Emilio Uberti was an Italian illustrator, film director and documentary maker. He has worked on a variety of comic books for Italian and French publishers, including Bonelli, Cino Del Duca, Dardo and Lug.
Uberti was born in Rome, but has spent most of his life in Milan. He enrolled at the Castello Art School, but never finished the course because he was already working for the publishing industry. He was introduced to comics by Augusto Pedrazza and made his first illustrations for the magazine La Vispa Teresa in 1951. In 1952 and 1953 he was illustrating romance comic stories in halftone for Torelli's teenager's title Mignon, in alternation with Ferdinando Tacconi. He also drew stories like 'Pugno di Ferro' for the Torelli publication Piccola Freccia. He made the final two episodes of the western comic book series 'Stormy Red' for the publishing house Dardo in 1954. This comic was written by Andrea Lavezzolo, and previously drawn by EsseGesse.
He worked with writer/publisher/artist Pini Segna on series like 'Indian Kid' and 'Fiamme alla Frontiera' in the period 1954-1957 and began his collaboration with the publisher Bonelli in 1957. He drew the wild west series 'Kociss' (1957-1958) from scripts by Gian Luigi Bonelli for the collection Audace, and 'Hondo' for the collection Zenit. He also provided art to many installments in the collection Albi dell'Intrepido of Cino and Domenico Del Duca's publishing house Universo, starting with 'L'Usurpatore' (issue 391) in 1953, and then several more in 1958-1959.
Uberti was one of the artists of adventurous comic stories in the collection 'Albo Grandi Avventure' of Edizione Angelo Fasani in 1962-1963. Between 1965 and 1969 he worked for publisher Renato Bianconi on stories with the secret agents 'Il Boia' and 'Jaguar', the 'Diabolik' clone 'Sadik' and short war and western features for the titles 'Forza Joe!' and Sierra. He also made the cover illustrations for Bianconi's Italian editions of the British Fleetway comic books 'Olac the Gladiator' (1965-1966) and 'Spiderman' (1967-1968).
He was furthermore a productive cover artist for the Dardo comic book series 'Capitan Miki', 'Il Grande Blek', 'El Coyote', 'Super West' and 'Kinowa', and an illustrator for that publisher's magazines Penna Bianca and Il Giornalino di Lucky. He also drew the back-up feature 'Bill Dakota' for 'I Magnifici 4' by Floriano Bozzi (1963-1965). Uberti furthermore contributed to smaller titles like 'El Desperado' by Edizioni Alhambra (1968-1969). In France, his stories appeared in pocket comic books like Yampa ('Chikotawa'), Flambo ('Cochise'), Apaches ('Texas Bill') Jeunesse-Selection ('Stormalong') and Blek ('Digger Drake') by publisher Lug from Lyon.
An avid movie fan, he had been making his first handicraft film productions with his friend and agent Leonello Martini in the 1960s. Productions like 'La Testa nella Sabbia' ('The Head in the Sand', 1962) received critical praise and awards from the Cine Club Milano. This success led to Uberti leaving the comic book industry, and participating in animated advertising films by studios like Gino Gavioli's Gamma Film and Bruno Bozzetto's Bozzetto Film.
During the 1990s, Uberti's directing work led him around the world, including visits to Thailand, Costa Rica, Egypt, Brazil, Jordan and Mexico. He captured his experiences in a series of pencil drawings, which have been exhibited at the Milan Comics Museum. His directing career includes award-winning documentaries such as 'Wind of Jordan', which won the first prize at the 1998 New York Film Festival and 'Treasures of Thailand', which won a gold medal at the 1999 Milan Communicazione Pubblicitaria and a gold medal at the 1997 New York Film Festival. Uberti has also directed a number of variety shows for Italian television networks RAI (including the music program 'Mister Fantasy', 1981-1984), Retequattro ('Pronto Video', 1984), Canale Cinque ('Nonsolomoda', 1984-1985) and Tele Monte-Carlo. His directing credits further include videoclips, industrial films and advertising commercials, among others for Fiat, Montedison, Pininfarina, Usag and Costa Navigazioni.
He spent his final years working on an autobiographical book called 'Da Nero a Nero', which was presented at the WOW Spazio Fumetto museum on 22 March 2016. Suffering from a rare disease, he passed away on 29 December 2016.