Audaz, o Demolidor
Messias De Mello was one of the pioneering artists of the Brazilian comics scene. Born in Maceió, a little city in the north-west, he was the main comic artist for the Sao Paulo magazine A Gazeta and its children's supplements A Gazetinha and A Gazeta Juvenil for more than three decades. Between 1932 and 1969, he created several popular characters, such as 'Pão Duro', 'Gibimha' and the superhero 'Audaz, o Demolidor'. He also illustrated 'O Enigma do Espectro de James Hull' (1939), a serial scripted by Francisco Armond (who also wrote 'A Garra Cinzenta', that was illustrated by Renato Silva). He made comic adaptations of literary works in Gazeta Juvenil, such as 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Count of Monte Cristo', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Captain Blood'. Later on, he also contributed sports cartoons to Gazeta Esportiva, while also designing mascots for Brazilian soccer clubs.
After the demise of the magazine Gazetinha, Messias de Mello still drew countless comics stories for Editora La Selva, with famous characters from television and movies, such as 'Great Oscarito & Otello', and 'Arrelia and Pimentinha'. He made his final comic drawings for a spiritual magazine in 1968. After this experience, Messias de Mello would dedicate his time exclusively to painting, experimenting with oil paint and acrylic paint. He has won several awards and held several solo exhibitions until his death on 18 October 1994. Among his friends was Jayme Cortez, the great Portuguese illustrator, who worked with him on many projects.