Monday, December 18, 2017

European Western Comic Books ~ Il Protagonisti Del West

Il Protagonisti Del West was a western comic series published monthly by the publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore, for then Daim Press.

Each volume was a true biography, in which a character from the West epic was confronted with a comic strip story accompanied by ballots and a bibliography containing the books consulted by Albertarelli in his documentation for the work.

The series was commissioned by Sergio Bonelli and Rino Albertarelli who wrote and designed the series for Daim Press beginning in 1973. When Albertarelli died, on September 21, 1974, he was working on the tenth album and only the first was released on newsstands. The publishing house decided to end the series with the tenth volume, of which Albertarelli had only completed the first 42 pages, Sergio Toppi was hired to finish the final book of the series.

In 1994 the series, with the name Il Protagonisti Del West, was reissued by Hobby & Work. With the same title, in 1999, the same publishing house published a series of 10 very similar numbers, but designed by Luigi Merati and scripted by Paulo Chiesurin that had nothing to do with the series of Albertarelli.

In 2007 the series was reissued in the 48th to 52nd edition of the History of the West by the If Editions under the heading History of the West presents the protagonists. In each issues there are two stories and the chronological order of the original publication is respected.

Sante Albertarelli, known as Rino was born in Cesena, Italy on June 8, 1908 - Milan, 21 September 1974), was an Italian illustrator and cartoonist. He is considered one of the great masters of the Italian twentieth century/

Rino interrupted his studies early and started working at a very young age. He moved to Milan in 1928, where he began collaborating as an illustrator, often signing "Albert", to magazines such as Il Balilla, there he met Antonio Rubino, Viaggi e Avventure and Il cartoccino dei piccoli, who will direct since 1933 to 1935. In 1936 he began his career as a comic book artist publishing "Pirates of the Pacific" on Argentovivo; in 1941 it was the turn of "Capitan Fortuna" on L'Audace by Gianluigi Bonelli, while the following year he began collaborating with Mondadori, creating the characters of Kit Carson (on texts by Federico Pedrocchi), Doctor Faust, Gino & Gianni , A gentleman of 16 years, Bagonghi the clown, Lucky charm.

Meanwhile, he collaborated with various humorous and satirical newspapers such as Il Bertoldo, Marc'Aurelio and Fra Diavolo. He also works at the popular literary periodical Le Grandi Firme (in the period that he sees at the Cesare Zavattini), where in addition to the various illustrations he is responsible for the realization of the so-called "Signorine Grandi Firme" (the female figures symbol of the magazine, taking over from the creator Gino Boccasile in latest issues) and movie posters.

After the Second World War, he made illustrations for the children's books for the Publishing House Carroccio (formerly Cartoccino) they have been reprinted several times, and the production directed to the childhood of authors such as Zietta Liù, illustrated with humorous drawings of Albertarelli.

In this period Albertarelli also drew comics such as Big Bill, for the Cowboy publisher De Leo, and makes some reductions for the weekly Salgari, as well as pink comics for the French market, and then devote himself entirely to the early fifties 'illustration. In the early sixties he worked for the Swedish publisher Niloe. In 1965 he was one of the founders of the International Comics Fair, which was held the first year in Bordighera, and then definitively in Lucca.

In 1973 he returned to actively deal with comics, with the series of The protagonists, dedicated to the biographies of the heroes of the West, remained interrupted for his death on September 21, 1974 in Milan, Italy. He was buried in the cemetery of Lambrate at Riparto.

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