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March 3, 2010


Virgilio Muzzi, 1923-2010

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According to a brief posting at the Italian comics news clearinghouse afNews.info, the artist Virgilio Muzzi died on February 25. The site learned of Muzzi's passing by scanning local news reports.

imageMuzzi was trained as a painter but entered the comics field in his early twenties. He began right away illustrating albums and applying his painterly skills to the covers from the publisher Universo. His better known serials from his early career appeared in the magazine Audace: "Il Cavaliere Nero" and "Lotta nell'Ombra." In the 1950s he expanded his work slate past Italian offerings into collaborations internationally. He illustrated covers for Eneanto (I'm guessing that's a magazine, although I have no idea), and worked for Amalgamated Press from 1956 on. He continued to keep his hand in Italian comics by providing art to various series, including Cagliostro.

He would begin work as a staff artist on Bonelli's popular Tex Willer series in 1960, contributing to over 30 stories in that long-running, hugely popular and decades-spanning Italian comics series. That collaboration would end in 1987. It is that lovingly precise, almost overwhelming accomplished work in places that is his best-known legacy, although he was considered a reclusive artist lacking public profile to match the obvious skill of his work.

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