Global Voices reports that Bologna-based comics artist Giovanni Romanini died on March 20, 2020, following a brain aneurysm. He was 74. A public funeral will be held after the end of the COVID-19 quarantine in Italy.
Romanini was born in Bologna on December 27, 1945. He began his career as a draftsman in animation, and then transitioned to comics in the late ’60s, becoming the protégé of writer/artist Roberto Raviola (aka Magnus). They collaborated on “Kriminal” and “Satanik,” which were both entries in the fumetti neri (“black comics”) genre of black-and-white crime thrillers, books controversial for their use of sex and horror. Romanini also illustrated several issues of “Alan Ford,” Magnus and Max Bunker’s surreal secret agent send-up, after Magnus fell out with Bunker.
Romanini and Magnus teamed up again in the ’70s on “The Company of the Gallows” (“La Compagnia della Forca“), a comedic epic fantasy series revolving around a ragtag group of Renaissance mercenaries. During the ’80s, he illustrated “Donald Duck” comics for children’s magazine Topolino: in stark contrast, he also worked with Lucio Filippucci on “La Cicciolina,” an erotic comic about the porn star-turned-politician Ilona Staller.
In the ’90s, Romanini collaborated with Magnus once again to help the ailing artist finish “Tex: The Valley of Terror,” a graphic novel starring the long-running Sergio Bonelli character Tex Willer. Subsequent projects for Sergio Bonelli Editore included the “Robinson Hart” series (published in the anthology “Zona X”), and 30 issues of “Martin Mystère.”
Romanini’s other interests included motorcycles. According to La Stampa, he “indulged himself tirelessly to readers: at the parties of the AMys, the Martin Mystère fan association, he drew non-stop for fans the characters that were asked of him (Martin Mystère, Alan Ford, Tex, Satanik, among others).” You can check out Romanini’s artwork and read more about him and his closest collaborators (in Italian) at his official website.