Impressive sliding doors in the shape of a shield open up into the fantastic realm of comic-strip stories where the past meets up with the present in a cultural-emotional continuum. The atmosphere is that of an old factory polished up for the occasion, combined with a modern touch reflected in the ceiling of luminous panels of ever-changing colours and the dream-like quality of the background music. The first room is dedicated to the polyhedric illustrator, actor, director and comedy writer Sergio Tofano and the public is welcomed by the very Signor Bonaventura himself before setting off for a fascinating journey among the very first magazines for children such as "Frugolino" ("Risveglio Educativo", 1880) or the better known "Novellino" (1898) by 'Yambo', Giulio Enrico Novelli, where along with games and illustrated stories appeared the first strips without captions or balloons.
1908 marked the conventional debut of the Italian comic strip however with the legendary "Corriere dei Piccoli", followed by works of artists mostly from the world of illustrating for children's books who coloured the imagination of whole generations of children in the early twentieth century. In the Museum it is possible to admire all sorts of publications and original drawings, prints, sketches, drafts and studies, including, in the fore, the very first comics of Mickey Mouse in huge dimensions, edited in the thirties by Nerbini which also contained comic-strips of adventure stories and shorter narratives for children.
The next room, named after the brothers Federico and Luciano Pedrocchi, both scriptwriters and editors, houses the statue of the merciless commander Rebo from 'Saturn against the World'; in the forties, the comic-strip is created for adults and it is the period not only of the science-fiction sagas, masked heroes and the format of the horizontal album, typically 'made in Italy', but also of the popular comic with names such as " l'Intrepido" or the "Monello" on the model of the feuilleton or serialized novel which can be considered the forefathers of today's soap-operas.
The third room of the exhibition is dedicated to Gian Luigi Bonelli, co-author with Aurelio Galeppini of the indestructible 'Eagle of the Night' or Tex Willer, at the head of an interesting and variegated overview of the most important and vastly differing comic albums published during the fifties. In 1962 the sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani created the 'King of Terror', otherwise known as Diabolik, destined to lead the era of the 'fumetto nero', literally 'black comic' and of the pocket edition, introduced by the publishing house Astorina. Other creations of the period include Kriminal and Satanik by Magnus and Bunker (1964) and the erotic comic, following the 'black', introduced in 1966 by Barbieri and Cavedon, as well as some American superheroes such as Nembo Kid and children's TV heroes like Lassie and Rin TinTin transposed in comic form. Space is also dedicated to the great Walt Disney, with original drawings exhibited by the best artist of the Italian Disney school.
Considering the enormous amount of documentation belonging to the Museum (currently about 30,000 original drawings and sketches and 500,000 albums and comics) the material is exhibited in turn on a rotatory basis, although always accessible from the multimedial stands installed in the specific room dedicated to Benito Jacovitti where, by means of telematic processes, it is possible to take off on fantastic virtual journeys back into the worlds of our favourite super-heroes, consult the on-line database or simply watch an artist 'live' at work.