THE ITALIAN COMICS ARTIST IN THE MARVEL COMICS TEAM; FROM THE FIRST AFROAMERICAN SPIDER-MAN TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS
Sara Pichelli will be honored with the Golden Romics during the XXVII Romics edition. Born in Amatrice in 1983, and raised in Marche (an Italian region), specifically in Porto Sant’Elpidio, Pichelli develops a passion for drawing from an early age. Moved to Rome at the age of 19 in order to study at the Oriental Studies Department, she discovers the International School of Comics and once left the Chinese studies, she commits herself to cartoons and anime. After graduating, she works in animation as storyboarder and character designer, furthermore she takes part in the production of the movie Winx Club – The secret of the lost kingdom. Then she receives the opportunity to work with David Messina, author of Star Trek and Elena Casagrande, Ghost Whisperer designer. When Messina shows her “Coming home”, the Spider-Man saga by J.M. Straczynski and John Romita Jr., Sara is struck by the power of images, and she decides to deepen her knowledge about comics.
A great chance arises for her in 2008 when the talent scout for Marvel Comics C.B. Cebulski comes to Italy for one of his Chester Quest (i.e. an international talent search in order to find new artists). Almost by chance, Sara decides to take part in the contest, and she stands amazed when she gets selected among twelve winners. After few years rising through the ranks, the publisher invites her to swap with other artists of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, adapted by Bendis. Later on, in 2011 Marvel asks her to draw the new Spider-Man, called Miles Morales, an Afro-American boy, who represents Obama’s America progressive symbol. Once in a lifetime opportunity for Sara who throws herself into the project and she declares on the Fatto quotidiano: “When Marvel designated me, they had already come up with a new multi-ethnic character. They told me how the new Spider-man should look like and I started from there. Morales came out bit by bit. It has been an artistic blend between me and Bendis, the screenwriter. I was influenced by his ideas and, conversely was him”.
His kind of Miles, very far from Peter Parker, is extremely related to motion; this new Spider-Man fighting moves are almost closer to dancing, inspired by capoeira and parkour. In september 2011 Pichelli wins an Eagle Award and a Harvey Award, and during 2012 two Stan Lee Awards. In 2014 she is included among Marvel Young Guns (i.e. new talents to be spotlighted in the future).
Partnership with Bendis carries on with Spider-Men and Spider-Men II, and beyond that, with him she works at Guardians of the Galaxy, in which Angela, the beloved character from the narrative universe of Spawn, is reviewed and relaunched, in a time frame written not only by Brian M. Bendis, but also by Neil Gaiman. Between 2018 and 2019 she is involved in the process of refreshing the look of Fantastic 4 headline, written by Dan Slott.
2019 represents a very important moment for the italian cartoonist: from the comic book dedicated to Miles Morales has been taken the animated feature film Into Spider-Verse, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, which won the Oscar for best animated film. Sara Pichelli, the only Italian named, is the author of Miles Morales' design. Currently the artist is working on a special edition of Spider-Man, written by American director J.J. Abrams and his son Henry.