Renzo Barbieri (March 10, 1940 – September 23, 2007) was an author and editor of Italian comics and the founder of the publishing house Edifumetto. He was born in Milan, Italy. He wrote "Manual for Playboys" in 1967, a manual that describes where European playboys live, the cars they drive, and other such information.
In the mid- sixties, Barbieri developed the pocket comic, also known as a digest. In this period spawned the black comics (Diabolik before and Kriminal and Satanik a few years later), paperback books, strictly for adults, portraying scenes of graphic violence and semi-dressed women. In 1966 he created Publishing 66 inspired by film and literary subjects of the time (as Angelica and James Bond ) and begins to develop the plots of his first two books: Isabella and Grendizer (designed by the talented and prolific Sandro Angiolini ).
These volumes were slightly erotic until the first half of the seventies, when they became progressively more pornographic leading into the 1980's. This escalation went hand in hand with a sexual revolution occurring in Italy at the time, in the sense of an increasing permissiveness, in the press and in the cinema. Images, like a naked breast, which in the mid- sixties, appeared scandalous, a few years later would have been almost chaste and innocent.
Renzo Barbieri who, already a writer of comics for years (he had also worked for Editoriale Dardo and Editoriale Alpe) as well as a journalist for The Night, decided after reading a violent White Cartoon French edition to open a publishing house in Milan.
Barbieri started out publishing a few series himself and then expanded production by partnering with Giorgio Cavedon, with whom they founded Erregi.
Adding to Barbieri's Isabella, Goldrake, they launch Jacula, Lucrezia, Messalina, Hessa, De Sade, Lucifera, Jolanda, Vartan, Walalla, Yra, Jungle, Bonnie, and many other sexy-heroines. But in 1972 , as a result of differences and the need to reinvest the capital to cope with the rising competition in erotic comics, the two entrepreneurs split to form their own companies.
Under the new banner of Edifumetto, Barbieri created some of the most notable titles of the genre including Zora la Vampira,, Rolando del Fico,Cimiteria, Vampiro,lo SScheletro, Sukia Belzeba, Playcolt, Mafia, Poppea, Necron and dozens of other characters. Their success was due in large part to the splendid covers, an unmistakable style of painting, made by classically trained masters such as Alessandro Biffignandi, Emanuele Taglietti, Roberto Molino, Pino D'angelico, Enzo Sciotti and Carlo Jacono. Within a few years Edifumetto was publishing a new edition almost every day (and doubled in the summer with supplements).
Other publishing brands by Renzo Barbieri were Edizioni GEIS, SEGI, Il Vascello, Centroedizioni, Squalo Comics, Renzo Barbieri Editore and finally Edifumetto 3000 which folded in the early 2000's.
Series dedicated to vampirism :
- Jacula (1969), originally published by Erregi until 1982, with a total of 327 books.
- Zora la Vampira, published from 1972 to 1985, stories by Giuseppe Pederiali, drawings by Birago Balzano, Gianni Pinaglia and Pino Antonelli for a total of 288 books and 12 special editions.
- Sukia conceived by Nicholas Prince, published from 1977 to 1986, with a total of 150 books.
- Yra designed by Leone Frollo, written by Ruby Ventura. Published from 1980 to 1981.
- Storia del fumetto italiano
- Sukia, Jacula, De Sade, Lando, Il Tromba: la grande epopea della Edifumetto di Milano , articolo di GiovanBattista Brambilla, da Babilonia, maggio 2004
- Sex and Horror: The Art of Emanuele Taglietti, ©2014 Korero Press
- Sex and Horror: The Art of Alessandro Biffignandi, ©2016 Korero Press