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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gino D'Antonio (1927-2006)

Gino D'Antonio, one of the finest artists of comics and much beloved in his native Italy, died on 24 December at the age of 79. Born Luigi D'Antonio in Milan on 16 March 1927, D'Antonio began drawing professionally at the age of 20 and quickly established himself in Italian comics Il Vittorioso and Mondadori. He was one of the first Italian artists to work for the thriving British market in the mid-1950s, drawing for Junior Mirror, Junior Express, Eagle and Boys' World via Cosmopolitan Artists and Creazioni D'Ami. He was one of the best artists used on the Fleetway war libraries, establishing the look for them followed by many of his D'Ami colleagues.

D'Antonio continued to draw for British comics throughout the 1960s, producing strips for Look and Learn and Tell Me Why. In 1967, he launched his most famous series, 'Storia del West', which ran for many years in Europe.

I had the pleasure of briefly corresponding with D'Antonio in the early 1990s (his English was pretty good) and compiling information about his work in the UK for the Italian magazine Fumetto a couple of years ago. D'Antonio's work was amazing and I was looking through copies of Tell Me Why only the other day when I came across the above breathtaking illustration (from an adaptation of Quo Vadis?). His work appeared in the UK for over 15 years and he deserves to be better known.

5 comments:

Matt D said...

I was really interested to read your piece about Gino D'Antonio. I only discovered this guy recently because I am a big fan of the work of Mike McMahon, and in an interview, McMahon named D'Antonio as an early influence. So I go to look him up, and hey presto - he's just died. Still, it will be interesting to find out more about his work and thanks for your piece.

Steve said...

Matt,

Thanks for the comment. You can see some of Gino's work at the Look and Learn website where there's a run of his work adapting the classic Stevenson novel 'Kidnapped'. Go to...

www.lookandlearn.com

... then to the Picture Gallery link, then type in Gino D'Antonio in the search box top right of the screen.

Regards,

Steve

fmeynet said...

Hi Steve,
I am a french comic book artist and a great fan of this master of comics. I discovered this impressive illustration in "Je Sais Tout", the french version of Tell me Why as I was a child. In 2000, I have bought to Gino a complete story (96 pages!) from his masterpiece "La Storia del West". Beautiful women, powerful horses and a lot of action, all I love in comic books! This original artwork show the efficiency of this extraordinary illustrator. I regret that he didn't have time to work in France!
Many thanks for this "hommage" to him
Best regards from the french Alps
Felix MEYNET

Marco Nacher said...

I'm a big fan of Gino d'Antonio. I've put up a page with some pictures in my blog. Have a look:
http://mondidicarta.blogspot.com/2009/04/gino-dantonio.html

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that Gino passed away.He made my childhood more beautiful.