On History: Looking for an Artist/Book

By | Tuesday, July 07, 2015 Leave a Comment
Today's post is a call out to the collective hive mind to see if anyone can help me track down a book/artist from my youth. I've only seen the one book by this artist, and I'm more interested to see what else he (I think?) did than just getting the book to relive any childhood nostalgia.

The book in question was a wordless children's book, probably from the mid-to-late 1970s. It didn't have a story at all; it was just a series of double-page spreads, each featuring a scene of chaos/mayhem. I recall one was a ship-to-ship pirate battle, another was a horde of army ants rolling over a mass exodus of jungle inhabitants (animals, explorers, and some unfortunately stereotyped natives), yet another was some kind of outer space scene. I think there maybe have an Eygtian-themed spread as well. In each spread, there was very much a sense of disorder overall, but it seemed to unfold in front of you as you absorbed everything that was drawn on the page. There were maybe 12-15 scenes all told. The artwork was cartoony, and it reminded me a little of Sergio Aragonés both in terms of the style of illustration as well as the level of detail/complexity. (Though it was definitely not him.) You could study each spread for ages and keep finding little jokes and gags throughout.

The book was wordless, as I said, and the artist had an Italian-sounding name to my recollection. (Though my knowledge of Europe was pretty limited as a child, so it might have been Greek or French or something.) I recall having the impression that the book was originally published in Europe, and just ported over to the U.S. since it didn't have to be translated. The cover was mostly black with a portion of one of the interior illustrations inset under the title.

For the life of me, I can't recall the name of the book or the artist, and the copy of the book I had as a kid has long-since vanished. The book in question probably would not be considered comics by many people, but there was so much going on in the single illustration that it became a sort of narrative unto itself. It was both a snapshot of a chaotic scene, but also a set of small, sometimes sequential, narratives. As I said, I'd be interested to see this artist's work and study it with more of an eye towards comics (rather than the sheer entertainment value I placed on it as a child) so I'd welcome any ideas anyone has on who this might be based on my absurdly vague description.
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