Vincent Fago

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Vincenzo Francisco Gennaro Di Fago (born November 28, 1914, Yonkers, New York; died June 13, 2002) was an American comic-book artist and writer who served as interim editor of Timely Comics, the Golden Age predecessor of Marvel Comics, while editor Stan Lee did his World War II service.

Fago headed the Timely "animator bullpen" — largely separate from the superhero group producing comics featuring the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. Creating such movie tie-in and original funny-animal comics as Terrytoons Comics, Mighty Mouse, and Animated Funny Comic-Tunes, this group included Ernie Hart, David Gantz, Chad Grothkopf, George Klein, Pauline Loth, Jim Mooney, Kin Platt, Mike Sekowsky, Moss Worthman a.k.a. Moe Worth, and future MAD Magazine cartoonists Dave Berg and Al Jaffee.

Biography

Early career

Starting as an assistant animator for Fleischer Studios in New York City, Fago worked on Popeye, Betty Boop and Superman theatrical shorts and the features Gulliver's Travels (1939) and Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941). Joining Timely in 1942, he brought an animator's dynamic sense of movement to such features as "Dinky" and "Frenchy Rabbit" in Terrytoons Comics; "Floop and Skilly Boo" in Comedy Comics; "Posty the Pelican Postman" in Krazy Komics and other titles; "Krazy Krow" in that character's eponymous comic; and, following other writers/artists, the features "Tubby an' Tack" and "Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal". His older brother, Al Fago, was also a funny-animal cartoonist.


Later career

During Lee's U.S. Army service from 1942 to 1945, Fago, by now head of the "animator" bullpen, assumed the interim title of Editorial and Art Director, beginning on comics cover-dated March 1943. Sometime after Lee's return, Fago left to work in independent comic-book production and as a children's-book illustrator for Golden Press.

In 1948, he took over the syndicated Sunday comic strip Peter Rabbit (based not on the Beatrix Potter books but on a character from the Thornton Burgess series that began with The Adventures of Peter Cottontail). Fago went on to illustrate more than 100 books in the Pendulum Illustrated Classics children's-book series, and later collaborated with musician Julie Albright on The Rabbit Man Music Books, a series designed to teach children music theory.

Other books include Zhin or Zhen (Charles Tuttle Publishing, 1972).

Fago spent his final years in Bethel, Vermont, with his wife, D'Ann, before dying of stomach cancer.

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