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Il Comandante Mark
by Marco Gremignai
translation by Derrick De Candia

Who created him? 1966: Pietro Sartoris, Dario Guzzon and Giovanni Sinchetto, or better known has the EsseGesse trio, proposed to Sergio Bonelli a project regarding a character fighting during the Civil War, a leader of a valiant group of patriots: the Comandante Mark (Commander Mark). The editor had approved the idea right away, remembering that in 1953 his mother Tea, than head of the publishing house, had refused another idea of the trio (who at that time were already at the height of success with their Capitan Miki); which was later published by Dardo. Even in that case the stories dealt with a patriot at war with the hated British, or Blek Macigno.

The three prolific authors continued their series for 24 years, assisted in the last numbers by Lina Buffolente at the helms of the drawings. By ending the Civil War, the regular series finishes in 1990, but Mark continues appearing on newsstands with reprinted stories in Tutto Mark (that had made its debut in the previous month, with two episodes in every number). Mark also appears in special annual issues, for which various authors have altered their assistance to Buffolente and Guzzon, Guzzon the last surviving member of the trio, who disappears in May of 2000.

The format. The issues of this series represent a rare case in the Bonelli publications: just like every other series its 96 pages long (with 4 cover pages), but Mark's issues do not all necessarily relate to him. "Only" the first 64 pages seem to, while in the remaining 32 (from pages 67 to 98), other characters created by the EsseGesse have seen their adventures been published, (including Alan Mistero, almost uninterrupted, from n. 1 to 104, and Il Grande Blek from n. 222 to 280). There have also been those by other authors, of which Sclavi, (his Kerry il Trapper had from n. 197 to 221 published).

Generally, Commander Mark's stories conclude in only an issue: in rare cases though, some adventures have spread into two issues, in one unique case it took 4 issues (the adventure in Egypt, was from n. 104 to 107). The only numbers that were dedicated to Mark alone were the n. 100 issue (an all in color story about his past) and his last issue, n. 281.

Who's he? Mark is a French nobleman, as a child he was shipwrecked thanks to the English, but survived when a patriot saved him; he was than raised by a tribe of Native American Indians. His adoptive father teaches him fighting and fencing, as well as the values of liberty, loyalty and defending those oppressed. Following his father's hanging, Mark becomes the leader of a group of patriots: the Lupi dell'Ontario (Ontario's Wolves). They fight against the hated Giubbe Rosse (Red Coats) in an idealistic universe that's severely split into good and bad guys (with stereotypical characters from a graphical stand point), but nonetheless gifted with charm.

Who are his friends? Just like Miki has Doppio Rhum and Salasso and Blek has professor Occultis and Roddy, Mark also has two inseparable stooges, the often main characters of comic relief: Mister Bluff and Gufo Triste. The first is an always happy individual from a mysterious past, the second, is an Indian who's always intent in predicting misfortune and fighting against Flok, Mister Bluff's dog. Mark also has a fiancÚe, the blond Betty who he'll eventually marry at the end of the Civil War. Another character who must certainly be mentioned is El Gancho, a buccaneer who's often affiliated with the Ontario's Wolves fighting for freedom.

Who are his enemies? It's impossible to be wrong: it has to be the hated Red Coats; obviously the English troops working towards oppressing the rebellion of the American colonists in their confrontation with the "mother country". Besides this "collective" enemy, unusual characters have sometimes surfaced, such as the Tiger of Martinica and the wicked Nemeris.

 

  

Comandante Mark - 5kb 

CREATORS
EsseGesse
Sinchetto, Guzzon & Sartoris
in 1966


DESIGN
EsseGesse

COVERS
EsseGesse
regular series
others
special issues

COPYRIGHT
Sergio Bonelli Editore
Copyright (c)
1966-2000
all right reserved worldwide

 


 
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