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December 3, 2012


Arnoldo Franchioni, 1928-2012

imageArnoldo Franchioni, who signed his work "Francho," passed away in November according to a Spanish-language comics and illustration blog.

Franchioni began his career in Buenos Aires but moved to New York City in 1976 to better secure commercial art and cartooning assignments from the North American client list that dominated his career output at that point. He and his wife were longtime residents of Hells Kitchen. They moved back to Argentina in the mid-2000s for a more affordable lifestyle.

Arnoldo Franchioni was a prolific cartoonist in Argentinian and Chilean publications. In Argentina he did the weekly features Album De Familia (1954-1958), Camotito (1954-1959), Historias De Cinco Guitas (1954-1959) and Los Tres Malditos (1957-1962). His prominent daily gig was Candido, which ran from 1947 to 1961. Another feature, Carita Dulce, ran in several markets throughout Latin America. He had two comics in Chile: Cascarita and Huachipito, both of which ran from 1959 to 1962.

Franchioni was also a performer in the early days, working on Argentinian radio and television in the late 1950s and into the 1960s.

The artist's first comics-related gig in New York was packaging material the Stan Lee Studio, an important sideline business for the comics writer and editor in the 1960s. He worked on a number of kids book projects over the course of that decade, for Multimedia Education, Talking Page, Dan Turner Inc. and Shepsel Books. He was also a greeting card designer and created album-cover art. A short-lived daily Professor Take It Easy, ran in a single community newspaper. He began worked for Cracked in 1964, and by 1968 began a lengthy relationship with the publication that ran until the mid-1980s and then was rekindled briefly in the early 1990s. He also worked for Sick during the 1960s.

Franchioni's lengthy, first-class client list by the 1970s included MAD, the New York Times, the New York Daily News and the Washington Post. His MAD work was done mostly in the mid- to late-1970s, and included one well-liked, classic feature, "One Day In The Comics Suburbs." His collaborators at the magazine included Bob Clarke, Jack Rickard and Alexandro Olivera. The cartoonist broadened his client list in the 1980s to include publications in Turkey, Yugoslavia and Japan. He also worked for Crazy and Wacko in the early part of the decade.

In the 1990s, Franchioni worked briefly for Cracked -- as mentioned -- as well as provided at least one cartoon to the New Yorker (in '94). That same decade he would add American Medical Health, McCall's, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, New Woman and Cosmopolitan as clients. Franchioni later became a frequent contributor on the Nickelodeon comics magazine efforts, where he became a favorite of the editor Chris Duffy. Duffy told CR that Franchioni was "the sweetest guy" and that working with the accommodating illustrator afforded Duffy a "lucky view into the cartooning business in the US in the '60s and '70s" through the artist's stories of the time.

He was a member of the executive committee of something his biography called the "Magazines Cartoonists Guide," where he also served as the chair of media relations.

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