Groucho is the butler, companion of adventures and as well best friend of Dylan Dog, and one of the main characters of the “ Dylan Dog” comic book.
The character was created by Tiziano Sclavi and appears since the the first number of Dylan Dog ("Dawn of the Living Dead") and is present in almost all adventures of the series.
His appearance is based on the American Actor Groucho Marx from which he takes the physical aspect and some personality traits. For the obvious similarity and for a copyright problem in the English language version of “Dylan Dog”, Groucho has been renamed Felix and he has no mustaches.
The first encounter with Dylan Dog
Groucho is the assistant of the investigator of nightmare Dylan Dog always ready to throw the gun to Dylan when necessary, even if he is not very good in that, one out of three he throws it in the head of his boss, and unloaded.
Dylan ex-cop knew Groucho during one of his first assignment as a detective of nightmare: a woman ask for his help because she thinks that the floor of his house was haunted by some evil presence, but there was no other than Groucho, who was sleeping in a trunk, and when Dylan finds him he doean’t call the police, Groucho to repay him becomes is assistant.
Groucho never reveal his real name to Dylan Dog but many believe that his name is Julius.
In fact, in the special episode entitled “Marionette”, a puppeteer call him Julius, but it only does so because even the real name of the American actor Groucho Marx was Julius.
Characteristics and Duties of Groucho
His first role in the stories is to receive the customers in the Dylan's office, that he welcome by telling any kind of abstruse jokes, with Dylan always ready to chase him away , sending him into the kitchen to make tea.
In very few occasions he manages to be a perfect and impeccable butler , Dylan is convinced that when he behaves in that way, he is not feeling well.
Even if Dylan is often exasperated by Groucho behavior, he never fires him, the bond of friendship between the two is too strong and also the assistant was very helpful in different investigator's problems like Dylan alcoholism.
Another important task of the assistant Groucho is to pass the gun to Dylan in dangerous situations. The weapon, however, is often unloaded and Groucho is justified by saying: "Sorry boss, I forgot to load the gun again."
On the number 23, "The Mysterious Island”, he accidentally throws to its boss even a clarinet.
However, on the rare occasions when Groucho is directly to use the gun he proves to be a skilled marksman, always managing to hit the opponents from a great distance.
He was to install the screaming doorbell in the Dylan Dog office. At the beginning Dylan was quite annoyed and asked Groucho to replace it with a normal doorbell, but later he decided to keep the screaming one.
Another particular of Groucho is that during the series he often speaks directly to the reader by telling jokes, in order to downplay a serious o cruel situation in the comic's story.
Over the years, some special issues were dedicated to Groucho published as attachment of the main “Dylan Dog” comic book.