One of the founders of what the Italians call fumetti neri (black, or adult comics), due to his atmospheric use of black and white, was Roberto Raviola (1939-1996), who would later adopt the name Magnus (a reference to the Latin expression Magnus Pictor Fecit (A Great Painter Did It)).
Fig.1. Picture of Roberto Raviola (Magnus)
From Passion to Work
Born in 1939, he grew up after the war and after a brief experience in advertising graphics, he moved on to illustration. As if the flash that had hit him as a child when he saw those images from stories in magazines like Il Vittorioso had never gone away. A passion that turned into work.
Fig.2. Painting of Magnus at work accompanied by Bob Rock, one of the main characters he created for the iconic comic Alan Ford, a persiflage of Sherlock Holmes (1996)
The Bolognese (he would live there all his life), Saviola joined forces with the writer Max Bunker with whom he created Kriminal, Satanik and the 40-year success of Alan Ford (Fig. 3). In the 1960s the pair changed Italian comics forever: they told of a cunning and violent world of villainous anti-heroes, or clumsy ones, however never exemplary. As a result, the duo became a mainstay of Italian comics throughout the '60s.
Fig.3. Alan Ford no 1, first edition, Corno Editorial, May 1969
Then in 1975 Magnus abruptly retired from commercial comics, began experimenting with new ways and constantly changing. The outcome of this was the series Lo Sconosciuto (The Unknown) that was published in English as The Specialist (Fig.4). The story of a disillusioned ex-mercenary, The Unknown, was remarkable at the time for its frank depiction of violence and sex.
Fig.4. A page from the comic Lo Sconosciuto (The Unknown) (1975)
Star Wars Sensuality
Other important erotic works by Magnus are Milady 3000 (1980), a science fiction tale offering a special mix of ancient Chinese culture, Italian Renaissance intrigues, and hyper-technological environments, and a dash of Flash Gordon and Star Wars sensuality, Necron, a sexy parody of Frankenstein, Le Feminine Incantate (Fig.5 and 6), the adult horror story Il Teschio Vivente and the controversial Le 110 Pillole (Fig 9 to 10), that even forced Totem (the magazine that hosted the first publication) to censor some scenes.
Fig.5. Le Feminine Incantate (The Enchanted Females) (1987)
Great European Erotic Artists
Magnus' work is considered to be on a par with other great European erotic artists such as Milo Manara, Erich von Gotha and Moebius, Exceptional, unique and pleasantly bizarre, it was the foundation for the creation of characters that are still considered true “icons” of the past, and with his use of crisp, clear lines and lightness of touch with pencil and inks have ensured a long and loyal following.
Fig.6. Study for Le Feminine Incantate (The Enchanted Females) (1987)
Also noteworthy was his ability to switch from comic-grotesque to spy-story, from giallo (a mystery fiction and thriller genre) to science fiction, to the journalistic genre up to touching the erotic and the pornographic, all with a versatility of graphic styles, attributable to his inimitable hand.
Fig.7. A beautiful and sexy page from the one-shot story "Dieci Cavalieri e un Mago", first published in "Sexy Favole" Year II #33 (1974). Pen and ink.
Fig.8. Original study for Necron's "Frieda Boher". Ink and crayon on light card stock.
Fig.9. "The 110 Pills (Le 110 Pillole)" (transposition into graphic novel of a classic of Chinese erotic literature of the sixteenth century, 1985)
Fig.10. Study with paper marker and colored pencils for 110 Pillole (110 Pills) (Comicartfans.com)
Do you also feel a deep appreciation for Magnus' comic art sensuality? In the exclusive Premium edition you can now find many more additional insights on the artist and his most important erotic work with an extensive treatise on the controversial Le 110 Pillole (110 Pills), more on the bold Necron series, more than three times as much images (with many masturbating beauties), and much more...!
Click HERE for the erotic work of another Italian comic art legend Milo Manara
Sources: pinterest.com, twitter.com, ilvoltodeifumetti.wordpress.com, wikipedia.org, comicartfans.com, Tim Pilcher, Erotic Comics A Graphic History, Volume 1 From Birth To The 1970s
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