Born today Gianluigi Coppola (16 April 1928 – 24 August 2015, Italy)
Gianluigi “Didi” Coppola was an Italian comic artist, painter and illustrator. He was born in Chiavari in 1928, and at 21 he moved to Milan to start his career as a draftsman. He joined Ferdinando Tacconi in the creation of ‘Nat del Santa Cruz’ and Franco Paludetti on ‘Sciuscià’, two of the most characterizing Italian comics of the post-war period. In 1954 he left for London, where he worked for two decades as a comic artist, illustrator and graphic designer. He drew British comics like ‘Billy the Kid’ for the Amalgamated Press, the Sunday page of Harry Bishop‘s ‘Gun Law’ for the Sunday Express, as well as ‘Scoop Donovan’ and ‘Battler Britton’ for the Fleetway libraries. He made illustrations for publishers like Penguin, Pan, Corgi and Granada, and for periodicals like the Sunday Times, The Observer and Forum. He furthermore worked for advertisements through agencies like Young and Rubicam.
He also continued to work for the Italian market. With Lele Luzzati and Flavio Costantini he made illustrations for a children’s encyclopedia, and he made cartoons for the adult magazines Playboy and Penthouse. The publishing house Bonelli hired him in the 1990s to draw several installments of the comic book series ‘Dylan Dog’ and ‘Martin Mystère’, while he also made illustrations for educational books published by Cideb in Rapallo. Coppola eventually devoted himself to painting portraits and seascapes. He passed away in Genoa in August 2015