of Francesco Spreafico

A picture described in this paragraph

This photo was taken on April 28th, 2001 in Turin, at a Scarpa's Exposition. I'm the one near Marco Barlotti (you surely know who he is!) and at the other end of the picture you can see Disney artist Giorgio Cavazzano. In between other mailing list fellas: Armando Botto, Luca Boschi, Paolo Castagno and Dario Ambrosini.

Who am I anyway?

I was born way back in 1975, on July 29th in a dark and stormy night... ok no, it was 10:20 am actually. They tell me that one of the very first toys I was given was a Mickey Mouse puppet, I wonder if that influenced me somehow...

The first issue of Topolino I was bought was issue #1057 (02-29-1976), even though I guess I didn't quite... read it right away. I mainly tore it apart, but not much, since I still have it and haven't replaced it yet! Anyway I couldn't read that issue (and the following ones) until I was three; at that age I learned to read with a series of Disney books titled "Learn to read with Mickey", quite appropriately. But I switched to comics as soon as I could. I couldn't buy Topolino every week, my mother didn't like comics (sigh), so I had to earn it, or to buy it secretly... somehow I got thru this and starting with issue #1588 I've never missed one anymore. Later I've bought older issues too, now my collection starts around #700.

(In my mind) I used to sort artists in two groups: those who drew big bodies and those who drew little bodies. In the first group I had Romano Scarpa (old and new "versions", I didn't know he was only one artist then!), Massimo De Vita, Giorgio Cavazzano and Luciano Gatto; in the second Carl Barks, Giovan Battista Carpi, Guido Scala and Sergio Asteriti. I didn't care much about the other artist (no decent editions of Gottfredson stories when I was very young, unfortunately!), nor could I tell the writers yet!

 [I have most of my comics on a shelf] After a while I started keeping a count of how many issues I have, I remember that the first time I counted them they were 144 (I still have the piece of paper where I wrote it down somewhere!)... impressive! (Now they're thousands of course, see a sample here at the right).

Then I started keeping files. Paper files since it was the '80's, I barely had a Commodore 64 and I never even thought of using that for this. I wrote all the data on notebooks... issue, data, price, title, code... it reminds me of something! Later, when at last I could associate names to art, I also started writing down long lists of stories for each artist... what can I tell you, I've been a mad indexer right from the start! I kept doing this for years, I remember discussing with my school fellows in 1988 about how good the "Paperolimpiadi" were (while a friend of mine preferred Massimo De Vita's stories), but then, in about 1992, my interest dropped.

Topolino was going through a very low quality period (but some gems here and there of course), and it couldn't interest me as it had always done. So, even though I never stopped buying it, I mostly stopped reading it and didn't care much about it... until...

In 1997 I saw a new magazine at the newsagent's, it was called "I Maestri Disney" and I had to buy it. It was so great I couldn't believe it was true... had there been such publication when I was a kid I guess it'd have been heaven for me! But even in 1997 it was great! I couldn't wait for the next one, so I took a better look at the stands, and saw "Zio Paperone" #94 (That I had stopped buying around issue #20, oh what a mistake!), so I bought that too and "met" Don Rosa (I'd already seen him on TV program a couple of months before, though, but not from the start, so when I'd realized he was a Disney artist the program was over) and all those great experts like Luca Boschi, Leonardo Gori, Alberto Becattini... that sure got me hooked again!

At the same time I'd started going to Milan every day (I live 30 miles away from Milan, but I had to go to University. Now, at last, I have graduated in Computer Science Engineering and work for a Software House) and there I found comic shops! And in a comic shop I found the books written by these guys! Yellow book, blue book, red book... all of them. After a while I also found a book about Cavazzano edited by Luca Boschi that featured Frank Stajano's Cavazzano article and many internet addresses. I wasn't connected to the internet yet, but when I did, in 1998, the first places I went check were these...

Finally, on "Fumo di China" #29 (07/1998) there was an article by Luca Boschi in which he wrote about Per Starbäck and the Disney Comic mailing list (now active here). I didn't know yet what a mailing list actually was but I suddenly remembered that Don Rosa in that TV program had said something about it! So I just got home, looked for it, found it and subscribed!

I didn't take me long to contact Marco, Paolo and all the other indexing guys (we weren't named Inducks yet), after all, I had a lot of data to share!

Now I keep buying Topolino, Zio Paperone, i Maestri Disney and everything reprinting stories by Scarpa; I've also made a site about him, my little tribute to my favourite Master.

To finish this page, I'll add that I read a lot of science fiction too (I guess I started by reading some SF Disney comic story when I was very young) and my favorite writer is Robert A. Heinlein. I'm also a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity, Star Wars, Star Trek, Martin Mystère, Jim Steinman (a rock music composer) and rock bands Guns n' Roses, Evanescence and Muse.

Recently I've started working in comics too! I translate Milton Caniff's Steve Canyon, Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise and George Herriman's Krazy Kat for the Italian publisher Free Books!

[Torino Comics 2002 with Don Rosa]

Turin, April 24th 2002: An ugly me hiding a bit of Francesco Gerbaldo on the left; Don Rosa in the middle and Luca Boschi on the right. (Picture from, by Silvano Beltramo)

On the web

My sites:

Sites (or online projects) I collaborate with:


Here are some drawings made for me by Disney (and non-Disney) artists. Click on the thumbnails for bigger images.


Mickey Mouse, by the Master Romano Scarpa, Malaga, 09/2001

Eurasia Tost
Eurasia Tost, by Giorgio Cavazzano, Turin, 05/12/2007

Paperinik and the Beagle Boys
Paperinik and the Beagle Boys, by Luciano Gatto, Venice, 12/13/2001

Bum Bum Ghigno, by Corrado Mastantuono, Turin, 04/24/2004
Millicent, by Alessandro Barbucci, Turin, 04/28/2001
Lyla Lay, by Claudio Sciarrone, Milan, 11/28/1998
Paperinik, by Stefano Turconi, Milan, 05/05/2001
Everett Ducklair, by Stefano Turconi, Milan, 05/05/2001
Lyla Lay, by Roberta Migheli, Bergamo, 05/19/2001
Louie, by Don Rosa, Turin, 04/27/2002
Donald Duck, by Fernando Ventura, 06/2001
Signs (when there's no time for drawings... or writers'!)

Giorgio Cavazzano

Corrado Mastantuono

Tito Faraci

Non Disney

Dark Mouse
Dark Mouse, by Leo Ortolani, Milan, 04/01/2000
Ben "the Thing" Grimm, by Leo Ortolani, Lodi, 12/02/2000
'Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?' 'Damn...'
A rat-stormtrooper, by Leo Ortolani, Milan, 09/22/2001
Lara Croft...?
A rat-Lara Croft, by Leo Ortolani, Milan, 12/01/2001
Tribunzio, by Leone Cimpellin, Milan, 04/07/2003


Me and Alyson Hannigan (Willow from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer). London 5/15/2004.
Her autograph
Her husband's, Alexis Denisof (Wesley in "Buffy" and "Angel")

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