On 18 January 1941 the publishing house that everyone knows today as Sergio Bonelli Editore was born. Eighty years after that date – which appears on the cover of issue 331 of L’Audace, the first published by the new company owned by Gianluigi Bonelli – at Spazio Messina at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan comes the exhibition Bonelli Story. 80 anni a fumetti (80 years in comics), open from 8 October 2021 to 30 January 2022.
The exhibition, curated by the editorial staff of Sergio Bonelli Editore with Gianni Bono and Comicon in co-production with the City of Milan and winner of the public notice Promozione Fumetto 2021 promoted by the Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea of the Ministry of Culture, celebrates one of the most important comics publishers in the world.
Since its origins, the name Bonelli has been synonymous with adventure. Three generations of publishers have transformed comics from a craft to a Factory of Dreams.
The founder Gianluigi Bonelli, his heir Sergio with his mother Tea and, today, his grandson Davide, together with hundreds of collaborators, have brought more than two hundred titles to newsstands, comics shops and bookshops. An astonishing story, made up of people and characters, comics and comic strip artists, behind the scenes and twists and turns, to remain always at the side of the readers, despite changing customs and epochal changes.
The exhibition at the Fabbrica del Vapore is the richest and most important exhibition ever dedicated to the publishing house and the main initiative for the celebrations of Bonelli’s eightieth anniversary and its fundamental role in the diffusion of comics culture in our country. A special occasion to confront with some of the best-known characters and the most beloved sagas through the many genres that Bonelli publications have crossed over the years: the West, adventure, science fiction, horror and mystery, detective stories, fantasy. A roundup that will once again see in the front row Tex (which in 2018 conquered visitors with the exhibition Tex. 70 anni di un mito), Dylan Dog, a pop icon on the newsstands for 35 years, Martin Mystère, Mister No, Julia, Dampyr, Nathan Never (celebrating its 30th anniversary), Zagor (celebrating its 60th anniversary), but also the heroes that animated the newsstands in the 1940s and 1950s, without forgetting more recent successes, such as Dragonero, and future prospects.