arrived in Milan in 1956 as an aspiring comic artist, and stayed with
a friend who lived above an artist. This artist was given a glimpse
of my work and the day after he asked to see me, this was Rinaldo D'
Ami, who just then was beginning to organise the D'Ami Studio, which
was to become a center for many Italian artists.
was an exceptional master: he was a dictator, an absolutely impossible
person, but he taught a great deal to lots of people, because he was
tough with you. He asked me who was my favourite artist, to which I
replied Mario Uggeri because he is one of the
best horse artists, and then he handed me a package full of Uggeri's
work to copy: in every panel I had to reproduce all the figures from
Uggeri, because in order to learn, one has to be able to copy.
[Note: This is similar to the story told about Fleetway editor Leonard
The Amalgamated Press/Fleetway had 50 magazines of various kinds, from
the sentimental to the adventurous, to the western, and we were to draw
as many boards as we could because Fleetway paid the quadruple of what
we were paid in Italy. The Italian magazine Il Vittorioso
had to close because of that: there were no more artists! Before it
closed, I had finished one story by Gino D'
Antonio on Alexander the Great. For us young artists D'Antonio has
been a master: we have copied all his tricks, especially in the aspects
of war, the uniforms, the helmets etc.