comic art by Arcindo Madeira, 1937

Arcindo Madeira was a Portuguese comic artist and illustrator, whose early work was mostly published in the comic magazines O Papagaio and Pim-Pam-Pum!. He moved to Brazil in 1941, where he contributed to the Supplemento Juvenil, O Tico-Tico and the newspaper supplement O Guri, before working in advertising and the printing industry.

Early life
Madeira was born in 1915 in Coimbra, the largest city in Portugal's Centro Region. He was still in his mid teens when he made his debut in the Lisbon-based children's magazine ABC-zinho with 'O Automóvel à Vela' (1930). In the years that followed, his illustrations appeared in a great many magazines and newspapers, including Gazeta do Domingo, Yo-yo, Reporter de Coimbra, Imagem, Paracelso, Sempre Fixe and O Liberal. The artist moved to Lisbon in 1936, where he studied Industrial Design.

O Papagaio
In 1936 Madeira also became one of the lead artists for O Papagaio, a children's comic magazine founded in the previous year by Adolfo Simões Muller. He dominated its pages throughout the rest of the 1930s with short stories, illustrations and the serial 'Aventuras de Jim Kaco'. He stood out for his beautiful color work, dynamic and effective art style and appealing characters, which Portuguese comic historian António Dias de Deus has labelled as the "Arcindo universe". Besides running locally produced work, O Papagaio was furthermore notable for being the first non-French language magazine publishing Hergé's 'Les Aventures de Tintin'.

Other Portuguese work
In addition to his work in O Papagaio, Madeira was a major contributor to Pim-Pam-Pum!, the children's supplement of the newspaper O Século, between 1937 and 1940. Madeira's cartoons and comic strips additionally appeared in Ginásio, Renascença, O Canudo, O Século Ilustrado, Diário do Alentejo, A Risota, Gazeta de Domingo, Diário de Notícias, Diário de Lisboa, Tic Tac and O Senhor Doutor.

Move to Brazil
In 1941 he emigrated to Brazil, where he quickly found work with Adolfo Aizen's comic magazine Suplemento Juvenil. For Zé Geraldo's O Guri magazine, the bi-weekly comics supplement of the Rio newspaper Diário da Noite, he made the feature 'Os Lusíadas de Camões'. He also made illustrations for the children's magazine O Tico-Tico and its annuals, as well as the related children's book collection "Biblioteca infantil d'O Tico-Tico". Booklets with illustrations by Madeira are Josué Montello's 'As Aventuras do Calunga' (1945) and 'O Bicho Do Circo' (1945).

Other artistic activities
From 1944 onwards he was active as a silk screen printer in Rio de Janeiro. He also made designs for advertisements, and wrote scripts for popular theater "revues". During the 1950s he became famous in O Globo with his illustrated travelogues, while also serving as art director of Rio Magazine. He continued to work as an illustrator for magazines like A Cigarra and book publishers such as O Cruzeiro. Among the works he illustrated was 'A Eterna Infância' (1948), an anthology book about children-related subjects compiled by Herberto Sales, and the second editions of 'Làsinha Luís Carlos' by Caldas Brito and 'Olha para o céu, Frederico!' by José Cândido de Carvalho in 1957.

Later life
Not much is known about Arcindo Madeira's later artistic endeavours. In 2002, aged 87, he was a guest of honor at the International Comics Festival of Amadora, Portugal. An individual exhibition of his work was installed in the Artur Bual Municipal Gallery. Even though he had lived outside of Portugal for more than sixty years, he was awarded the festival's Honor Trophy for being a pioneer during Portugal's "Golden Age of Comics".

From: Almanaque do Tico-Tico 1945.

Series and books by Arcindo Madeira in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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