Billy King e il vampiro

Fernando Carcupino was a versatile Italian painter and illustrator, yet best known for his depictions of female nudes. He also created comics for Asso di Picche in the late 1940s and was part of the so-called "Gruppo di Venezia" ("Venice Group"), which also included the comics authors Hugo Pratt, Dino Battaglia and Damiano Damiani.

Fernando Nusci Carcupino was born in 1922 in Naples. He studied art at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, and was then a pupil of the Italian painter Achille Funi. Under the pen name "Nando", he published his first humorous drawings in Mondadori's weekly magazine Il Milione in 1939. During World War II he worked on an animated feature film, 'La Rosa di Bagdad' ('The Rose of Baghdad', 1949), directed by Anton Gino Domenighini. Other famous names who animated on this picture were Angelo Bioletto, Federico Pedrocchi and Libico Maraja. In 1943, however, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was forced into abdication by Allied troops which liberated the South of the country. Production on the film was slowed down by these events and Carcupino even signed up to join the Italian Liberation Corps to help defeat Mussolini's troops. The picture would only be released in 1949.

His first comics work was the episode 'Scacco matto a Coe!!!' of the series 'Il Solitario' ("The Lonely One"), which appeared in the short-lived weekly magazine Dinamite in 1945. The story also appeared as the 10th volume of the book collection Albo Dinamite in 1946. The main artist for this series was Enrico Bagnoli. In the following year, Carcupino became acquainted with the Venetian comics magazine Asso di Picche ("Ace of Spades"), which was spearheaded by several new talents such as Mario Faustinelli, Dino Battaglia, Damiano Damiani and Hugo Pratt. This new generation of comics authors became known as the "Gruppo di Venezia" ("Venice Group"). Carcupino contributed the horror stories 'Draky, la morte viene con la nebbia', 'Billy King e il vampiro', 'Lyon, il figlio del vampiro' and 'Il figlio della notte' (1948), the latter from a script by Andrea Lavezzolo. Some of these stories were restored by the artist in the 1960s for a second publication in the renowned comics magazine Sgt. Kirk by Ivaldi Editore.

La Giraffa cover by Fernando CarcupinoLa Giraffa cover by Fernando Carcupino

During the 1950s and 1960s, Carcupino's illustrations appeared in various magazines, such as La Settimana Umoristica (1954-1956), Epoca, Grazia and Confidenze. He made erotic paintings which spawned the cover of the erotic weekly La Giraffa, while also making cover illustrations for the Edifumetto pulp comic books I Notturni, Sexy Favole, Lo Scheletro, Mezzanotte and Il Vampiro in the 1970s. By the second half of the 1970s Carcupino left the comics and illustration industry and devoted his final decades to painting. His work has often been exhibited and is part of the permanent collection of the Galleria d'arte Gelmi in Milan. In 1983 he received the Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana from the Italian government for his artistic merits. In 1999 he also received the Caran D'Ache Prize at the Salone Expocartoon in Rome for his life devoted to illustration. Fernando Carcupino passed away in Milan at the age of 80 in 2003. After his death, his family founded the Associazione FNCarcupino, with the aim to promote the late artists' painting and illustration work.

Fernando Carcupino

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