Il Flauto Magico by Gino Gavioli
Il Flauto Magico, adaptation of a Robert Browning story (Il Giornalino, 1984)

Gino Gavioli was a Milanese comic artist, who has worked for many publishing houses from the 1940 through the 1990s. He was especially known as a long-term contributor of humorous comics to Il Giornalino. Gavioli was also co-founder and a leading animator of the influential animation studios Gamma Film.

Luigi "Gino" Gavioli was born in Milan and took courses at the Liceo Artistico in Brera. He made his debut in the comics industry at the age of 17. He created his first comics for the publisher Alberto Traini, such as the comical series 'Carioca', which was inked by Paolo Piffarrerio. 'Carioca' later had its own magazine with Edizioni Ariete from 1954 to 1955.

He fulfilled his military service during World War II, and resumed his activities for Traini in 1943, drawing the comic 'Ragazzi Allegri' in the collection 'Albi dell'Eroismo'. He also drew 'Venturino e la strega del bosco' as back-up feature in Enver Bongrani's 'Charlot' comic book by Editrice Torelli in 1948-1949. He drew fairy tale adaptations for the series 'Collana Arcobaleno' by Editrice Carroccio in 1950, and was present in Almanacco dei Ragazzi by Edizioni XX Secolo in 1952.

Pico Panda by Gino Gavioli
Pico Panda e Paco Serse

His character 'Nonno Bigio', a rather grumpy farmer armed with a blunderbuss, appeared in the publications of Edizioni Alpe, such as Cucciolo (1952) and Pollicino (1954). Gavioli began a collaboration with Editorial Universo and its magazine Il Monello in 1952, drawing features like 'Sempronio', 'Cappaccino e Cappuccetto', 'Il Lupo, l'Agnello', 'Felicino e Arcibaldo', 'Pierini Porcospini & Co., 'Pico Panda e Paco Serse', and 'Vita Cavallina'. Later in the decade, he drew 'Orecchione e Bretella' in Salterello (1957-1959), a publication of Edizione Il Ponte. From 1960, he was present in the weekly children's magazine Corriere dei Piccoli, illustrating covers and game/riddle pages. For the magazine's supplement Albi Sprint, he additionally produced the strip about the caveman 'Puk L'Omino preistorico' (1970-1971).

From the 1960 through the 1990s, Gino Gavioli was a loyal contributor to the children's weekly Il Giornalino. He created such series as 'Bim & Bum' (1964-1965), 'Miciovinicio' (with A.M. Dell'Acqua, 1969-1970), 'Orlando lo Strambo' (1969-1973), 'Annibale Tuttofare' (1970-1972) and 'I Pirati' (1991). Among his longest-running productions were the funny animal comic 'Vita da Cani' with Tiziano Sclavi (1984-1992) and 'Paco y Manolito' with L. Giocotto (1995-2001).

Il MonelloIl Giornalino

He made a great many comic adaptations of literary classics, such as Alphonse Daudet's 'Tartarin de Tarascon' (with P. Ferrarini, 1976), the English folktale 'Robin Hood' (with Claudio Nizzi, 1985-1986), J.M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan' (with Ferrarini, 1987-1988), Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' (with Nizzi, 1988) and Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book' (1988-1989). Between 1978 and 1982, he illustrated Antonio Guerci's adaptations of fables and fairy tales by the Grimm brothers, Perrault, and H.C. Andersen, and from '1001 Nights'. With Toni Pagot, he additionally made adapations of the 16th century Spanish novella 'The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes' (1995-1996) and the folk tale 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves' (1996).

Gianni Testafina (Grimm), 1979

Gavioli was also an important animator, founding the prolific animation studios Gamma Film with his brother Roberto and Nino Piffarrerio in Milan in 1953. The studios worked with about 150 animators, including Paolo Piffarrerio, Giampaolo Chies, Franco Paludetti and Carlo Peroni. The team was known for producing the animated segments of the TV show 'Carosello' (1957-1977). The studios created many recognizable characters for this advertising sketch program, such as 'Ulisse e l'Ombra' (1959), 'Caio Gregorio er guardiano der pretorio' (1960), 'Il vigile' (1961), 'Babbut, Mammut e Figliut' (1962), 'Derby' (1962), 'Capitan Trinchetto' (1965), 'Joe Galassia' (1965), 'Serafino spazza antennino'(1966), 'Tacabanda' (1968) and 'Cimabue' (1972).


Gamma Film also produced the feature film 'Putiferio va alla Guerra' ('The Magic Bird', 1967), of which Gino Gavioli was one of the main designers. Gavioli also illustrated a comics adaptation of this film, written by Silverio Pisu. Gamma Film takes up an important position in Italian animation history. They pioneered and experimented with new forms of expression, graphic solutions and technological research. A documentary about the studio was released in November 2014 under the title 'La Fabbrica del Sogno: Gamma Film'. Gavioli was additionally art director for 'Maria d'Oro und Bello Blue' (1973), a German animated movie by Rolf Kauka.

Gino Gavioli retired in the early 2000s and passed away on 19 November 2016.

Vita da Cani, by Gino Gavioli (Il Giornalino, 1986)
Vita da Cani (1984)

Gino Gavioli posts on the Corrierino-Giornalino blog

Series and books by Gino Gavioli in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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