A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in South Korea alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes. Strips are drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist; as the name implies, comic strips can be humorous. Starting in the late 1920s, comic strips expanded from their mirthful origins to feature adventure stories, as seen in Popeye, Captain Easy, Buck Rogers and The Adventures of Tintin. Soap-opera continuity strips such as Judge Parker and Mary Worth gained popularity in the 1940s.
All are called, comic strips, though cartoonist Will Eisner has suggested that "sequential art" would be a better genre-neutral name. In the UK and the rest of Europe, comic strips are serialized in comic book magazines, with a strip's story sometimes continuing over three pages or more. Comic strips have appeared in American magazines such as Liberty and Boys' Life and on the front covers of magazines, such as the Flossy Frills series on The American Weekly Sunday newspaper supplement. Storytelling using a sequence of pictures has existed through history. One medieval European example in textile form is the Bayeux Tapestry. Printed examples emerged in 19th-century Germany and in 18th-century England, where some of the first satirical or humorous sequential narrative drawings were produced. William Hogarth's 18th century English cartoons include both narrative sequences, such as A Rake's Progress, single panels; the Biblia pauperum, a tradition of picture Bibles beginning in the Middle Ages, sometimes depicted Biblical events with words spoken by the figures in the miniatures written on scrolls coming out of their mouths—which makes them to some extent ancestors of the modern cartoon strips.
In China, with its traditions of block printing and of the incorporation of text with image, experiments with what became lianhuanhua date back to 1884. The first newspaper comic strips appeared in North America in the late 19th century; the Yellow Kid is credited as one of the first newspaper strips. However, the art form combining words and pictures developed and there are many examples which led up to the comic strip. Swiss author and caricature artist Rodolphe Töpffer is considered the father of the modern comic strips, his illustrated stories such as Histoire de M. Vieux Bois, first published in the USA in 1842 as The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck or Histoire de Monsieur Jabot, inspired subsequent generations of German and American comic artists. In 1865, German painter and caricaturist Wilhelm Busch created the strip Max and Moritz, about two trouble-making boys, which had a direct influence on the American comic strip. Max and Moritz was a series of moralistic tales in the vein of German children's stories such as Struwwelpeter.
Max and Moritz provided an inspiration for German immigrant Rudolph Dirks, who created the Katzenjammer Kids in 1897. Familiar comic-strip iconography such as stars for pain, sawing logs for snoring, speech balloons, thought balloons originated in Dirks' strip. Hugely popular, Katzenjammer Kids occasioned one of the first comic-strip copyright ownership suits in the history of the medium; when Dirks left William Randolph Hearst for the promise of a better salary under Joseph Pulitzer, it was an unusual move, since cartoonists deserted Pulitzer for Hearst. In a unusual court decision, Hearst retained the rights to the name "Katzenjammer Kids", while creator Dirks retained the rights to the characters. Hearst promptly hired Harold Knerr to draw his own version of the strip. Dirks renamed his version Fritz. Thus, two versions distributed by rival syndicates graced the comics pages for decades. Dirks' version distributed by United Feature Syndicate, ran until 1979. In the United States, the great popularity of comics sprang from the newspaper war between Pulitzer and Hearst.
The Little Bears was the first American comic strip with recurring characters, while the first color comic supplement was published by the Chicago Inter-Ocean sometime in the latter half of 1892, followed by the New York Journal's first color Sunday comic pages in 1897. On January 31, 1912, Hearst introduced the nation's first full daily comic page in his New York Evening Journal; the history of this newspaper rivalry and the rapid appearance of comic strips in most major American newspapers is discussed by Ian Gordon. Numerous events in newspaper comic strips have reverberated throughout society at large, though few of these events occurred in recent years, owing to the declining role of the newspaper comic strip as an entertainment form; the longest-running American comic strips are: The Katzenjammer Kids Gasoline Alley Ripley's Believe It or Not! Barney Google and Snuffy Smith Thimble Theater/Popeye Blondie Bringing Up Father (1913–2000.
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Rat-Man is an Italian comic about an inept superhero of the same name, created by Leonardo Ortolani in 1989. Although it was meant to be a satire of other superheroes, most prominently Batman, it has since evolved into an independent comic sporting a complex, evolving continuity; the comic is well known for its nonsense humor à-la Monty Python, its engaging storytelling and its frequent breaking of the fourth wall. Ortolani pays both direct and indirect tribute to other comic authors and he makes his characters use pop-culture references, either generic or specific to the native Italian context and background; the comic was published by Panini Comics as new installments under the name of Rat-Man Collection and is being published as reprints of older stories in Rat-Man Gigante. The character of Rat-Man appeared for the first time in the second issue of Spot, a supplement to the Italian magazine L'Eternauta #86 of June 1990, shortly after Leonardo Ortolani won a young artists' contest. From 1990 to 1995 Rat-Man was published on the fanzine Made in USA.
After the debut, Leo Ortolani chose to self-publish the comic alongside his primary job as a geologist. The contract allowed him to use popular Marvel characters like Captain America, Doctor Doom and Elektra in Rat-Man stories. Leo Ortolani stated his intention to close the series with issue #100, which would be published around January 2014 if no changes are made to the current bi-monthly publishing schedule, he on remarked how this was a joke not to be taken and that the series would have ended after #100. In fact in 2016 Ortolani stated his intention to close the series with issue #122, published around September 2017. Rat-Man was born as a parody of Batman, reflected in his name, in his gadgets and in the details of his first story. For example, while Bruce Wayne took inspiration from a bat coming through his window, Deboroh took inspiration after a similar search from his weekly Mickey Mouse comic, they both lost their parents at a young age, both vowed to fight crime to avenge them and both inherited a large fortune with which they fund their activities.
Rat-Man had a sidekick named Topin, inspired by Robin. Rat-Man's stories were either classical superhero stories, with the main character fighting various supervillains to save his city, or, the world, or parodies of famous works of fiction. Sometimes, there would be stories revealing Rat-Man's past and troubled origins as a superhero; the "normal" superhero stories have been abandoned in favour of telling his present problems as he struggles to find his identity. The parody stories continue as usual used to break between story arcs. Among the parodied works, there are Star Trek, Star Wars, 300, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, 007, many others. In Rat-Man's universe, two entities fight against each other: the Light, representing all, good and pure, the Shadow, a force of evil and corruption. After the Second World War, the First Secret Squad, a team of superheroes led by the Pipistrello, combats for truth and justice backed by the Light, in an age of great prosperity and peace. After this failure, in 1954, the Shadow abandons the current vessel it had to take the body of the criminal boss Boda Valker, contaminates his son, Janus, as well.
Despite the best efforts of Samuel Krik a simple cop but affiliated with the Light, the child is irrimediably corrupted, is taken by his father to be trained as his successor. Under Boda's leadership, the Shadow instills fear in the heart of the No Name Country, who starts to doubt the superheroes. Feeling that they are manipulated, the First Secret Squad quits and is subsequently killed by the traitor Lupo in 1965. Two years Deboroh la Roccia is born. Deboroh is not an intelligent child, but he is well-meaning and willing to become a superhero after reading their adventures in comic books, he is taken in an orphanage after being lost by his parents in a mall sale, he is rescued by Janus Valker, who believes him to be his son. However, this is a lie installed in his brain by his brother, the insane Joba, in order to control him and make him weak with the affection for someone. Janus falls for it and becomes attached to the child, despite being stupid; the young Deboroh still carries his dream to become a superhero.
In the meantime, the Shadow, through its agents and the scientific research centre Elsewhere, in which Janus works, is planning the Second Secret Squad in order to control the nation and influence it. Since the program involves total anonymity, Janus has Deboroh join it as Rat-Boy as a way to fulfill his wish to become a superhero and protect him from the Shadow, seeking to further corrupt him; the Second Squad, led by Wolf, fails to unite the nation and is seen as a tool of the government. They clash with the Men in Tights, heroes who spontaneously embraced the teachings of the First Secret Squad and consider themselves the true heirs of their legacy; the No Name Country loses faith in superheroes. In 1984, Rat-Boy quits the squad. Janus contacts him one last time after he discovers Joba's deception in order to erase from both minds any memory of the other, he hopes that by doing so they can escape and rebuild new lives. Unfortunately
Leonardo Ortolani, better known as Leo, is an Italian comics author, creator of the comic book series Rat-Man. He was born in Pisa. In 1968 Ortolani moved to Parma, where he still lives with his wife Caterina and his adoptive daughters Johanna and Lucy Maria. From an early age, Ortolani showed a great passion for the world of comic books, in particular The Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, which will affect its style of narrative. After finishing high school, he enrolled at the University of Parma to study Geology. While at university, Ortolani draws his characters first, the theme of geology became a catchphrase of the first issues of his major work, Rat-Man. In 1989 joined publishing house Comic Art to work on two stories: the tragic and the other comic. Publisher Rinaldo Traini published the comic story on the second Spot; the shocking origins of Rat-Man earned Ortolani an award for best newcomer by Lucca Comics of 1990. With this visibility, Leo began to collaborate with independent fanzines.
For the fanzineMade in USA he created two more stories starring Rat-Man and several parodies of superheroes. The most important works of this cycle are his four parodies of the Fantastic Four. Kirby stopped drawing Fantastic Four at issue #102. Ortolani wrote numbers 103-106 upsetting the group. Called to military service in the Air Force, Ortolani drew inspiration from life in the barracks, gathering his experiences in a detailed diary that became the starting point for The last rookie, a strip on military life which were published as an appendix to Storm Trooper. During this period, Ortolani collaborated on the Starcomìx humor magazine directed by Luca Boschi and published by Star Comics in Totem Comic and Totem Extra, where he made The impervious, The wonder of nature and The wonders of technology. In this period he stripped the series Those of Parma, published in the Gazzetta di Parma, speaking of the city of Parma and its inhabitants, a selection of, collected in the volume Editions Bands Dessinée.
The short stories of the series of Wonderland were taken years collected in three volumes by Panini Comics. In 1995 Leo Ortolani published Venerdì 12 as a series of the comic magazine L'isola che non c'è; that same year, Ortolani chose to self-publish the comic book series Rat-Man alongside his primary job as a geologist. The contract allowed him to use popular Marvel characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, Doctor Doom and Elektra in Rat-Man stories. Ortolani created several popular parodies of famous works of fiction and blockbusters in his Rat-Man stories. In 1999 Leo Ortolani created a parody of Star Wars. In 2004 he created a parody of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2005 Ortolani published Star Rats - Episodio I, a parody of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the best selling Panini Comics book in the release month. In 2007 Ortolani created a parody of 300 and one of his best works. In 2009 he created a parody of Rambo films. In 2010 he published a parody of Avatar. In 2011 Leo Ortolani created La Quadrilogia dei Sacrificabili, a parody of The Expendables series, that won the award "Fede a strisce 2011" at RiminiComix.
In 2012 he created a parody of Harry Potter and Twilight series. That same year he published Allen, a parody of Alien. In 2014 Leo Ortolani published Star Rats - Episodio II, a parody of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, soon after in 2015 he published Star Rats - Episodio III, a parody of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. In 2016 Ortolani stated his intention to close the series Rat-Man with issue #122, published around September 2017. Le meraviglie Rat-Man Gli intaccabili Venerdì 12 La lunga notte dell'investigatore Merlo Star Rats Il Signore dei Ratti Star Rats - Episodio I Avarat Allen Ratolik Star Rats - Episodio II Star Rats - Episodio III C'è spazio per tutti Ratboy Cinzia The ending of Fantastic Four's first 100 issues. L'ultima burba Morgan Barzi, Davide. Quaderni d'autori: Leo Cimpellin e Leo Ortolani. Edizioni IF, Milano. ISBN 88-524-0010-9. Plazzi, Andrea. Leo Ortolani cuore di Rat-Man. Coniglio editore, Roma. ISBN 88-88833-14-5. Official website Official Rat-Man website