Giovanni Luigi Bonelli was born in Milan, Lombardy, Italy on December 22, 1908. Bonelli began his career in the late 1920s publishing some poems in the Corriere dei Piccoli. For thirty years he wrote stories for the illustrated travel newspaper and adventures on land and sea for the publisher Sonzogno. In 1936, he published serially in L'Audace, the first of his three adventure novels: The Tigers of the Atlantic, to be followed by Crusader Black (which was also published as a cartoon version, in the pages of The Victorious, designed by Kurt Caesar) and The Brothers of Silence both published in 1940.
He enter the world of comics in the 1930s, directing some of the warheads for Limited Company Editrice Vecchi (SAEV) of Lothair Old and writing his first comic Rin Tin Tin for L'Audace and later for L'Avventuroso published by the Publishing House Nerbini. In 1940 he decided to start his own business by acquiring the rights for l 'Audace, thus creating the publishing house which, through saw various name changes, before passing into the hands of his wife Tea, then to those of his son Sergio and finally to those of his grandson David, currently known as Sergio Bonelli Editore. In 1941 he creates Furio Almirante, with designs by Carlo Cossio, a character who received a good response from the public and was published until the 1960s.
During World War II he was forced to flee to Switzerland, and on his return he moved to Genoa where he was for a short time co-editor, with De Leo, for the weekly Cow-Boy. He soon returned to collaborate with the publishing house of his now ex-wife and created many new comics including Ipnos in 1946, The Executioner's West and G Men both published in 1948. In that same year, in collaboration with designer Aurelio Galleppini (in Galep), creates two new characters: Occhio Cupo and Tex Willer. Despite expectations by both authors that the first would be the most successful, it was the second. In early publication they received some good runs, although inferior to others present at the newsstands. Later, especially after the adoption of the CD format. Gigante, by the end of the fifties, the comics sales exceeded the sales of their direct competitors, becoming an icon in the industry.
Despite his work as a writer which was largely absorbed by the stories of Tex, Gian Luigi Bonelli later give birth to many other characters, including, among others, Plutos in 1949, designed by Leo Cimpellin, Rio Kid graphically drawn by Roy D'Amy. Yuma Kid in 1954, designed by Mario Uggeri, Big Davy (1956) illustrated by Renzo Calegari and Carlo Porciani and Hondo in 1957, drawn by Franco Bignotti and Red Jackets, drawn by Calegari in 1959. Bonelli never ceased his activity as a novelist and, in 1956 , wrote the novel Il massacro di Goldena starring his own Tex Willer, that some years later would be used as a script for the episode of the regular series Territorio Apache, illustrated by John Ticci.
Gian Luigi Bonelli retired officially from writing in 1991, the year in which he published his latest story of Tex Il medaglione spagnolo (designed by William Letteri ). For several years, however, he had passed the baton of the series to Claudio Nizzi dealing mainly with the supervision of stories, activities which will focus until his death on Janyary 12, 2001 in Alexandria, Piedmont, Italy.
BONELLI, Gian Luigi [12/22/1908, Milan, Lombardy, Italy - 1/12/2001, Alexandria, Piedmont, Italy] - publisher, writer, cartoonist, creator of ‘Tex Willer’, married to Tea Bonelli [1912-1999] (1928-1948), father of writer, publisher Sergio Bonelli [1932-2011], grandfather of publisher David Bonelli, founded publishing firm Sergio Bonelli Editore SpA .
Tex and the Lord of the Deep - 1985 (Indian Shaman)