THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO
Bruno Premiani (4 January 1907 - 17 August 1984, Italy) was an Italian anti-fascist with a passion for history, who became a successful comic book artist in Argentina and the United States. Born in Trieste in the Austro-Hungarian empire as the son of a Slovenian Imperial Railway employee and an Italian mother, Giordano Bruno Premiani lived in Argentina for most of his life. Most American sources list his birth year as 1924, but Italian police records mention 4 January 1907. From 1921 to 1925, Premiani studied at the high school of arts and crafts in Trieste, which was a part of Italy by then.
Not happy with the fascism that had taken over Italy, Premiano took the boat to Argentina in 1930. There, he began drawing for the Agencia Wisner advertising shop and the daily newspaper Crítica. For this newspaper, he did the educational comic section 'Seen and Heard' which ran from 1932 to 1940. In the meantime, the Italian government kept track of Premiani's anti-fascist activities for the Crítica daily and stated that Premiani was to be arrested when he got back to Italy. Premiani only returned to Italy once, to bury his mother in the early 1950s.
During the 1940s, Premiani continued to work as an illustrator for Argentine magazines, such as Billiken and Léoplan. From 1947, Premiani illustrated a great number of comic adaptations of literary classics in the 'Patoruzito Classics' series, which appeared in Dante Quinterno's Patoruzito magazine.
Between 1948 and 1952, Premiani lived in the United States, where he began a longtime collaboration with National/DC Comics. He started out working with the historical 'Tomahawk' character and 'Pow-Wow Smith Indian Detective' for Detective Comics. He also worked at Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's Crestwood studios and made comic biographies of US historical figures for the State Department. In 1960, Premiani returned to live in the States once again. Around this time, he had already contributed to Gilberton's Classics Illustrated series and worked also as an inker for Jack Kirby and Stan Drake and on Curt Swan's 'The Rip Van Winkle of Smallville'.
Premiani's best known work for National/DC was the creation of 'Doom Patrol' with Arnold Drake in 1963. This series, about a trio with special abilities (Elasti-Girl, Negative-Man and Robotman), led by a man in a wheelchair, has a striking resemblance to Marvel's 'X-Men' series. However, 'Doom Patrol' debuted June 1963 and 'X-Men' three months later. Until 1968, Premiani drew most of the 'Doom Patrol' stories in My Greatest Adventures and later the eponymous comic book.
In addition, he did the cover and interior art for DC's 'Brave & Bold' series, starring Cave Carson. In 1964, Premiani was the artist on 'Kid Flash, Aqualad and Robin', a spin-off with Batman's sidekick Robin, Aquaman's sidekick Aqualad and a younger version of the Flash. He eventually returned to Argentina, where he died in 1984.
An image from an 'X-Men' story by Jack Kirby and Bruno Premiani inspired the pop-art painting 'Image Duplicator' (1963) by Roy Lichtenstein.