They called him the Latin American gringo. Indeed, Robin Wood (1944-2021), born in Paraguay to parents of Irish descent, had something of the gringo. That attitude of being a living typewriter, typical of many North American storytellers from Howard Phillips Lovecraft to Isaac Asimov, from Ed McBain to Stephen King. Extremely prolific, but unlike the aforementioned not in the field of fiction (or even non-fiction), but in that of comics, of historieta, as they call the medium in Spanish-speaking South America.
Died on October 17, he was probably the greatest Latin American comic writer and one of the greatest ever.
And one of the comics writers with the most fascinating life. He moved to Argentina at a very young age, attended the Academy of Fine Arts, at the time the great cartoonist Alberto Breccia taught there, but when he left it a long time ago and worked as an operator while wandering at dawn in the rain, chased away from the factory for being late, he finds his first published story in a newsstand, written by him months before.
He sees it as a sign of destiny and since then, it is July 1966, there will be tens and tens of thousands of pages of screenplay written by him. For decades he wandered around the world, with a backpack and a typewriter.
He lives in Brazil, Australia, Denmark, Italy, has at least three citizenships: Paraguayan, Argentine and Danish. His first important character is, in 1967, Nippur of Lagash, a Sumerian hero of the third millennium BC of which he wrote about four hundred adventures. Already with Nippur (designed, among others, by Lucho Olivera, Enrique Villagran and Jorge Zaffino) his love for history, declined in an epic and adventurous sense, is evident.
With Savarese, designed by Domingo Mandrafina, we are instead in the 1920s of gangsterism and Prohibition, while Helena (drawings by Ernesto Garcia Seijas) touches on soap opera-style themes. As a true consummate narrator of yesteryear, Wood successfully engages in the most diverse genres, from adventure to science fiction from detective to sentimental from science fiction to horror.
Among his many characters (too many to name them all), the most famous is Dago who is also the most successful cartoon character to be Italian (the various Tex, Diabolik, Dylan Dog, Zagor or Corto Maltese are American, English, or stateless ).
The protagonist is Cesare Renzi a nobleman in the Venice of the sixteenth century. Thanks to a plot by Prince Bertini, his family is massacred and dishonored (it is made to believe that his father was in the pay of the Turkish sultan). Found by the Saracen pirates floating on the sea with a dagger in his back, he is renamed Dago by them.
Cesare Renzi is dead, one of the greatest adventurers in history was born: Dago in fact frees himself from the slavery of the Saracens and lives extraordinary events throughout Europe in the 16th century, witnessing, among other things, the terrible Sack of Rome.
The series was born in 1981, thanks to the drawings of Alberto Salinas, who was then succeeded by Carlos Gomez and was soon made directly for the Italian market.
In Wood’s curriculum there is not even our own Dylan Dog, of whom he signed some stories at the beginning of the millennium.
The screenwriter Bepi Vigna, co-creator (with Antonio Serra and Michele Medda) of the science fiction character of Nathan Never said of him: “If you were to make a ranking of the top ten screenwriters internationally, Wood would certainly be among them” ›.