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Life of 16th-century heiress, philanthropist and crypto-Jew hits Italian comics

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MANTUA, Italy — The larger-than-life story of a 16th-century Jewish merchant is getting the comic book treatment in “The Wandering Jewess.”

Written by Gianluca Piredda and illustrated by Leo Sgarbi, the four-episode series is a graphic history of the adventurous life of Doña Gracia Nasi (1510–1569), a courageous woman who defied convention and fought for the religious freedom of herself and her fellow Jews in the shadow of the Spanish Inquisition.

Published in the last few weeks in the popular Italian weekly Lanciostory, the series follows Nasi, one of the wealthiest Jewish women of the Renaissance, who was forced to live in public as a Christian along with other hidden Sephardic Jews.

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Piredda, a writer, journalist and screenwriter, has also found a loyal following in the American market thanks to his work on cult series such as “Airboy” and “Warrior Nun,” the latter of which has become a favorite among Netflix viewers. Robin Wood, creator of Dago, on the right, with publisher Enzo Marino in 2015. (Courtesy)

The creators of “The Wandering Jewess” mixed reality and fantasy by bringing together Nasi and “Dago,” the fictional protagonist of a popular comic strip created in 1980 by South American writer Robin Wood. Dago made his debut in Laciostory in 1983, and his adventures are now produced in Italy. Gianluca Piredda, author of ‘The Wandering Jewess.’ (Courtesy)

“He is a Renaissance character who has traveled the world, even arriving in the America of the Conquistadors, passing throughout Europe and Africa,” Piredda tells The Times of Israel. “He is a classic figure, typical of novels, who conquers and fascinates readers. Dago........

© The Times of Israel

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