Altri Mondi by Andrea Romoli
Altri Mondi

Andrea Romoli is an Italian physicist and comic book artist, best-known for his independent funny animals comics 'Altri Mondi' and 'Magdala'. Comics have always been a side-project for him, resulting in a relatively small oeuvre.

Romoli was born in Florence in 1944. He had a happy but modest upbringing in post-war Italy, during which his artist father got him interested him in arts, sculpting, philosophy and music. He ranks Carl Barks' 'Donald Duck' stories among his major influences, as well the work of novelists like J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, Jorge Luis Borges and Herman Melville and the experiences of explorer Leonard Clark. In 1973 Romoli went to work as a physicist, developing optical systems for space applications. Space travel also became a major theme in his comics, which he created in his spare time. Lack of time, market difficulties and misadventures with small publishers caused long intervals between publications.

Altri Mondi by Andrea Romoli

His best-known creation was 'Altri Mondi' (1977), a science fiction series about an anthropomorphic dog, giraffe and frog who undertake space rescue and exploration missions with their spaceship Sagittarius. The first album, 'Avventura su Efesto', was released by Nerbini in 1977. It was followed by 'Fuga su Issar', 'L'ultima Fortezza', 'Il demone di Azul' and 'Crab Nebula'. The imaginative and highly detailed landscapes, accompanied by cosmic maps and dictionaries, caught the interest of Nippon Animation in 1979. The Japanese studio acquired the rights to produce a 26-episodes TV series adaptation under the title 'Spaceship Sagittarius'. A total of 77 thirty-minute episodes was eventually produced, and first broadcasted in Tokyo from 1982 onwards. An interesting side-note is that the artist wasn't aware of these extra broadcasts until 1987! The series continued to be shown all over the world throughout the 1990s.

Magdala by Andrea Romoli
Magdala

During this decade, Romoli developed another funny animal character. Magdala is a female cat who always gets in trouble because of her naivete and impulsiveness. Nerbini released the first album in 1992. The artist then largely left the comic book industry, mainly because of unpleasant experiences with indie publishers. He didn't return to the trade until he had retired from his dayjob. He took on self-publishing through the website Youcanprint.it, after which three more 'Magdala' books were released: 'La Mia Migliore Amica', 'La Cassa Sbagliata' and 'Area 666'. An English-language edition called 'Price Journey' was published in 2015. He also resumed working on new 'Sagittarius' comic books. Magdala and her sidekick Melissa also starred in the comics album 'Il clamoroso furto della Nascita di Venere' ("The clamorous theft of the Birth of Venus", 2018), which is set in Florence. The album is presented in November 2018 in the Biblioteca delle Oblate, a former monastery which now houses the Firence public library.

Magdala by Andrea Romoli
Magdala

Romoli furthermore makes a comic series called 'Renato la Volpe' for the children's magazine Piccole Impronte of the publishing house Lav. It's aim is to make children aware of proper treatment of animals. He has also worked on children's book series for publishers like Malipiero ('Pero & Pera') and Nardini Editore ('Sea Chicks').

Renato la Volpe by Andrea Romoli
Renato la Volpe

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