Robin Perry by Mario Fantoni

Mario Fantoni was the son of the Italian comic artist Guido Fantoni, who worked for the Florentine publisher Mario Nerbini in the 1940s and 1950. Where his father was mainly a realistic artist, Mario Fantoni focused more on (verbal) humor. He did his first art job at the age of 13 as an apprentice of the comic artist Buriko, drawing a comic based on the fairy tale 'Little Thumbling' ('Pollicino') in the Nerbini publication Pisellino. During World War II, he drew for the weekly magazine Brivido, and the feature 'Ghigo Investigatore' (1943) for Mondadori's Topolino magazine. For the Giornale dei Ragazzi from Naples, he drew a comic about 'Robin Perry', a swordfighting man with a pearhead, between 1944 and 1946.

After the war, he resumed his activities for Nerbini, making the western series 'Lo sceriffo Dick Person' with writer Emilio Fancelli in 1949-1950. In the 1950s he began an association with Ediciones Dardo, where he revived 'Robin Perry' and drew other funny features like 'Beroldino', 'Tony e Salacca', 'Tata Turchina', 'Torello Seduto', 'Tony e Salacca', 'Chiribù', 'Capitan Pappafico' and 'Scaramuccia' for the comic books Cri Cri, Tarzanetto and Chicchirichì. He worked with the publisher/writer Corrado Tedeschi on stories about 'Il Piccolo Indiano' (a.k.a. 'Bobby Phantom', 1948) and on the comic book about a masked vigilante called 'Il Fantasma del Laghetto dei Cristalli' (1951).

He teamed up with his sister Liliana to produce comic books for Dardo about the reporter 'James Taylor, il reporter giramondo' and about the Indian 'Gessy l'Indian Agent' in 1952. Brother and sister Fantoni then joined their father Guido Fantoni and worked on a joint production of 'Capitan Walter' stories for Anonima Veritas Editrice in Rome from 1953 to 1957. The family continued their collaboration for the magazine Il Vittorioso with the stories 'Calcio in costume' and 'Il figlio del gangster'. After the death of Guido in 1957, Mario and Liliana created 'Il sostituto', 'Il caso Elvy' and '30° piano' together. In the related album series 'Jolly', they made the serials 'Hoka Hey' (script Danilo Forina), 'Le Terre Insagnuinate' (script Renata De Barba), 'Il Gran Premio Siepi' (script Piero Salvatico), 'L'arcipelago della Copra' (with Sandro Cassone) and 'Il progretto Stella Azzurra' (script Mario Basari).

Liliana then retired from the comics industry and focused on her family life, while Mario spent the next ten years working in his family's artistic ceramics workshop. He returned to illustration in the 1970s, making the drawings for children's books published by Malipiero from Bologna. He also contributed to the magazines edited by Corrado Tedeschi in Florence, and made puzzles and riddles for the magazines Domenica Quiz, Il Labirinto and Penombra.

Scaramuccia by Mario Fantoni

Mario Fantoni on Luca Boschi's blog

Series and books by Mario Fantoni in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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