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November 30, 2010

John D’Agostino, 1929-2010


According to a post made by writer and comics historian Mark Evanier, the artist, letterer and colorist John D'Agostino, who also worked as Jon D'Agostino and John Dee, died early November 29 at his home in Connecticut. He was 81 years old. D'Agostino was one of those backbone creators in the North American comics industry, working in a variety of styles on every aspect of comics production, fitting comfortably into both lead and support roles.

D'Agostino was born in Italy. His family moved to the United States when D'Agostino was a child, and he attended the Industrial School of Art in Los Angeles. As a young man, D'Agostino found employment in the comics field as a colorist for Martin Goodman's comics line, during one of that company's relative flush periods in the late 1940s. He became that company's head colorist soon after, working on a variety of books.

imageD'Agostino provided inking and pencil art to a variety of projects in the early 1950s, for minor publishers Story Comics and Master Publications. Like many prolific, self-starting artists, D'Agostino eventually found a home as a freelancer at Charlton, known for its inventory policies that kept many cartoonists active and productive according to their own pace. D'Agostino would work in a variety of genres for Charlton, including funny animal, romance and humor.

D'Agostino was the credited letterer on the first three issues of Marvel's landmark Amazing Spider-Man series.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, D'Agostino egan to find work at Gold Key and Archie in addition to his freelance work for Marvel. He became more and more valuable as an inker, and as a talent who could finish work from a wide variety of artists no matter the project. He was one of a number of industry veterans employed by Marvel's kids imprint Star Comics in the 1980s. After that project flamed out, and with Charlton's closure in 1985, D'Agostino began working exclusively for Archie on projects ranging from Jughead's Time Police to Sonic The Hedgehog. He continued to receive credits at Archie through this year.

Mark Evanier notes that D'Agostino is often confused with John Duffy, another 1960s-era inker, and the artist Tony D'Agostino.

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