Italian Erotic Comics at the CSSC Conference


I will be presenting a paper at the conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics, which takes place this weekend in Toronto, May 8 to 10, in collaboration with the Toronto Comics Art Festival.

My presentation, which is based on a portion of my recently-completed master’s thesis, is titled “‘Tiny Forbidden Windows: Italian Erotic Comics of the 1960s and Dino Buzzati’s Poema a fumetti.” My talk will examine the connection between Poema a fumetti, a ground-breaking graphic novel from 1969 written and illustrated by the Italian novelist Dino Buzzati, and the genre that was then emerging in Italy of adult pulp comics. I argue that Buzzati was able to see in comics the possibility of a new, more direct and less baggage-laden means of developing the existential themes that had always been at the heart of his literary production because these mass-produced adult comics had already infused the medium with a certain raw immediacy and an undercurrent of unexpressed impulses and desires.

All CSSC and TCAF events are free and open to the public. Just in case you happen to be in Toronto and are interested in hearing my talk, I will be presenting on Friday, May 9, at 2:30, in the “Rosedale Room” of the Marriott Hotel, at 90 Bloor Street East. I’d love to see you there!

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4 Responses to Italian Erotic Comics at the CSSC Conference

  1. Claire Warren says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE find time in your busy schedule to complete the T. S Eliot comic. I want it desperately. Have you seen the illustrated “Song of Myself” and Heart of Darkness at TinHouse — they’re both books, not comics, but they’re amazing. Also from TinHouse is a thick book — all illustrations, one for each page of Gravity’s Rainbow, which, of course, I had to go out and buy so I could really read it and contemplate the illustrations. The Whitman illustrations on fabulous! So where is the T. S Eliot comic?How about some gorgeous pre-Raphaelite-ish copies of Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” and Keats’s “Isabella and the Pot of Basil”? And, man, could I go for a cooly illustrated Hamlet! You have WORK to do (when you get back from your conference).

    DO keep me on your list and let me know anytime to finish anything that is available for purchase. Don’t you have a Poe? Is it finished? May I order it somehow? C.

    Date: Wed, 7 May 2014 16:37:07 +0000 To:


    • Thank you for your encouragement, Claire! I hope you’re well! I know I should be making finishing “Prufrock” priority number one, but it’s difficult when other more short-term –and thus more readily attainable– opportunities come up. But I’m done my thesis now, and I’m planning to devote the next few months as much as possible exclusively to comics. I will get back to Eliot very soon! I’ve seen the illustrated “Heart of Darkness” from TinHouse, but not the other two. I’ve always wanted to read “Gravity’s Rainbow,” so I’ll check that out for sure! Thanks for the comics suggestions, although Hamlet may be a tad ambitious! Prufrock is already an epic by my usual standards. As for Poe, I have a self-published “Annabel Lee” zine, if you’re interested.


  2. Anonymous says:

    j’espère qu’il y a matière à faire rire l’assistance dans ce sujet qui semble si sérieux en te lisant,



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