Il Piccolo Ranger
Born in La Spezia, Francesco Gamba came from an artistic family. His cousin was the comic artist Pietro Gamba. He began his career in 1947, drawing 'Razzo Bill' for Edizioni Alpe. In 1949, he drew 'Musetta' for Edizini Ippocampo', and he took over 'Yorga', a series previously created by Gianluigi Bonelli and Antonio Canale. Between 1950 and 1954, he was one of the regular artists of 'Pecos Bill' stories, scripted by Guido Marina, and published by Mondadori. He additionally made illustrations for fairytale books for Editrice Bosschi, as well as adventure books.
In 1956, he began a longtime collaboration with the publishing house Audace, the future Sergio Bonelli Editore. He created western series like 'Terry' and 'Yado' with Gianluigi Bonelli, and 'Rocky Starr' with Andrea Lavezzolo. In 1958 he was among the first artists of the well-known series 'Il Piccolo Ranger'. Gamba has also drawn stories with 'Zagor', 'Tex Willer' and, from 1990, the 'Cico' annuals. In 2006 he drew a story with 'Comandante Mark' on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of this character that was created by Esse G. Esse.
In addition to his work for Bonelli, Gamba also drew for the French market. He passed away in London after a brief illness in February 2012.