||Don Francisco Rico - 'N. Korok'
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His father Alessandro was a shoe designer from Celano, Abruzzi, Italy. His mother Josephine was from the Basilicata area of Italy. He received a scholarship at the age of 12 to study drawing at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. A year later his family moved to The Bronx, New York City.
At 16, he began to make wood engravings under the tutelage of H.J. Glintenkamp. During the Depression, he worked with the Federal Arts Project creating a number of prints under the supervision of Lynd Ward. Many of his prints from that period are now in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Museums of Art of the Universities of Michigan and Oregon and others, as well as in many private collections. He has had three one-man shows in New York City and has been included in important fine print exhibitions in America and Europe. In early 1983, two of his prints were included in the Metropolitan Museum exhibition "Working America: Industrial Imagery in American Prints, 1900 - 1949."
A double-page spread of his "Nevada Suite" was published in Westways the magazine of the Automobile Club of America in 1962. He has been in many periodicals and books, including a six-page portfolio and biography in "Digest & Review" in 1938. His print of a lynching, "Pieta", was published in "The LIFE History of the United States, Vol. II, 1935-1945, The New Deal and the War."
He spent the 40's and 50's illustrating and writing for comic books, becoming one of the best-known "Golden Age" artist-writers, working on "Captain America", "The Human Torch", "Submariner", "Young Allies", "The Sorceress of Zoom" and countless others, eventually becoming Editor at Marvel Comics in charge of the publication of 60 comic books per month.
After the bottom dropped out of the comic business in the 50's , Don Rico moved to Los Angeles, where he lived and worked since 1958, writing over 60 published paperback novels, as well as screenplays and television. He continued his wood engravings, among them a broadside for John Updike's poem "Small City People", published in a limited edition in 1982. He has created motion picture and television production illustrations and teaches drawing at Cal State Northridge. He has also taught "The Theory, History and Technique of Comic Books" at UCLA. He spent two years at Hanna Barbera Productions, working on storyboards for various shows. At present [written in 1984] he is illustrating a special edition of "The Song of Songs" with over 50 wood engravings.
He is represented in New York City by the Mary Ryan Gallery and in Los Angeles by the Tobey Moss Gallery.
Date of Birth: September 26, 1912
Birthplace: Rochester, New York
Date of death: March 27, 1985
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