Dino Battaglia

Battaglia's original art for Perseus from Look & Learn.

Born in Venice on 1st August 1923, Dino Battaglia began his career in the comic world in 1945.

Whilst living in Venice, with some friends including Hugo Pratt and Alberto Ongaro, Battaglia drew the periodically issued Asso di Picche (Ace of Spades: a try at a superhero character) and, with scripts by Alberto Ongaro, he then drew one of his classic comic strips, Junglemen, which was continued in Argentina three years later by Hugo Pratt.

Asso di Picche stopped after a few issues in December 1948, and the "Group of Venice" received an offer from an Italian publisher now living in South America, Cesar Civita.

Battaglia refused to go to Argentina, inventing an excuse, but in reality he wanted to get married and did not want to tell the others. Remaining in Italy, he continued to keep in touch with the group through Alberto Ongaro, to whom he sent the artwork of his pirate strip Capitan Caribe, which was printed in Oesterheld's Frontera.

He continued to draw comic strips such as Cowboy Kid for Salgari in Argentina, as well as various assignments for the school started by Alberto Brescia. He eventually moved to Milan in the early 1950's.

Mark Fury from Junior Express

Battaglia drew some adventures of the western Pecos Bill, written by Guido Martina (a prolific scriptwriter), and collaborated on Il Vittorioso. Between 1952-53 he created a pugilistic strip set in Edwardian England called Mark Fury for the Italian comic L'Intrepido. This was later picked up by Beaverbrook, translated into English and republished in Junior Express between 1955-56: Mark Fury was later incorrectly attributed to Raffaele Paperella, another Italian artist who worked briefly for Fleetway. With the interest generated by Mark Fury Battaglia started working for the English publishing houses by means of the Milan-based D'Ami Studio.

In 1959 he drew for Top Spot the stories The Devilish Compulsion, Miggles, Slave Girl Tsarina, Gentleman Pirate, The Devil's Quartermaster and Maximilian and for Knockout Comic Oliver Bold-Boy Buccaneer and Thriller Picture Library (Nr 130 - Robin Hood and Dogfight Dixon). On finishing Oliver Bold in 1961, Battaglia was offered work on Look and Learn, specifically the Shakesperean pieces, Hamlet, Henry V, and Othello.

In the sixties and the seventies Battaglia produced many science fiction stories for the journals Corriere dei Piccoli and Linus. His best work at this time was on the atmospheric renditions that he created for the comic adaptions of the novels by Hoffman, Poe, Lovecraft and de Maupassant. In 1974 he wrote an excellent biography of Saint Francis of Assisi for the Messaggero dei ragazzi; the following year he made a comic version of Till Eulenspiegel for Il Giornalino. In 1982 he created Inspector Coke of Scotland Yard who faces strange cases in stories set at the beginning of the century. The adventures were interrupted by the unexpected death of the artist in 1983.

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