Ulix by Alfredo Brasioli
'Ulix' (1977).

Alfredo Brasioli - also known as "Alfre" - was an Italian comic artist, illustrator, painter and graphic artist, who worked extensively for Catholic publishing houses. Early in his career, he was a header designer and illustrator for the children's magazines Il Vittorioso, Il Messaggero dei Ragazzi and Il Giornalino. Among his comic features for these magazines were the gag series 'Lippi e Lia' (1966) for Il Vittorioso and the science fiction adventure comic 'Ulix' in Il Giornalino. He also designed the mascot of the children's magazine Il Piccolo Missionario. Later in his career, he specialized in working for the Catholic press on educational comics and illustrations, based on religion and Roman history. Brasioli's most widely translated comic book was 'De Bello Gallico' (scripted by Silvia Colombati, 1996), an adaptation of Julius Caesar's classic chronicle about the Gallo-Roman wars.

Family background
Alfredo Brasioli was born in 1935 in Bovolone, in the northern province Verona. His family had been present in the lower Verona region since the sixteenth century. He was one of three children of Sereno and Nella Maria Nosè Brasioli. During his childhood, the Brasioli family moved to the city  Verona, where Alfredo did his first advertising graphic works, while studying at the Cignaroli Academy of Fine Arts. In the mid-1950s, Brasioli headed to Rome to pursue his artistic ambitions. While continuing his studies at the San Giacomo Academy of Arts and Crafts, he began submitting his work to publishers and agencies. In 1959, he settled in Rome permanently, together with his wife Rosa, opening his own home studio.

Early career
Among Brasioli's early works were the comics 'Lo Stregone Bianco' and 'Il Fantasma di Land-Town' for Yoga Club (1955-1957), a promotional magazine for Yoga fruit juices. Between 1953 and 1966, he was present with 309 artworks in the magazine Il Vittorioso. He designed headers for their serialized stories ("cineromanzi") and was artist for humorous features, for instance the gag adventures of the sympathetic troglodyte couple 'Lippi e Lia' (1966). For many years, Brasioli made widely popular illustrations and comics for the children's magazines Il Giornalino and Il Messaggero dei Ragazzi. For Il Giornalino, he also made two serials of the sci-fi comic feature 'Ulix' (1977, 1980) with writer Montanari, as well as an epic retelling of the Sigurd sage ('Sigfrido').

Apart from doing work for magazines and publishers, Brasioli also worked for Italian television, supporting TV host Alberto Manzi with drawings and models for his epic educational televison program 'Non è Mai Troppo Tardi' ("It's Never Too Late"), broadcast between 1959 and 1968.


'Cavalieri' (1962).

Catholic illustrator
A large part of Brasioli's career was dedicated to editorial initiatives of an educational and religious nature, aimed at children, teenagers and young adults. During the 1960s, he illustrated stories and articles in the Catholic magazines Vera Vita and Voci d'Oltremare. From the 1970s onwards, he worked a lot for the children's magazines and other publications of the Catholic publishing houses Edizioni A.V.E. and Edizioni ELI ("European Language Institute"). These included La Giostra, TOT, Segno nel Mondo, Tutti Insieme, Ciao, Davai, Festa, Ragazzi and Kid. His work included mostly illustrations, but also educational comic stories about religion and history. Further work in this tradition appeared for over 50 years in Il Piccolo Missionario and Nigrizia, the children's magazines of the Comboni Missionaries, for which he illustrated historical and missionary tales, as well as the magazine mascot, the "Little Missionary". In 1996, Brasioli and writer Silvia Colombati made a faithful comic book adaptation of Julius Caesar's war chronicle 'De Bello Gallico' for publisher ELI. The 72-page monumental work was translated in over 30 languages.


Segment of Alfredo Brasioli's comic version of Julius Caesar's 'De Bello Gallico' made in 1996 for publisher ELI.

Later in his career, Brasioli provided Gospel-related artwork for La Domenica, a missal (liturgical book) published by San Paolo, and also for the 'Nuovo Catechismo' ("New Catechism") of the Episcopal Conference of Italy. In addition, he created many illustrations and dozens of paintings to tell the story of the Serve di Dio Sorelle Faioli, a religious order in Fiuggi, as well as magazines and calendars for the Opera Don Guanella (Servants of Charity) in Rome. He also provided advertising artwork for the high profile graphic designer Piergiorgio Maoloni.


'Jesus Christ' by Alfredo Brasioli (2000).

Death and legacy
In his spare time, Brasioli made more personal paintings and sculptures, which he continued to do until the last days of his life. In 1976, an exhibition of his more experimental works was organized in the Roman Galleria La Pigna of the Union of Italian Catholic Artists (UCAI). In 2001, Brasioli was awarded by the Associazione Nazionale Amici del Fumetto e dell'Illustrazione ("National Association of Friends of Comics and Illustration") for his long and uninterrupted work for the Catholic press. Alfredo Brasioli passed away in Rome on 22 November 2016 at the age of 81. He is burried at the Flaminio cemetery in Rome, with one of his drawings of Jesus Christ on his gravestone. Brasioli's Rome-based home studio still contains the artist's archives, and is also still in use by his architect son Paolo. His eldest son Diego has been the Italian ambassador in the Romanian capital Bucharest and then the Luxembourgian capital Luxembourg.

Described as a modest and somewhat shy artist, Brasioli has received praise from other cartoonists in interviews and articles. Already in 1984, while writer and critic Giannio Brunoro described Brasioli's 1980 'Ulix' comic as a masterpiece. The cartoonist Carlo Peroni specifically mentioned Alfredo Brasioli as one of the talented Il Vittorioso artists in a 2011 post on Luca Boschi's Cartoonistglobale blog, while cartoonist Renato Ciavola commemorated Brasioli after his passing on his personal blog.

Illustration by Alfredo Brasioli
Artwork by Alfredo Brasioli.

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