Massimo Rotundo Golden Romics of the XXIII edition

Comics, cinema, painting, animation: the thousand faces of an eclectic artist. From Tex to Brendon and erotic comics. Cartoonist, illustrator, storyboard artist, character designer, costume designer, concept artist, painter, teacher. Massimo Rotundo’s career has touched every aspect of the graphic arts. The XXIII edition of Romics (5-8 April 2018) recognizes the exceptional life of the Roman artist by awarding him the Romics D’Oro. Rotundo began as a satirical cartoonist for the Satyricon di Repubblica supplement, directed by Giorgio Forattini, and then moved on to cult magazines such as Lanciostory, L'Eternauta, Heavy Metal, and the Écho des Savanes. In 1988, for the French publisher Albin Michel, he produced the erotic series Ex Libris Eroticis, a comic book interpretation of erotic literature and illustration in the early twentieth century, allowing him to be considered a fully realized author in France. This was followed by comic book interpretations of literary works, including La pelle di Zigrino by Balzac and Pig Pig, Pig, dedicated to Pasolini. He was also the artistic director for the series I Grandi Miti Greci a Fumetti di Luciano De Crescenzo (Mondadori/De Agostini). Rotundo also added the role of “teacher” to his artistic career when he founded the Roman School of Comics with Giancarlo Caracuzzo, Paolo Morales, Stefano Santarelli and Massimo Vincenti in 1993. In 1998 he joined Sergio Bonelli’s team, working on the character Brendon D'Arkness and on the miniseries Volto Nascosto and Shanghai Devil. In 2015 he created the “Texone” Tempesta su Galveston (Texone being the Italian nickname for large format comic books dedicated to the famous Tex character), written by Pasquale Ruju. He then released the horror saga Prediction in 2007 with the French publisher Delcourt. In cinema, he collaborated as an illustrator with costume designer Oscar Milena Canonero in numerous films and plays, and as a sketch artist for many films including Titus (Oscar nominee for costume design), and Gangs of New York. In animation, he contributed the character design and concept art for the series Ulisse - Il mio nome è Nessuno, directed by Giuseppe Maurizio Laganà (Kineo-Diamonds Cartoon On The Bay Award in Venice - Venice Film Festival 2012). Rotundo has also worked as a painter under the pseudonym Max Grecoriaz. He is currently working on the regular Tex series for Sergio Bonelli Editore. To honor the long and varied career of Massimo Rotundo, the XXIII edition of Romics proposes a special meeting at the Pala Romics and an exhibition of original works by this master. Great importance will be given to his comic books, particularly his works on Tex, the mythical Bonelli character which this year celebrates its 70th birthday since its first publication. Also on display will be installations, sketches for cinema, and examples of the different art forms Rotundo has worked with, from animated cinema to graphics, from painting to illustration, for a journey that crosses the extensive breadth of comic strip art and its influence.  

Tsukasa Hojo Golden Romics of the XXIII edition

Famous creator of the manga series Cat’s Eye, City Hunter, and Angel Heart, Hojo has been passionate about comics since childhood thanks to his relationship with a friend who aspired to become a professional cartoonist. After his debut in 1980 as a professional mangaka on Shonen Jump with the piece Ore wa Otoko da!, he began a close collaboration with Nobuhiko Horie that would lead him to the publication of Cat's Eye in 1981. The piece, focusing on the stories of three able and agile thieves chasing down works of art, immediately conquered the public and brought him immediate popularity, both for the themes addressed and for the, then unique, choice to present female characters as protagonists in a market where the female figure was relegated to a secondary role. The success was huge: in 1983 Tokyo Movie Shinsha would go on to create an anime that would be broadcasted in Italy in 1985, as well as in France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, China and the Philippines. In 1985 he debuted the investigative series City Hunter on the Shonen Jump. Its success at home was even greater than that of Cat’s Eye and definitively established Hojo as the leading artist of Japanese comics. In 1987 the Sunrise studio created an anime series of City Hunter which was exported to dozens of countries. In 2001, based on the consolidated success of City Hunter, Hojo created Angel Heart, a spin-off of the series set in a parallel future. Angel Heart also resulted in an anime series by TMS Entertainment and broadcasted in Japan from 2005 to 2006, though it is currently unpublished in Italy.

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