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Fantom (#17/2004) presents: Cocco Benito

Fantom presents: Cocco Benito – a great legendaric comic story artist

| Mustanaamio #17/2004 | Back to the original article (in Finnish) |

Benito Jacovitti passed away in December 1997 in Rome, but his fan club, Jacovitti Club, still operates and publishes a high-quality comic book magazine at irregular intervals.

Cocco Bill has also been shown in Italy as a series of cartoons on TV. Some years ago, the series produced 52 episodes, each 13 minutes. An another cycle of equal output is planned.

In Fantom comic book, we aim to present as many pages of Benito Jacovitti’s comic stories as possible. The prerequisite, of course, is that readers will like them.

We will start with the twisted world of Zorry Kid. Later you will get to know Jak Mandolino and his little assistant Pop Corn.

Any feedback will be welcome!


When I was a kid I read a cartoon that was a western parody called Cocco Bill. There were small creatures fluttering between screens, a bull in the bush called a Sitting Bull, a periscope poking out of a sombrero, someone with a salami nose, a head in wood and a mouth as big as a canoe. The speech bubbles were full of funny expressions, the characters spoke completely their own language. The hero drank herbal tea. There was plenty of violence, especially Cocco Bill shooting his opponent’s teeth in the sky.

Cocco Bill albums began to be published in Finnish in the mid-1970s. The hero’s name remained in its original language. Translated from Italian, the name could mean Gentle Bill. Cocco Bill’s horse is jokingly named Trotter.

In between panels and other surprising places, adventurous characters are called “eyeball catchers”, and Carl Barks, for example, has used the gimmick in his Donald Duck tales, as well as George McManus in Bringing up Father. Here, on the Cocco Bill pages, you can see the fishbone and signature Jac, or the whole surname Jacovitti, or just the year, for example, ’58.

Cocco Bill was created by Benito Jacovitti, born in 1923 in Termoli, Italy. He became one of the most famous cartoonists in the country. At the age of 16, he began working for a youth magazine called Il Vittorioso, “Undefeated.” He produced numerous series for the magazine, such as “Barber on the Prairie” and “Giacinto.” The most famous, however, was “Pippo”, who was soon joined by two comrades, and so was born a group of three, “Pippo, Pertica & Palla”. This series was a success in Italy and made Jacovitti famous.

When he quit Il Vittorioso in 1957, he immediately began drawing Cocco Bill for an another magazine. Other Jacovitti’s famous series include Zorry Kid, Tom Ficcanaso, who is prone to nosebleeds, and Jak Mandolino.

Jacovitti also embraced the classic stories. He produced quite original versions of Don Quixote and Ali Baba. Pinocchio received a rather favored interpretation in his reading.

Even the traditional cartoon heroes couldn’t be left alone. Tarzan and Mandrake the Magician were not so heroic and stylish at all when they got the Jac stamp and the fishbone mark.

Now readers of Fantom have the opportunity to enjoy Jacovitti’s cartoon art, which is flooded with insights, fun, crazy situations, and momentum. And sometimes, to the point of nonsense, violence is exaggerated.

Copyright © 2019 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink! 
Created: Sept.- 7, 2019. Last updated: September 7, 2019 at 20:31 pm