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.