The Graphic Adventures of SADISTIK

This website is devoted to the criminal escapades of the infamous international King of Crime! In print, in films and soon on TV, he has numerous aliases. Many countries know him as KILLING, in other places as SATANIK. He is a movie star in Turkey under the name KiLiNK! In America, he is... SADISTIK!


The following is excerpted from the TOP SECRET files appearing in the SADISTIK dossier serving as an introduction to SADISTIK 1: MONSTER WITH A 1000 MASKS!


Up front it must be admitted that the graphic adventures of SADISTIK are without any redeeming social value at all. They feature an amoral, skeleton-clad, serial killer-terrorist whose exploits involve the torture and murder of a non-stop array of beautiful victims. The tales were deemed so outrageous that even the French had to ban their edition of the series after a year and a half. That said, these stories are relatively tame compared to today’s standard movie fare. Actors machine gun down dozens of people at a time, horror films have close-up vivisection and hard-core nudity is available at the flick of a switch... Still, even after forty years the actions of SADISTIK are still brutal and disturbing.

Experiencing SADISTIK is like finding a lost Italian film from the 1960s and the stories are informed by the multitude of crime, horror and spy releases of the era. SADISTIK reflects the go-go James Bond 007 Playboy jet-set mid-1960s world in escapades loaded with wry quips and a bevy of sexy and amenable femme fatales. While ‘violence against women’ is a purple pulp noir staple of the series, the torment is mostly perpetrated on conniving, villainous men and women who are thwarting the designs of SADISTIK (and would do the same to him given the chance).

Though there has been no shortage of visual fiction and comic books in America, photo novels have not really made their mark. Only the smallest minority of the public has been exposed to the genre. The closest thing was the Spanish language Mexican masked wrestler El Santo and Satanik did make it to French Canada. American comic books are known for their colorfully costumed, crime-fighting superheroes. The older countries of Europe have comic books, too, but their indigenous editions are populated with dark, lawbreaking super-criminals. 

France introduced the ruthless master thief Fantomas at a time when American pulps presented the happenings of heroic cowboys and detectives. In a succession of publications, serials, films and TV shows, Fantomas and other criminal adventurers like Raffles, Fu Manchu and Dr. Mabuse surfaced throughout the century and cast their shadow over the world.

IMAGE fantomas-pulp-covers.jpg

(From L to R:) The cover of the first FANTOMAS pulp released in 1911 followed by a 1947 movie poster. The first issue of the digest-sized Italian comic sensation DIABOLIK. Advertisement for the DANGER: DIABOLIK film designed to resemble a comic book cover. Below are clips from the fantastic super-kriminal films THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, directed by Fritz Lang, and FANTOMAS RETURNS, showing off his master of disguise skills


In 1962, two Italian sisters, Angela and Luciana Giussani, created the comic book character Diabolik. He is a skilled burglar, master of disguise, expert with knives and had no compunction against slaying anyone who got in his way. Clad head to toe in black, only his piercing eyes exposed, Diabolik is accompanied by the beautiful Eva Kant in his crime career. He became the template for many of the anti-heroes to follow.  An incredible film, Danger: Diabolik, was made in 1967 by director Mario Bava and the comic digest is still being published in Europe today. Diabolik also started a K craze with characters springing up like Kriminal, Demoniak, Satanik (two of them), Killing, Sadik and Fatalik.

The trailer to Mario Bava's 1967 film DANGER: DIABOLIK (narrated by Telly Savalas)

IMAGE trailer.jpg

Jumping on the killer comics bandwagon, creator Max Bunker (pen name for Luciano Secchi) came up with Kriminal. He was an assassin, this time sporting a yellow (sometimes red) skeleton motif jumpsuit topped off with a skull mask. A pair of Kriminal movies were shot starting in 1967 and the comic recently had a revival. Like Diabolik, Kriminal toned down his indiscriminant slayings over the years and started killing only those who really, truly deserved it.

IMAGE: kriminal-covers.jpg

Some early covers from Max Bunker’s KRIMINAL and the first KRIMINAL movie poster.

In 1966, a new character was introduced who had no such reservations and embarked on a series of imaginative torture and slaughter. This time the stories were depicted with photos instead of illustrations. The new super-serial killer photo novel was called KILLING in Italy and published simultaneously in France as SATANIK. Kriminal perhaps influenced editor Pietro Granelli when devising KILLING, as the new character wore a black and white outfit adorned with a skeleton design and topped with a skull mask. The series followed the pattern set by the established Italian costumed criminals as his comely companion Dana assisted KILLING in outlandish intercontinental crime campaigns that resulted in soaring body counts.

IMAGE: kriminal-covers-2.jpg

A still from the KRIMINAL movie is sandwiched between two French posters. Y'gotta admit that the outfit of SADISTIK is much more impressive than filmdom's KRIMINAL! Below is a still from the first KRIMINAL film.

  Apparently irked by the homage, Secchi came up with his own character named Satanik for the Italian market. This new Satanik was a disfigured woman who became beautiful and murderous through a potion. Pietro Vivarelli directed an entertaining 1968 film based on this comic, a mild horror film including an odd Diabolik-inspired striptease. Because Secchi’s Kriminal and Satanik are confused with the KILLING and SATANIK photo comics, the English version has the character redubbed as SADISTIK to avoid future misunderstandings.

IMAGE: satanik-cover-1.jpg

The cover of Bunker's first issue for the Italian SATANIK, followed by a Mexican poster for the SATANIK film. Other posters promote the Diabolik-connection.

      The stories are grisly indeed and the content proved too much for the French authorities after 19 issues, though the Italian edition ran for 43 more issues. KILLING appeared in Italian, German, Turkish and South American versions. SATANIK was distributed in Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Morocco, Tunisia and Canada but never in America or in English until now.


IMAGE:  horror-on-trial.jpg


In the mid-60s, many Italians were outraged by the spread of the dark comics. A leading magazine printed a debate with testimony from top psychologists, writers actors and politicians. Pictured on the cover were KILLING, SATANIK, SADIK, DEMONIAK and KRIMINAL

IMAGE: vintage-covers-satanik.jpg

Vintage covers of the original adventures of SADISTIK from the mid-1960s. Such covers, along with full color vintage pin-ups from the magazines (and pictures of the Diabolikal Super-Kiminal menacing victims, are on display in the new 2007 SADISTIK Calendar!

       Many actors active in the contemporary European film scene appear in SADISITIK photo novels. Each saga was directed by Rosario Borelli, an actor and singer who became a photo novel star. He moved on to direct the dramas and was rumored to actually be the man behind the mask. As with any continuing production, Borelli had a repertory cast of actors who star in an episode sometimes or appear as a supporting character. SADISTIK’s paramour Dana was portrayed by Luciana Paoli. She appeared in a bunch of Italian films from 1959 to 1968 working with the likes of Marcello Mastroianni and Mario Bava. She is the subject of a pictorial and filmography in SADISTIK 1: MONSTER WITH A 1000 MASKS!. Each SADISTIK release will include special extras related to the actors.


Ultra-Lurid New KILLING, SATANIK, KILINK T-Shirts for 2007

Incredible new INTERNATIONAL Diabolikal Super-Kriminal T-Shirts!

As most know, the King of Crime is known by many names all over the world. We're proud to present, for the first time EVER, authorized T-Shirts and other products featuring featuring vintage covers of the Crime Genius from all over the world