In the previous article (Part 1), I suggested that we can use Comics as a different kind of material to practice foreign language with more effectiveness. I also indicated what are the main benefits of using them in our language learning process and started a list of the most important Italian "fumetti".
In this part, I'm going to continue that list with comics we can use at an upper Italian reading level.
From Beginner to Intermediate
Lupo Alberto is a blue wolf madly in love with a hen named Martha. She lives in the Mckenzie farm and Lupo Alberto constantly tries to steal her, but his attempts are never successful. The comics are always laughable and the main characters are very popular, especially among teenagers.
Lupo Alberto was started in 1974 but it has stood the test of time (more poetic) thanks to its brilliant dialogues and funny plots. Its reading level (readability is technically a word, but it’s very awkward and rarely used) is a little more complicated than that of Topolino. Grammar structures are simple but it contains a lot of slang terms and phrases.
You can have an idea of what the comics are like on Amazon, where you can find a complete digital edition of all the strips of Lupo Alberto since its first appearance. If you want, you can read for free an extract of all the comic books. Each digital volume costs just 1,49 euro.
Simple e Madama
This comic has gained a recent popularity. Born as posts on Facebook, Simple e Madama is the story of a couple of cartoonists and their everyday experiences. It would be a great choice if you want to have a view of Italian culture in a simple and straightforward language.
Actually, Simple and Madama are the typical example of an Italian modern couple. Lorenza Di Sepio tells us, with humour, about the nights off with friends, shopping, dieting and their love life. You can find her comics on Amazon or you can simply follow her on Facebook where she shares strips almost every day.
From Intermediate to Advanced
If you already have a good grasp of grammar and vocabulary, you can choose one of these comics that are suited for upper levels.
Diabolik is a very successful series that has inspired a film, video game adaptions, and animated tv series. The main character is an expert and an unscrupulous thief, an anti-hero that steals from criminals. He is also a master of disguise and is aided by his partner Eva Kant.
This acclaimed comic series was created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962. It’s marked by suspense and action. Its dialogues are strong and articulated and there are a lot of captions explaining the scenes.
The cheap way to read Diabolik is on Google Play or ITunes where you can find comic books at 0.99 euro.
Dylan Dog, Martyn Mystère and Julia
One is the nightmare investigator, the other the detective of impossible and the last a young criminologist looking like Audrey Hepburn. If you like detective stories, you will get addicted to Dylan Dog, Martyn Mystère or Julia. The first investigates paranormal events in the suburbs of London, the second is an archaeologist and studies the most enigmatic events of human history, and the third is the story of a brilliant female professor at University, who helps local police to solve crimes.
According to the genre, the language of these comics is rich in hypothesis, conditional structures and complicated sentences. You need a solid knowledge of advanced grammar structures to fully appreciate these stories. The publishing house Edilingua has created a series named “Imparare l’Italiano con i fumetti” that include a short version of the original text of the first two episodes of Dylan Dog (“L’alba dei morti viventi” and “Jack lo squartatore”) and of Julia (“Ucciderò” and “Una cara, carissima amica”) accompanied by explanations and activities. You can buy it here or on Amazon. In addition, you can download the audio track and a glossary that will help you with reading for free, after registration on this website (click on Materiali per studenti – Imparare l’Italiano con i fumetti – audio or glossari and then you can choose what comics book).