement of painting hundreds of portraits of the poet over the years. But his dream has always been a simple one: to  and more attractive to younger generations.

“George recognized that the best medium to achieve his dream was a combination of the ancient illuminated manuscript and the modern graphic novel.

“This combination will equally delight Dante enthusiasts and first-time readers of the Divine Comedy.”   —Facsimile Finder, 2021

 

“Where is Haven of Dante today?”

“Some years ago, I entered a contest put on my Platinum Studios which would award it’s winner a contract with their publishing arm. The property was what became the graphic novel, Haven. If you’re not familiar with the property, you can find out more by clicking here.

“I’ve told the story before about how it started out as a prose novel when Markosia Enterprises took notice of it and wanted to produce it as a graphic novel. But between the time I had written the treatment and the time Markosia took interest, I had entered it into the aforementioned contest. Unfortunately, it didn’t win but that’s OK. What I did win in the process was an awesome friendship that has lasted years with who was one of the top dogs of Platinum Studios at the time, Dan Forcey. If you don’t know Dan, he’s a Co-Producer of Cowboys & Aliens. Dan’s been an awesome source of encouragement for me over the years and loves the property.

“So do I.

“I’m not trying to sound like an egomaniac but like most writers I do pour out my heart and soul into a project so that it is relatable and has depth, purpose and in this case, history. The Dante’s history span centuries so this is a story that could go on forever. And there is still lots of story to tell. As with all new properties, it’s a tough sale….especially with a female protagonist. Don’t ask me why, you’d be preaching to the choir about that one.” […]    –Leonardo Ramirez, “Where is Haven of Dante today?,” Leonardoverse, August 2019

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 (Florida State University BA ’20, MA ’22)

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 BA ’20, MA ’22)

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

Matt Hawkins and Darrick Robertson’s Comic “Dante”

“Dante is a new one-shot from writer Matt Hawkins (SYMMETRY, THINK TANK) and Jason Ning and artist Darick Robertson (HAPPY!, Transmetropolitan, TheBoys). It’s a tie-in with came packager Cryptozoic and IP company Strange turn. The story involved an assassin whose trying to go straight but stuff happens.”   –Heidi Macdonald, The Beat: The Blog of Comics Culture, October 18, 2016

“Dante was a family man with a wife and a young daughter—and also a top assassin working for an international crime syndicate. For two decades, he worked hard to keep those two lives separate. Manipulated into thinking he could retire with the syndicate’s blessing, Dante is betrayed. While fighting to save himself, he accidentally kills a young Asian boy—an act which changes him forever. Cursed, and covered with otherworldly tattoos, Dante embarks on a journey to uncover the source of this supernatural affliction, and to save his family.”  [. . .]

Contributed by David Israel

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)