Romano Scarpa

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Romano Scarpa (September 27, 1927, Venice - April 23, 2005, Málaga) was one of the most famous Italian creators of Disney comics.



Growing up in Venice he developed a particular love for American cartoons and Disney comics, that, at the time, were published in the big format of the Topolino Giornale which was then printing now classic Floyd Gottfredson's stories. In the Forties he opened an Animation Studio in Venice in which he produced his first works: some commercials, a short titled E poi venne il diluvio and another one titled La piccola fiammiferaia (1953, based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl), distributed in Italy together with Robert Aldrich's Attack! (1956).

Right after that he stopped working in animation for a while and dedicated wholly to creating Disney comics. When in 1956 Italian editors had no more new Floyd Gottfredson's stories to reprint, he was given the responsibility to continue Gottfredson's stories about Mickey Mouse. Also influenced by Carl Barks in the late Fifties and up to about 1963 he wrote and penciled stories like Topolino e la collana Chirikawa (1960) or The Flying Scot (1957) that have, later, been translated in many different languages throughout the world. Many of these stories have their backgrounds in movies, for example Topolino nel favoloso regno di Shan Grillà (1961) is based upon Frank Capra's Lost Horizon (1937); not to talk about all the stories starring Snow White or the Seven Dwarfs, obviously based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Sometimes the exact opposite happened; the Italian movie Riusciranno i nostri eroi a ritrovare l'amico misteriosamente scomparso in Africa? (1968) is based on Scarpa's story Topolino e il Pippotarzan (1957).

Around 1963 Scarpa relaxed a bit and practically stopped writing his stories for 6 or 7 years, while still penciling stories written by other people, generally not up to the same high standards of his; an exception to this "rule" is the long Storia e Gloria della Dinastia dei Paperi saga[citation needed], written by Guido Martina, and co-pencilled by Scarpa with Giovan Battista Carpi. Then, in the Seventies he went back to writing too, and kept doing it to the end, though he later moved to Spain and started working for a different publisher. Among the last things he made while he was still in Italy, at the end of the Eighties and at beginning of the Nineties, there are the so called Paperolimpiadi (a long story about the 1988 Seoul Olympic games) and some strip stories, the same kind of stories that he loved when he was a child. One of these, Topolino e l'enigma di Brigaboom (1989) was partially based on Brigadoon (1954).

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