Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 20, 2006

Giovanni Gandini, 1929-2006

imageGiovanni Gandini, founder of the seminal comics magazine Linus, died on the 17th and was buried in his hometown of Milan yesterday, according to He was 77 years old. Linus debuted in 1965 and according to this remembrance by Ferruccio Alessandri, the enterprise took up various rooms of Gandini's apartment and no one thought it would last. Linus may have been the first comics anthology for discriminating, medium-of-comics-fan grown-ups, the first assembled from various sources that showed a guiding hand dedicated to comics as an art form. The early issues featured a mix of then-modern strips like Peanuts and Wizard of Id, but also older strips like Barnaby and Krazy Kat, and offbeat but decidedly sophisticated work like Feiffer. Among its wide-ranging offerings, Linus would embrace the work of Ralph Steadman, Robert Crumb's Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, Jean-Claude Forest's Barbarella, Hugo Pratt's major series, Claire Bretecher's vital satires, on down through the years to Doonesbury, Calvin and Hobbes and Mutts.
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