Born in Venice, September 27, 1927. Now living in Spain, near Malaga.
[By Francesco Spreafico]
Romano Scarpa was born in Venice in 1927 and growing up there he
developed a particular love for American cartoons and Disney comics,
that, at the time, were published in the big format of the
Topolino Giornale which was then printing now classic
Floyd Gottfredson's stories. In the Forties he opened an
Animation Studio in Venice in which he produced his first works: some
commercials, a short named
E poi venne il diluvio and
another very good short, named
La piccola fiammiferaia
(1953), distributed in Italy together with Robert Aldrich's
Right after that he stopped working in animation for a while and
dedicated wholly to creating Disney comics. In the late Fifties and up
to about 1963 he wrote and penciled some of the best-known comic
masterpieces of all time: stories like
Topolino e la collana Chirikawa (1960)
Paperino e la leggenda dello Scozzese volante
(1957) that have, later, been translated in lots of different
languages throughout the world. Many of these stories have their
backgrounds in movies, for example
Topolino nel favoloso regno di Shan
Grillà (1961) is based upon Frank Capra's Lost
Horizon (1937); not to talk about all the stories starring
Snow White or the Seven Dwarfs, obviously
based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Sometimes
the exact opposite happens; Riusciranno i nostri eroi a
ritrovare l'amico misteriosamente scomparso in Africa? (1968) is
based on Scarpa's story
Topolino e il
Around 1963 he relaxed a bit and practically stopped writing his
stories for 6 or 7 years, while still penciling stories written by
other people, generally not up to the same high standards of his.
Then, in the Seventies he went back to writing too, and he's still
doing it now, though he has moved to Spain and is working for a
different publisher. Among the last things he made while he was still
in Italy, at the beginning of the Nineties, there are some wonderful
strip stories, the same kind of stories that he loved when he was a
child. One of these,
Topolino e l'enigma di
Brigaboom (1989) was partially based on Brigadoon (1954).
In the meanwhile he has had time enough for some more animation, so we
Aihnoo degli Icebergs (1972), The Fourth
King (1977) and a new TV series,
The Adventures of Marco
and Gina (Sopra i tetti di Venezia) (2001).
In his career Scarpa created many characters that are now widely accepted by everybody to be part of the Disney Universe, characters like Brigitta McBridge, Dickie Duck and Ellsworth's adoptive son, Bruto. Since 1988 some of his comic stories have been published in the USA by Gladstone (a publisher); it was the first time that this happened to an Italian Disney author.
In English nowhere, unfortunately. (But some of his best stories have been translated in English, check his index). In Italian former publishing company Comic Art had begun printing a series of hardcover books, but now the publisher has gone bankrupt, so the collection remains incomplete.
Mainly Scarpa has been working on Disney comics, many years ago he used to do something non-disney once in a while, so he did one (Rolf Kauka's) Lupo story and one (Hannah and Barbera's) Yogi Bear story. In the '50's he also drew some Angelino story, and Italian character. To know (and see) more about these curious items check the first two links down here. For his work in animation check the mini-biography up in this page.
Among the regulars,
(This is only a selection, a complete bibliography is still in the works and all of the articles in Italian have here been omitted).
bibleabout Scarpa. Also known as
The Blue Book(in Italian);
The Blue Bookand much more than that (more than ten years of works in addition!) (in Italian);
The Yellow Book(in Italian);
Romano Scarpa: Comics Maestro, article by Luca Boschi, Leonardo Gori and Alberto Becattini in Mickey and Donald n. 6. Gladstone, 1988;
Mickey Noir, article by Leonardo Gori, Alberto Becattini and Andrea Sani, in Mickey Mouse n. 255. Gladstone, 1990;
An Old Fowl and His Foundation, article by Leonardo Gori and Alberto Becattini in Uncle Scrooge n. 241. Gladstone, 1990;
McDuck, MacBridge, and the Last Balaboo, article by Leonardo Gori and Alberto Becattini in Uncle Scrooge n. 242. Gladstone, 1990;
Of Kings And Tramps, article by Leonardo Gori and Alberto Becattini in Mickey Mouse n. 256. Gladstone, 1990;
The Duck and the Colossuss, article by Alberto Becattini, in Uncle Scrooge Adventures n. 38. Gladstone 1996;
Romano Scarpa, article by Timo Ronkainen in Ankkalinnan Pamaus n. 1, 1996 (in Finnish);
[Creators] [The Inducks] [DCML home]