Jacula


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Jacula

(pop culture)

An Italian adult comic book of the 1970s and possibly the most successful vampire comic book of all time, Jacula ran for 327 issues from 1968 to 1982, and then an additional 129 reprint issues from 1982 to 1984. The comic took its name from the female vampire whose adventures were featured in its pages. According to the storyline, Jacula became a vampire after being bitten by another vampire in 1835 in Transylvania. She eventually became so proficient (learning, for example, to live unscathed in sunlight) that she was elected as the vampire queen. According to the mythology of the stories, vampires are in a league with the devil (Satan), who uses them in pursuit of his long-term goal: to discover Jesus Christ’s grave and thus prove to the world that his resurrection is a myth. Quite apart from Satan’s plan, however, Jacula had a number of remarkable adventures, often with the assistance of her mortal lover Carlo Verdier, including encounters with Frankenstein’s monster, Jack the Ripper, and the Marquis de Sade.

Jacula was created by a group of comic artists who operated collectively as Studio Giolitti and was published by Erregi (later Ediperiodici). The publisher was continually harassed because of, by 1960s standards, the slightly pornographic nature of the publication (Jacula was more often than not pictured sans clothing). Public protest eventually brought the series to an end. The title character gave her name to an Italian experimental progressive rock band also founded in 1968 in Milan. The band included Antonio Bartoccetti, Doris Norton (also known as Fiamma Dello Spirito), Charles Tiring, and Franz Porthenzy.

Sources:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1897–1997. Monza: Penguin’s Editions, 1997. 61 pp.
Giovannini, Fabio. Il libro dei vampiri: Dal mito di Dracula alla presenza quotidiana. Bari: edizioni Dedalo, 1997. 246 pp.
Vampiri!: Miti, leggende, letteratura, cinema, fumetti, multimedialita. Milan: Editrice nord, 1998. 158 pp.