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|Born||Vincenzo Francisco Gennaro Di Fago
November 28, 1914
Yonkers, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 13, 2002
Bethel, Vermont, U.S.
|Area(s)||Writer, Artist, Editor|
Vincenzo Francisco Gennaro Di Fago (November 28, 1914 – June 13, 2002), known in the comics community as Vince Fago, was an American comic-book artist and writer who served as interim editor of Timely Comics, the Golden Age predecessor of Marvel Comics, while editor Stan Lee did his World War II service.
Fago headed the Timely animator bullpen, which was largely separate from the superhero group that produced comics featuring the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. This group, which such movie tie-in and original funny-animal comics as Terrytoons Comics, Mighty Mouse and Animated Funny Comic-Tunes, included Ernie Hart, David Gantz, Chad Grothkopf, George Klein, Pauline Loth, Jim Mooney, Kin Platt, Mike Sekowsky, Moss Worthman (aka Moe Worth) and future Mad cartoonists Dave Berg and Al Jaffee.
Fago was born in 1914 in Yonkers, New York, the youngest child in a large Italian immigrant family. He sold his first cartoon to the New York Sun at fourteen for $2, a the princely sum for a kid in 1928. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he began a lifelong friendship with Kin Platt. When Fago was eighteen he was recruited to work at the Jam Handy Studio in Detroit, training as an animator's assistant. From there, in about 1936 he headed to Florida to work as an amimator at Fleischer Brothers Studios, at that time the largest animation studio in the country with hundreds of artists. Fago worked on Popeye, Betty Boop, and many theatrical shorts, and on features including Gulliver's Travels (1939) and Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941). Although Walt Disney was luring animators to Disney Studio in California, Fago knew that his involvement with the union would likely mean trouble if he stayed in animation.
Returning to New York City and cartooning in 1942 after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, he wrote and drew for Timely Comics, bringing an animator's dynamic sense of movement that quickly made him the head of the "animators bullpen" at Timely for such features as "Dinky" and "Frenchy Rabbit" in Terrytoons Comics; "Floop and Skilly Boo" in Comedy Comics; "Posty the Pelican Postman" in Krazy Komics and other titles; "Krazy Krow" in that character's eponymous comic; and, following other writers/artists, the features "Tubby an' Tack" and "Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal". Fago's love was drawing funny animals. During this time he became close friends with Stan Lee, who was the nephew of Timely's owner, Martin Goodman. Fago said his friendship with Lee was based on long walks taken together around the city. During Lee's U.S. Army service from 1942 to 1945, Fago, by now head of the animator bullpen, assumed the interim title of Timely's Editorial and Art Director, beginning on comics cover-dated March 1943. Sometime after Lee's return, Fago left to work in independent comic-book production and as a children's-book illustrator for Golden Press.
In 1948, he took over the syndicated Sunday comic strip Peter Rabbit (based not on the Beatrix Potter books but on a character from the Thornton Burgess series that began with The Adventures of Peter Cottontail).
In the early-to-mid 1970s, Fago illustrated, edited, and handled production chores on more than 100 books in the Pendulum Illustrated Classics children's-book series, often working with Filipino artists Nestor Redondo and Alex Niño. He later collaborated with musician Julie Albright on The Rabbit Man Music Books, a series designed to teach children music theory. Other books include Zhin or Zhen (Charles Tuttle Publishing, 1972).
Personal life and family
His older brother, Al Fago, was also a funny-animal cartoonist, most notably the creator of the Charlton Comics title Atomic Mouse. Al was a freelance editor and comics packager, and in the mid-1940s he acquired material for the fledgling company to publish. Al spent most of his career with Charlton, also editing a number of the company's titles in the 1950s.
- Vincent Fago (Vincenzo Francisco Gennaro Di Fago) at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived October 18, 2011
- Arndt, Richard J. "A 2005 Interview with Steve Bissette about Bizarre Adventures!" Enjolrasworld.com: Marvel’s Black & White Horror Magazines Checklist. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Vassallo, Michael J. "Vincent Fago and the Timely Funny Animal Dept.". Comicartville.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009.
- "I Let People Do Their Jobs!': A Conversation with Vince Fago—Artist, Writer, and Third Editor-in-Chief of Timely/Marvel Comics". Alter Ego 3 (11) (TwoMorrows Publishing). November 2001. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009.
- Graphic Classics: Vincent Fago WebCitation archive.
- Social Security Death Index
|Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief