Monday, October 19, 2015

European Western Comic Books - Maschera Nera

Maschera Nera (Black Mask) was an Italian comic book in a Western setting, created in the 1960s by the author Max Bunker (Luciano Secchi) and artist Paul Piffarerio, it was their first collaboration together, to be followed by Atomik, El Gringo, my Lord, and finally Fouche Alan Ford, after the departure of Magnus.

Maschera Nera is the first real work written by Max Bunker and fits into the genre of masked heroes in the western era, such as Zorro, the Lone Ranger, and others, although with a little more humor and violence, elements that would characterize much of the production of the author. Maschera Nera is a lawyer that decided to fight for justice as a masked vigilante in American Old West

Published by Editoriale Corno on a monthly basis, the original series began in March 1962 and stopped in December 1963 after only 22 issues. In March of 1977 the first issue was reprinted which was followed by a new series of monthly additional 31 books, which ended in October 1979

Max Bunker (Luciano Secchi) [8/24/1939, Milan, Lombardy, Italy -  ]

In 1961 he and Andrea Corno founded Editoriale Corno. Bunker's first creation was Maschera Nera, a masked vigilante in the Wild West. This character was heavily inspired by masked Western heroes like Zorro or The Lone Ranger. Later he and Magnus bond together. This duo became one of the most important comic artists of Italy (simply known as Magnus & Bunker). In 1964 a sub-genre called "Fumetti Neri" (black comics ) arised. Fumetti Neri are comics, where the antagonists are anti-heroes or criminals. Magnus & Bunker contributed to this sub-genre with their first creations Kriminal and Satanik. In 1968 they created Maxmagnus. But their most popular work is Alan Ford, a humorous spy-fy comic which was released by Bunker's own publishing, Max Bunker Press. As from 1970 Max Bunker published and distributed diverse Marvel titles in Italy.

Other creations of Bunker are El Gringo, Fouché, Capitan Audax, Dennis Cobb, Kerry Kross, Xibor, Zorak, Lurid Scorpion, Max Reporter and many others.

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