One Publisher, one adventure

The name Bonelli has always been a constant accompaniment to the most extensive production of entirely Italian illustrated literature that has appeared in this country since pre-war times right up to the present day. The initiator of this impressive publishing adventure was Giovanni Luigi Bonelli, the creator, among the many characters to which his boundless imagination gave birth, of the legendary Tex who has now become a cult figure of popular imagination, and not merely in Italy.

The passion for story-telling and Adventure was a steadfast companion for Gianluigi Bonelli throughout his life. After a few experiments in the literary field, he turned (1936) to comic strips, pouring all his narrative exuberance into dozens of characters and stories, both for "Il Vittorioso" and also for l'Audace" (of which a Cover is reproduced here on the left), two of the most prestigious comic strips of the period. And it was precisely his work with "L'Audace" that laid the bases for the establishment of the Publishing House which, about ten years later, would deliver the Tex phenomenon to newsagents' throughout Italy. Over the years, the long-lived Publishing House was known by a number of different denominations. Edizioni Audace, Edizioni Araldo, Cepim, DaimPress, Altamira which succeeded one another or even coexisted at times, gradually defining the House's identity. This eventually culminated in the present-day Sergio Bonelli Editore, named after the son of Gianluigi and Tea Bonelli, who himself is a prolific script-writer and has for many years been at the helm of the Dream Factory in Buonarroti Street.

It is likely, however, that the inevitable unforeseen events along its path would have halted or rendered more arduous the progression of the Edizioni Audace in the difficult immediate post-war years, had it not been for the intervention of Tea Bonelli herself, a gentle and mild lady in appearance, but endowed with an iron will, who successfully built up and enhanced the historic press G. L. Bonelli had taken over in 1941 from its previous owner, Lotario Vecchi. In his new guise as Head of the Editorial Board, the future 'dad' of Tex immediately undertook several decisive measures to relaunch "L'Audace", radically modifying is structure: no longer a number of different serialized stories, but rather one single complete story in each issue. And with a frequently appearing protagonist: the figure of Furio who was to become one of the most famous characters of Italian comics, and who would share the honors of the limelight with other glorious names from comic strips of the era, on the occasion of the publication of the Audace special albums.