Nautilo by Marcello Albano
'Nautilo' #2.

Marcello Albano was an Italian comic artist, writer, designer and musician. After making his debut in the alternative scene of the 1980s, he worked on several Italian fantasy and sci-fi comic book productions with Giorgio Lavagna and Gianmaria Liani in the 1990s. He then worked extensively for Marvel Italia, before turning to book illustrations.

Early life and career
Born in 1961 in Bologna, Albano entered the field of comics after meeting comic artist and painter Andrea Pazienza. He published his first works in the cultural and avant-gardistic magazine Frigidaire in 1983, and subsequently contributed to similar publications. With Alessandro Raffini and Giorgio Lavagna, he founded the small production company Rock and Roll Suicide Production in 1988. The team launched their own magazine, called Souper, which was published by Mongolfiera. Around this same period, Albano got his first commercial assignments. They made stories in an underground register for Mondo Mongo, published by Eden.

Work in the 1990s
Albano, Lavagna and Raffini also worked for Cyborg, a monthly magazine published by Daniele Brolli's publishing company Telemaco between 1991 and 1993. They created the musical comic 'Primo in Classifica', for which Gianmaria Liani made the drawings. Albano and Lavagna also worked on new stories with 'Radar', an old and forgotten Italian superhero of the 1960s, with artwork by Stefano Natali. Albano additionally made illustrations for both Cyborg and Asimov Magazine, while continuing to produce stories for Frigidaire. In 1993, Albano and Lavagna headed for Los Angeles, California, where they did designs and storyboards for a 20th Century Fox science fiction film called 'Alcatraz 2000', and for music videos like 'Sister of Pain' (1993) by Mötley Crüe's Vince Neill and 'Heroin' (1993) by Billy Idol.

Moon, BluePrint Project: an invocation

Back in Italy, they went to work for Daniele Brolli's new publishing venture Phoenix Enterprises on the series 'Italia XXII secolo', with scripts by Lavagna and art by Albano. They continued to write and draw the mini-series 'Triade', 'Nautilo' and 'Motormike' in 1995-1996, all for Phoenix. In 1995, Albano and Lavagna created the series 'Nukies' (1995), about nuclear bomb eating creatures. This comic was also drawn by Gianmaria Liani and published in the monthly magazine Dinamite by Granata Press in 1995, and then as a comic book in Graziano Origa's collection Shok Studio in 1997. Also with Liani, Marcello Albano made 'Le Nuove Avventure di Elvis', starring the legendary rock 'n' roll star, for the music magazine Rumore by Apache.

In the second half of the 1990s, Lavagno became the editor of the Italian Marvel comic books published by Panini, and Albano became a regular artist, translator and colorist for these productions through Luca Poli's studio. He made cover illustrations for Marvel Italia editions of 'Spider-Man' and 'Marvel Mix', and also made the Italian 'Conan the Barbarian' stories 'Conan of the Swamps' and 'The Twilights of the Wizards' with Lavagno and artist Fabrizio Ugolini. These stories have subsequently been published all around the world.

Comic story inspired by the David Bowie song 'Suffragette City'
Comic story inspired by the David Bowie song 'Suffragette City'.

Graphic contributions
A digital collection of the stories produced for Rock and Roll Suicide Production was released in CD-ROM format under the title 'Underground' in the late 1990s. From then on, Albano has mostly been involved as an illustrator of educational and activity books for Rainbow, Bcs, Chartusia, Hobby and Work and other publishers. He also contributed to projects like a collective book for Amnesty International ('Che fare?'), a collection of rock pin-ups called 'SExROcK' (Pharaos) and a tribute book about comic author Alan Moore ('Ritratto di uno straordinario gentlemena', 2003). In 2003, he provided illustrations for pin-ups and games starring Tex Avery's Bugs Bunny, produced by Play Press.

Final years
Albano continued to write and make drawings for several websites, such as Ultrazine, and focused on computer animation. In later years, he was especially active as a cover artist for children's books by the publishing house Mondadori. He worked with Lavagna again on the graphic novel 'Dream City' in 2007. In 2008 and 2009 he made the illustrations for three comic books of 'La Genesi di Freak' by Roberto Antoni and Stefano Ianne, which were based on the life of Roberto "Freak" Antoni, the leader of the comedy punk group Skiantos.

Marcello Albano passed away in Bologna on 25 May 2017.

Cover for a 'Conan the Barbarian' catalogue.

Series and books by Marcello Albano in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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