Classics Illustrated #1011 (Greek series), about Alexander the Great.

Vasilis Zisis (Βασίλης Ζήσης) was a Greek chemical engineer, painter and comic artist, known for his contributions to the Greek 'Classics Illustrated' comic books.

Early life and career
He was born in 1914 in Volos, a port city on the Greek mainland. A graduate both of Athens Polytechnic School and the School of Fine Arts, he worked for the Greek Archaeological Services, taking care of statues and ancient monuments throughout the country. During World War II, he took part in the Hellenic National Defense against the Nazis. After the war, in 1947, he was sent to concentration camps on the islands Ikaria and Makronisos for his leftist beliefs. He was released in 1950, after the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). For his personal pencil drawings and watercolor paintings, he took inspiration from his places of exile (Makronisos, Ai Strati, Ikaria), as well as Byzantine history. As a commercial artist, he provided artwork for advertisements, magazines and serialized stories in newspapers.


1948 drawing made in one of the camps where Zisis lived in exile during the Greek Civil War.

Classics Illustrated
As an artist, he cooperated with the Atlantis publishing house of Giorgos Pechlivanidis, responsible for the Greek translations of the 'Classics Illustrated' series ('Κλασσικά Εικονογραφημένα'). The American comic books with adaptations of literary classics was launched in Greece in 1951, with translations by Vassilis Rotas. From October 1953 until the early 1960s, the translated issues were supplemented with locally produced installments, presenting tales from Byzantine/Greek history and ancient mythology in comic book format. Zisis drew installments about famous historical characters like Alexander the Great and the 18th century writer and revolutionary Rigas Feraios. Other local illustrators for the Greek 'Classics Illustrated' were George Vakalo, Bost, Pavlos Valasakis, Gerasimos Livieratos, Takis Katsoulidis, Giannis Dragonas, Nikos Kastanakis, Alkmini Grammatopoulou and Costas Grammatopoulos.

Later life and death
During the 1950s, he was a conservator of antiquities at the National Archaeological Museum and one of the key contributors to the establishment of a conservation laboratory. On 24 April 1958, Vasilis Zisis was found dead in his Athens house, having committed suicide by poison injection. He was only 44 years old.

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