Today we reveal the poster specially made by Marcello Toninelli for the “In the middle of the journey of a comic strip” exhibition. Dante in comics. Special bonus: Marcello himself will explain how he created his illustration!

When Cartoon Club asked me to realise Dante’s poster I figured that the two key elements of the composition would have been the characters of my cartoon version and the most dantesque place in Rimini: the Rocca dei Malatesta (Malatesta’s fortress), where the murder of Paolo and Francesca (the main characters of the well-known Canto V) have been committed. 

As far as the spaces dedicated to the name of the organisation, to the dates and to the sponsors acronyms are concerned I followed the organisators’ instruction. I decided to put in the foreground a big image of Dante leaning on a Divine Comedy edition with the name of the Supreme poet and the allusion to the 700th anniversary of his death on the back cover.

Some of the most important and/or iconic characters pop out of the book, as Caco the centaur, Virgil & Beatrice, Charon and Geyron who rises above the fortress, that is framed in a separate background image, in order to leashift the observer’s focus upwards. Paolo and Francesca, who inevitably fly dragged by an infernal storm around the fortress, empathise the bond between the manifestation and the city of Rimini.

Before I used a light blue pencil (that cannot  be read by the scanner) and then an indian ink to realise the work that I scanned and painted with Photoshop choosing the colors of the Shockdom’s “final” edition.

For the fortress I picked the colours that I considered the most appropriate for a background and I employed my “ligne claire” style that I have already adopted in several comics, since the time of Fox Trot! magazine, such as Agenzia Scacciamostri and il Giornalino. 

Marcello Toninelli