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What Do You Know About Zagor?
ZAGOR IS STRONG, HE’S POWERFUL. WHEN HE HITS A GUY, THE GUY GOES DOWN. HE HAS A SLEW OF FRIENDS. EVERYONE IS IN AWE OF HIM. FAMILY, FRIENDS, HAPPINESS, THE FUTURE… ZAGOR SCORNS THEM ALL.
Gallieno Ferri is one of the creators of the legendary comic book Zagor. On a recent visit to Turkey, he gave us a delightful interview and an opportunity to get to know Zagor and Ferri’s own life as a comic book artist better.
How did you get your start in comic books?
It never crossed my mind that I’d become a comic book artist. I got a degree in land use planning and started working for a company that planned construction projects. One day I saw an ad. A small company was looking for people to draw comic strips. As an art buff and a big fan especially of American comic books, I had made a few attempts of my own. I sent them to the publisher. My first comic book was published in 1949 under the title, The Green Phantom.
What about Zagor?
I spent ten years living abroad thanks to an illustrating job I found in France. In 1960 I made the acquaintance of the Milan publisher, Sergio Bonelli Editore. My drawing had matured by then and the time had come for me to do more serious work. Zagor was born of an idea of Sergio Bonelli’s. He wrote it, I drew it.
Was Zagor inspired by anybody?
In the beginning I might have been inspired by the American actor Robert Taylor, but the truth is that in time the character came to resemble me.
Are you still drawing it?
Since Zagor is part of my life, I continue to draw him, but less than before. I used to draw 40 or 50 pages a month; it’s never more than 15 now. And most of those are covers or special issues.
Setting Zagor aside for a minute, who are your own favorite comic strip characters?
I prefer the classic American comic strip characters like Flash Gordon, The Masked Man, The Phantom, Mandrake… Among the Italians I like Tex and Corto Maltese.
Born the third son of a gendarmerie officer in 1929, Ferri grew up during the Second World War. He took a degree in land use planning and started to work for a construction project planning firm until a newspaper ad changed his life. His first published work was The Green Phantom in 1949. Following a 10-year stint abroad, Ferri met Sergio Bonelli in Milan in 1960 and the Zagor years began.
Created in 1961, Zagor is known for his unique scream. Depicted in the form ‘Ahyaaak’ in the comic strip, the scream is a variation on the name Ajax, which had to be altered for copyright reasons.
MISTER NO, ANTI-HERO
The quintessential anti-hero, Mister No is awesome and charismatic despite his total lack of any moral sense.