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Zagor FAQ
Frequently Asked Question, or: 25 questions, 25 answers!
by Daniele Alfonso

translation by Walter Aric˛

Zagor (5k)
drawing by G.Gentili

  1. Who's Zagor?
  2. Who has created Zagor?
  3. What does "Zagor" mean?
  4. When does Zagor's adventures develop?
  5. Where's Darkwood?
  6. Are Zagor's adventures of Western kind?
  7. Who's Cico?
  8. What's "Cico Story"?
  9. Which is the relationship between Zagor and the Native Americans?
  10. Which is the relationship between Zagor and the white men?
  11. Why the name "Spirit with the Ax"?
  12. Which is Zagor's real name?
  13. Which is Zagor's past?
  14. Who's Wandering Fitzy?
  15. Who has conceived Zagor's dress?
  16. Why there's a different numeration between the unpublished adventures series and the reprints?
  17. Who writes Zagor's stories?
  18. Who draws Zagor's stories?
  19. Who are the characters appearing in the comic strips' title page?
  20. Who is the character represented in Zagor's mail page?
  21. Which is the longest Zagor's story ever published?
  22. How many colored stories have been published?
  23. How much is Zagor tall?
  24. Did Zagor ever meet other Bonelli's characters?
  25. Does in North America exist lianas?

  1. Who's Zagor?
    Za-gor-te-nay, the Spirit with the Ax, is a man who has voted his own life to keep peace and order in the Forest of Darkwood. He said he's an "envoy of Manito," he practice his authority on all the Indian tribes of the zone, that attribute him quality of Demigod like immortality and invincibility.

  2. Who has created Zagor?
    Zagor has been conceived in 1960 by Guido Nolitta, alias Sergio Bonelli, and the drawer was Gallieno Ferri. The first story, entitled "The forest of the traps" has been published in 1961. Sergio Bonelli has abandoned the texts of his character time ago and now he devotes himself to his activity of publisher. Gallieno Ferri is the actual series' book-cover drawer. In 1975 the two has launched another character, the pilot Jerry Drake, weel known as Mister No.

  3. What does "Zagor" mean?
    Zagor is an abbreviation of the locution "Za-gor-te-nay" that, in the dialect of the Algonkino people, means "spirit with the ax." The name has stayed invented from the same Zagor. This in the pretense. In the reality, the name has been by Nolitta, and has nothing to concern with that dialect. The syllable "ZA" has been taken from "Za-La-Mort," hero from mute Italian cinema, and the syllable "GOR" drift probably from "Gordon" (Flash Gordon?). In origin the character's name had to be "Ajax," like the famous Greek hero Aiace, but Nolitta discarded the idea when he noticed that "Aiax" was a cleanser's name! The term has however been kept in Zagor's cry of battle, that is "AHHYAAKK"!.

  4. When does Zagor's adventures develop?
    The same authors say that, in the first half of the nineteenth century, between 1820 and 1840. But in the stories we can find numerous anachronisms and "poetic licenses." for instance, the Winchester rifle, that often appears in Zagor's stories, it has been made by the American gunsmith B. Tyler Henry only after 1860.

  5. Where's Darkwood?
    The forest of Darkwood is an imaginary region situated in an immediately undefined point in south of the United State Big Lakes' region.
    As Martin Mystery tells, Darkwood is a mythical place, like "Utopia" and "Avalon" (cfr. Martin Mystery n.15, "King Arthur's sword", pag.70).

  6. Are Zagor's adventures of Western kind?
    Fundamentally, so. Nevertheless the fantastic element has always been present in Zagor's adventures, that have often bordered into horror (cfr. "Zagor against the Vampire"), into science fiction (cfr. "Terror from the sixth planet") and- in a story- downright into fantasy (cfr "The black gentleman").

  7. Who's Cico?
    Don Cico Felipe Cayetano Lopez y Martinez y Gonzales is, he tells, a noble Hidalgo ( "knight") descending by Spanish Conquistadores. Inseparable Zagor's friend, Cico shares Zagor's adventures since the first number, he is a lazy Mexican, and "stooge" comic in the stories.
    Cico's names and last names probably have not ever been definite with precision (this version above is what often appears). In the special story "American Cico," succession of "Cico Story," Cico declares to be called "Felipe Cayetano Gonzales y Rodriguez y Martinez y Consalvo y Morales y Rosales y Ramirez y Herandez y Espinosa..."

  8. What's "Cico Story"?
    It's the first special story dedicated entirely to Cico's adventures, published in 1979 (Texts by Nolitta, drawing by Ferri). Other four special story came after this in the following years ( "American Cico," "A red indian called Cico," "Cico Sheriff," "Fantacico"). In 1990 we have a new special Cico's series starting with "Horror Cico" (texts by Sclavi, drawing by Gamba), and now this goes on sixmonthly.

  9. Which is the relationship between Zagor and the Native Americans?
    Zagor wanted to impose his authority on the numerous Indians tribe living the region of Darkwood, and so ho told them he is a kind of semi-god, envoy from the Big Spirit , all this in order to keep peace in the region . Zagor used more than once illusionism to show his supernatural quality to the red Indians, often with "Many Eyes' " help, man of the medicine in Mohawk tribe. All Darkwood's tribes admire Zagor for his wisdom and his strength, and they respect his law.
    Zagor is defender of the red people against white man's transgression.

  10. Which is the relationship between Zagor and the white men?
    Zagor is known and esteemed from all the white living in Darkwood's environs, they are trapper, farmers, military or small local centers' inhabitants. His enemies accuse him to be a "disowned" because of his habit to defense Indian populations of the zone.

  11. Why the name "Spirit with the Ax"?
    Because Zagor habitually fights using a kind of ax like stoned (in effects it's a tomahawk), with handle in wood. Despite he takes to the belt also a gun, generally avoid the use of it, he prefers fighting with naked hands.

  12. Which is Zagor's real name?
    Patrick Wilding (cfr. Zagor Special N.7, "Wandering Fitzy's Legend").

  13. Which is Zagor's past?
    Zagor's youth is reported in numbers 55 ( "Zagor tells..") and 56 ( "The king of Darkwood") in the regular series and in the seventh special number ( "Wandering Fitzy's Legend"). He's son of an ex official of United States' army guilty of numerous slaughters against red people, Zagor undertakes his life of executioner to expiate his parent's guilts and his same crimes he did in attempt to avenge his parents' death.

  14. Who's Wandering Fitzy?
    Escaped in young age to his family's extermination by an Indian gang in search of revenge, Zagor has been [comes raised] from the trapper "Wandering" (vagabond) Fitzy (true name: Nathaniel Fitgeraldson) a kind of poet-philosopher, as he describes himself, who educates Zagor to live in the woods, and learning him the value of liberty.

  15. Who has conceived Zagor's dress?
    A group of strolling players, the Sullivan, to which Zagor (his name still was Patrick Wilding) saved life. They had the idea of the "Spirit with the Ax".

  16. Why there's a different numeration between new adventures series and the reprints?
    Zagor has appeared for the first time on the number 52 of the paper "Zenith," and this has become Zagor's number one. But, series' name and its numeration has not been changed and therefore Zagor's regular series is called "giant Zenith" and its numeration is 51 numbers "ahead".

  17. Who writes Zagor's stories?
    After Guido Nolitta's abandonment, series' helm, after alternate vicissitudes, has gone to Marcello Toninelli (ex manager of the paper "Indian ink's smoke") and Ade Capone (creative of "Lazarus Ledd"), and subsequently has gone to the actual scriptwriters: Mauro Boselli and Moreno Burattini. Many stories have been wrote, but not signed, by numerous authors today famous, like Alfredo Castelli and Tiziano Sclavi (creator of Dylan Dog). Other authors: Maurizio Colombo, Decio Canzio, and also Bepi Vigna (only one episode). Recently there also are Giacomo Casanova and Pierpaolo Pel˛.

  18. Who draws Zagor's stories?
    At the first places there is certainly Gallieno Ferri, character's graphic creator and series' book-cover drawer, and the deceased Franco Donatelli. Then we have Francesco Gamba and Franco Bignotti then. Between the new series' draftsmen we have: Carlo Raffaele Marcello, Mauro Laurenti, Raffaele Della Monica, Alessandro Chiarolla, Marco Torricelli, Gaetano Cassaro, Stefano Andreucci, Massimo Pesce, Maurizio Dotti.
    A curiosity: Ferri and Donatelli have never reached an agreement about Cico's figure (Donatelli has drawn him with gun and cartridge belt, Ferri, instead, with the characteristic Mexican broad sock). No agreement also about Tonka, Mohawk tribe's sachem.

  19. Who are the characters appearing in the comic strips' title page?
    The two above are Zagor and Cico. Under them, two Zagoriane adventures' famous characters. On the left there is "Digging" Bill, stubborn and unlucky hunter of treasures, always regularly with no money. On the right there is Bat Batterton, private and awkward investigator emulates of Sherlock Holmes (but more similar to Clouseau inspector) famous for his unlikely disguises.

  20. Who is the character represented in Zagor's mail page?
    It's Drunky Duck, the mail carrier of Darkwood. A red indian drunkard (from which the nickname "Drunky") protagonist of amusing comic sketch together with Cico.

  21. Which is the longest Zagor's story ever published?
    The longest story starts with "Nightmares" (June 1988) and it goes on with "The demon of the folly," "Titan Reborns"!, "Hellingen's return," "Into reality's confinements" and "The end of the world" (November 1988), 513 plates written by Tiziano Sclavi and drawn by Gallieno Ferri. In this history, between Horror, science fiction and parallel universes, we can see the end of the clash between the Spirit with the ax and his terrible enemy, the insane Hellingen.

  22. How many colored stories have been published?
    Currently, five.
    Zagor n.84, "Indian Circus", Texts by Nolitta, drawings by Ferri.
    Zagor n.100, "My friend Guitar Jim", by Nolitta-Ferri.
    Zagor n.200, "Zagor 200", by Sclavi-Ferri.
    Zagor n.300, "Seven arrows race", by Toninelli-Ferri.
    Zagor n.400, "The rainbow bridge", by Boselli-Ferri.
    NOTE: In the series "Giant Zenith," number 200 is signed by Guido Nolitta, while in the reprints "TuttoZagor," we can see Tiziano Sclavi's signature.
    (Why "Indian Circus" is a colored story? I don't know!)

  23. How much is Zagor tall?
    He tells (cfr. Zagor n.96, "Hammad, the Egyptian", pag.82) he is "a meter and eightyseven centimeters" tall.

  24. Did Zagor ever meet other Bonelli's characters?
    If we exclude a fleeting apparition on Nathan Never n.61, "A ghost into the computer" by Serra-Piani-Bastianoni (apparition tied to the cited story "Nightmares"), and another on n.15 of Ken Parker, "Men, beasts and heroes" by Berardi-Milazzo, Zagor has not ever met no other character, despite readers' repeated applications about a tŔam-up with Tex Willer. Sergio Bonelli has always opposed, explaining that Zagor and Tex live in different epoches: the first in the first half of 1800 and the other in the second half.

  25. Does in North America exist lianas?
    Obviously no, we can find these in the tropical forests. But the lianas constitute the usual means of transport for Zagor, who uses these to move into Darkwood (and into any other forest). Lianas are a "poetic licenses" that the authors have taken when they have created the character, that has partly inspired to Tarzan.

 
 


 
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