'Tenente Marlo'. 

Sergio Zaniboni was an Italian comic artist and illustrator. He was best known for his long association with the 'Diabolik' series. Zaniboni drew hundreds of stories from 1969 until 2013. He was also a notable presence in the children's magazine Il Giornalino. For this magazine he created the boxing comic 'Il Campione' (1972-1977), scripted by Alberto Ongaro, and the crime series 'Tenente Marlo 77° Distretto' (1970-1980), written by Claudio Nizzi. 

Early life and career
Sergio Zaniboni was born in 1937 in Turin. He was originally a radio technician for electricity company Enel, and then worked as a technical designer, graphic designer and illustrator. One of his well-known designs is the logo with the knight of the Panini figurines. Zaniboni began his career as a cartoonist in 1967. His first job was drawing a comic book with 'The Three Musketeers' for the publisher Alè Toro, but the project remained unpublished. He then made a comic adaptation of the 1827 Alessandro Manzoni novel 'The Betrothed' ('I Promessi Sposi') with Angela Giussani, which appeared as the first issue of the series 'I Classici a Fumeti' of Gino Sansoni's publishing house in March 1967.

'Nic Cometa'.

Zaniboni drew two episodes of 'I Naufraghi' ("The Castaways", 1967), a comic about the beat generation, with Pier Carpi and Michele Gazzarri for Il Giorno dei Ragazzi. With Carpi and fellow artist Enrico Bagnoli, he also made two albums of the racing comic 'Nic Cometa' for Mondadori in 1968. He additionally drew several stories for Horror magazine (1969-1971).

Diabolik - 'Senza Passato'.

In 1969 Zaniboni began his long association with publisher Astorina, concentrating on the digest-sized comic books about master thief 'Diabolik'. The first issue with Zaniboni's art was the 147th, 'Delitto su commissione', published in September 1969. The artist would continue to provide artwork for over 300 installments in the series, created by the sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962. Zaniboni was especially known for his graphic depiction of Diabolik's companion Eva Kant, whose looks he based on the Turin model Cristina Adinolfi. He was the series' main cover artist from 1999 to 2013.

'Il Campione' (Il Giornalino, 1972).

Il Giornalino
In 1972 Zaniboni began working for the children's magazine Il Giornalino of Edizioni San Paolo, which lasted well into the 1990s. Zaniboni's first series was the boxing serial 'Il Campione' (1972-1977), with scripts by Alberto Ongaro. It was followed by the crime noir series 'Tenente Marlo 77° Distretto' (1970-1980) in cooperation with Claudio Nizzi. Main star is the scrupulous Police Lieutenant Mike Marlo, who uses his wits to fight crime in the 77th district of an unnamed US metropolis. Further work for Il Giornalino was a three-episode comics depiction of the trip around the world by Italian sailor Ambrogio Fogar (script by Alexander Fabi, 1977), and a short story starring silent movie era comedian Charlie Chaplin (1985).

Fogar - 'Il Giro del mondo del Surprise' (1977).

Comics in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
Zaniboni was additionally present in the monthly magazine Orient Express with 'I Reporters' (1983) in cooperation with Giancarlo Malagutti. The four short stories deal with two journalists of a San Francisco TV station, who engage in political and social events. By the late 1980s Sergio Zaniboni turned to a more comical drawing style for the adventure series 'Speedy Car' (1986-1990), which he made in cooperation with Paolo Ferrarini for Il Giornalino, and the one-shot 'Pam & Peter' (1990) with scriptwriter Luigi Mignacco for Comic Art. Zaniboni and Claudio Nizzi worked together again on 'Piombo Rovente' (1991), a long adventure of Bonelli's western hero 'Tex Willer'. In 1995, Zaniboni was also one of the artists of the sci-fi feature 'Ombre Virtuali' in Bonelli's Ken Parker Magazine.

'I Reporters'.

In Il Giornalino, Zaniboni was subsequently one of the artists of 'Reporter Blues' (1991-1993), a comic series based on the Italian-Japanese animated TV series about Parisian newspaper reporter Tony Dubois, created by Marco and Gi Pagot. With writer Luciano Giacotto, he then made 'Maj Lin' (1996-1998), a spin-off starring a Vietnamese girl from 'Ricky', a previous Giornalino series created by Giuliano Longhi and Ruggero Giovannini. The artwork of this series was eventually taken over by Paola Camoriano.

Sergio Zaniboni received the Yellow Kid Award for his extensive work on 'Diabolik' in 2000.

Death and legacy
Sergio Zaniboni passed away in Giaveno on 18 August 2017, shortly after his 80th birthday. His son Paolo Zaniboni has followed in his father's footsteps and has become a cartoonist in his own right. He first assisted his father on the inking and coloring of his 'Diabolik' stories, but later created his own humor series for Il Giornalino: 'Steam Rail' (1995-2001).

'Tenente Marlo' (Il Giornalino #37, 1978).

Sergio Zaniboni stories on the Corrierino-Giornalino blog

Series and books by Sergio Zaniboni you can order today:


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