The Graphic War Novels of Vittorio Giardino
Vittorio Giardino is one of Italy's most important comics artists, known for his Clear Line inspired series like 'Max Fridman' and 'Jonas Fink'. The Italian electrical engineer Vittorio Giardino was already in his thirties when he entered the comics scene in 1978. After creating his first comics for La Città Futura, he created the character 'Sam Pezzo', a private investigator whose adventures appeared in Sam Pezzoand Orient-Express.
In 1982 Giardino created a new character: Sam Pezzoand Orient-Express, an ex-secret agent involved in the political struggle in 1930's Europe. His first adventure, Hungarian Rhapsody was serialized in the first four issues of Orient Express and brought Giardino in the limelight of the international comic scene. Max Fridman adventures have been published in 18 countries, and are universally recognised as comic book classics.
Starting in 1984, Giardino produced a number of short stories for the Italian magazine Comic Art, where he introduced Little Ego, a young and sexy girl inspired by Winsor McKay's Little Nemo who stars in one-page dreamy erotic stories.
In 1991 Giardino created a new character, Jonas Fink for the Il Grifo magazine. Jonas is a young Jew in 1950's Prague whose father is arrested by the communist police. He and his mother have to cope with the discrimination and oppression of Stalin's regime. The book won the Angoulème Alfred prize for best foreign work in 1995 as well as an Harvey at San Diego in 1999.
Giardino's maniacal attention to details in both his art and his stories has made him a star even outside the comics community. Unfortunately, it is also the reason of his proverbial slowness: his fans have to wait for years to read the conclusion of his books. Giardino art style recalls the French ligne claire, while his writing owes a lot to famous hard boiled and spy story authors like Dashiell Hammett and John le Carré.
From 1986, he was present in L'Espresso with short stories, and began working as an illustrator for L'Unità, Glamour International, La Repubblica and Je Bouquine. Giardino's work also found its way to France, and his three main series appeared in the pages of Circus.
His short stories for L'Espresso where collected in the book 'Vacances Fatales' by Casterman upon their reprints in À Suivre. For the same magazine, he made 'Piero, les Rêves, le Temps', an hommage to Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca, in 1992. A year later, he began the series 'Jonas Fink' in the Il Griffo journal, a series set in former Czechoslovakia during the Communist regime.
Giardino's Graphic War Novels
Sam Pezzo, P.I. (Catalan Communications, 1987)
Little Ego (Catalan Communications, 1990)
Deadly Dalliance (Catalan Communications, 1990)
A Jew in Communist Prague: 1. Loss of Innocence (N.B.M., 1997)
A Jew in Communist Prague: 2. Adolescence (N.B.M., 1997)
A Jew in Communist Prague: 3. Rebellion (N.B.M., 1998)
¡No pasarán!: Vol. 1 (N.B.M., 2002)
¡No pasarán!: Vol. 2 (N.B.M., 2003)