New wave of italian art

Petri Kanninen pkannine at
Sun Jun 10 15:25:15 CEST 2001

>> And for some other reason, the artist was listed as Ntini. 
>> Regardless of how his name is spelled, I found his art some of the
>> worst I've ever seen. The characters were so distorted and
>> disfigured that they were only recognizable by the color of their
>> clothes!
>I am sorry that you see it this way. Those "new" Italian artists (not
>only Intini) but also for example Mastantuono, Celoni and Lavoradori
>have added something unique to Disney comics IMO.

Yes, I have to agree with that. That is the great thing about Italian
disney comics: you don't know what they come up next. You never get bored
with the flow of different styles. Of course the stories with oddly drawn
characters felt unsettling first but soon I started to wait to see how far
they would go. Now I just enjoy the way the art cheers up the humor of
stories. One can't make too serious stories with this style.

But it is interesting to see how these new artists developed their styles.
To start with Intini, first of his stories published in Finland (in
pockets) is "Zio Paperone e l'oro del Calderon del Diablo" (I TL 1833-D)
from the year 1991. There is no signs of his modern style, ducks look like
any Italian ducks. Then four years later (1995) in the story "Zio Paperone
il pensiero impressionante" (I TL 2086-4) there are few panels where I can
see marks of weird ducks. But they are only supporting characters, the
main ducks look still normal. Same in "Daisy Holmes e lo studio in rosso"
(I TL 2068-3): Daisy looks normal but other characters start to look more
interesting. But the next year his ducks start to get a new appereance: in
story "Paperino e la scoperta a meta'" (I TL 2119-3) DD and GL are
starting to get that Intini look. And next year he again takes a step
toward more cornerish expression (I TL 2149-4 and I TL 2166-1). And the
story "La Banda Bassotti e l'allieva in prova" (I TL 2167-4) already shows
the style I consider Intini-style: characters drawn very violently with
aggressive lines. Year 1998 is the most recent year from which stories
from Intini have been published in Finland and that year he has already
taken his style to the extreme. I don't think he can twist ducks any more
without making them just blurred colors. Examples I TL 2225-5, I TL 2247-5
and I TL 2270-6. (Sorry, I can't make scans.) But I think Intini's style
was at best sometime around 1996. His ducks were nice and round then.

Let's take Mastantuono next. His ducks were stable until year 1998. Then
he started to show some more radical ways of drawing like in "Paperino e
Bum Bum pasticcieri pasticcioni" (I TL 2206-1). Compared to his older
ducks (I TL 1855-C, I TL 1913-E or I TL 2054-1) there is some changes in
his characters facial expressions. They become more bold. And next year he
has taken a one step more toward chaotic expression. This clearly seen in
"Paperino e il sinistro dottor Murdy" (I TL 2252-6) and also in I TL
2226-1 and I TL 2290-1. His mouse has always been one of my favourites. It
has gone through the same changes as ducks but perhaps earlier and not as
severe as ducks. Especially his story "Topolino e il fiume del tempo" (I
TL 2243-1) is perhaps the best new mouse story I have read during the last
years. All in all a very good artist and writer.

Next target is Lavoradori. Again he started as a normal artist in 1992.
His ducks in for example "Zio Paperone alla ricerca del colore perduto" (I
TL 1895-C) and "Zio Paperone e l'oro variabile" (I TL 1960-A) are
traditional Italian ducks. In 1994 I can see some changes in his ducks'
faces. Beaks start to bend in somewhat strange way and around eyes more
lines are sometimes used, like in "Paperino e il pianeta impossibile" (I
TL 2033-2). But a radical change happened in 1997. In storis "Zio Paperone
e il sistema di sicurezza a prova d'errore" (I TL 2152-1) and "Zio
Paperone e gli alleati timidi" (I TL 2196-5) you can see ducks taking
weird shapes in every panel. But this isn't the end: next years his art
developed to become something like modern art in "Paperino e il pezzo
mancante" (I TL 2255-6) and "Che fine ha fatto Brigitta?" (I TL 2241-5).
This even more distorted than Intini's art. A great fun to read.
And last we come to Fabio Celoni who is a great artist as long as I'm
considered. His ducks have the great expressions of Intini and Lavoradori
but the characters don't break up like theirs (I TL 2000-D, I TL 2128-4, I
TL 2314-5). Absolutely great job from him! And his mouse is as great as
ducks. I just love the art (and story) of "Agente Gambadilegno, il caso è
tuo!" (I TL 2284-5).

What can we make of this? The modern duck style is really modern, only few
years old. But it developed slowly from the basic ducks we see. What I
find strange is that there is so much more modern ducks stories than mouse
stories. But perhaps Mickey as a more serious character doesn't fit too
well with this style. It's also interesting that the new wave came into
existence in such a short time at the end of 90's. It seems that artists
inspired one another. And maybe Disney Italia also wanted have something
new in their comics. Italian insiders can tell more if there is anything
to tell. After all I really like this new way. It gives once again a new
way to view our beloved duck and mouse friends and keeps them fresh.

Huh, better stop now. This is starting to get pretty long. Sorry again
about the absence of scans (I'm planning to buy scanner this summer when I
get some money from my summer job). Dig up the stories or just trust my

Petri Kanninen (pkannine at
"Elämä muodostaa komplekseja."
Aku Ankan taskukirja -tietokanta:

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