Magnus, pseudonym of Roberto Raviola, is regarded as one of the foremost Italian cartoonists of all time. A lifelong resident of Bologna, he took the pseudonym Magnus from the Latin phrase Magnus Pictor Fecit (“A Great Painter Did It”). In 1964, Magnus began working with Max Bunker on the series Kriminal. During the 1960s the duo became a mainstay of Italian comics creating successful series such as Satanik, Dennis Cobb, Gesebel, Maxmagnus, and Alan Ford. Magnus’ atmospheric use of black and white was instrumental in launching a new comics genre, called fumetti neri (black comics/adult comics).
In 1975, Magnus began an association with Renzo Barbieri’s publishing house, which specialized in erotic comics. In the 1970s Magnus produced Midnight of Fire, Ten Knights and a Wizard, Vendetta Macumba and The Living Skull, among others. In 1975 he started the Lo Sconosciuto (an intentional misspelling of “Unknown”) series, today considered one of Magnus’ finest creations.
During the 1980s he created two science fiction heroines: Milady 3000, and Frieda Boher in Necron, written by Ilaria Volpe. Milady, which appeared in France’s Métal Hurlant magazine, is a science fiction series mixing Chinese culture, Flash Gordon, erotica, and Star Wars’ influences. Subsequently, inspired by eastern literature, he created The 110 pills, Fiori di prugno in un vaso d’oro and The Enchanted Women.
All artwork © Roberto Raviola.