Masquerouge, by Marco Venanzi
'Masquerouge' #5.

Marco Venanzi is a Belgian artist specialized in historical comics. He is best known for succeeding André Juillard on 'Masquerouge' (1992-2004) and for writing and drawing new albums in Jacques Martin's classic series 'Alix' (since 2010). He has regularly worked in a steady collaboration with Michel Pierret, most notably on a series of comics in commission of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Early life and career
Venanzi was born in 1963 in Rome into a Belgian family.

He made his debut in 1991 as the new artist of 'Masquerouge', a historical series about a masked vigilante in 17th-century France. The stories are set against the religious wars that plagued the country during that period. The content of the first three albums (all published by Glénat in 1984) was created by Patrick Cothias and André Juillard for Pif Gadget between 1980 and 1982.

Les 7 Vies de L' Épervier
They then dropped the series to create 'Les 7 Vies de L'Épervier' (1983-1991) for Circus magazine. This was a prequel saga set in the same universe but then a couple of years earlier. Aimed at a more mature audience, 'Les 7 Vies de l'Épervier' was a landmark in French historical comics for its focus on plots driven by characters instead of time periods. The success prompted Cothias to create spin-off series focusing on different characters from the original cycle. This included a relaunch of 'Masquerouge', for which Marco Venanzi was brought in as the artist. Seven new books saw the light in Glénat's Vécu collection between 1991 and 2004.

'Masquerouge' #9.

Historical comics
In addition to his work with Cothias, Venanzi also undertook some other projects. With writer Michel Dusart, he made a comic book about Abbé Edouard Froidure (1899-1971) for the Durbuy-based comics label Coccinelle BD in 1992. It told the true story of a Belgian Catholic priest who survived the Dachau concentration camp and later initiated several projects against poverty and social exclusion. For the same label, Venanzi explored the actual life of Jesus Christ in the fictional story 'Auriac' (2002), about a Celtic doctor in search of his friend Nessim. The story was written by Benoît Despas, and drawn in cooperation with Alain Sikorsksi. For the Glénat collection 'Histoires et Mystères', Venanzi furthermore produced the album 'La Confrerie des Chevaliers de l'Orge' (1993).

'Hidalgos' #1.

Collaboration with Michel Pierret
With the 'Masquerouge' series coming to an end, Venanzi began a regular collaboration with Michel Pierret. Their first joint creation was 'Hidalgos', a historical fiction about Miguel de Cervantès, the writer of 'Don Quixote'. Two books were published in the Vécu collection in 2003 and 2007. Venanzi and Pierret joined art duties on the celebrity comic about soccer player Zinedine Zidane (Casterman, 2005), from a script by Alexis Nolent. They furthermore worked on several contemporary albums for Casterman in commission of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group, the liberal-centrist political group of the European Parliament. These include 'Opération Dragon Rouge' (script Thierry Robberecht, 2006), 'Le protocole Aïda' (script Yannick Laude, 2008), 'Tempête sur la Finance Verte' (script Alain-Germain Laubry, 2011) and 'La Chute de la Dame en Blanc' (script by Yannick Laude, 2013).

The Aida ProtocolTempete dur la Finance Verte

Jacques Martin
In 2008, Venanzi illustrated an educational book about the Templars, which appeared as the seventh volume in Jacques Martin's collection 'Les Voyages de Jhen'. Since 2010 he has furthermore provided artwork for the similar collection 'Les Voyages d'Alix'. Also starting in 2010, Marco Venanzi is one of the regular authors working on Martin's signature comic series 'Alix'. His first album was the 29th installment, 'Le Testament de César', for which he provided both script and artwork. Venanzi has subsequently produced more albums in cooperation with François Corteggiani and Pierre Valmour for the scripts, and Mathieu Barthélemy for the artwork.

Masquerouge, by Marco Venanzi
Alix - 'Le Testament de César'.

Series and books by Marco Venanzi you can order today:


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