Sergio Toppi was born in Milan, Italy, on October 11, 1932. As a self-taught artist, he began his career as an illustration working for the renowned Italian publisher UTET on numerous notable advertising campaigns. Adapting his style to fit the needs of each commission, he excelled at capturing documentary accuracy as well as caricatural cartooning. His first sequential work was featured in Il Corriere dei Piccoli (“The Children’s Gazette”), featuring the character Il Mago Zurli (“The Zurli Wizard”). In the decades that followed, his subsequent work evolved in artistry, garnering numerous accolades throughout the European industry. He primarily focused on short, self-contained stories for various French and Italian publications, including the experimental monthly Alter Alter, the adventure magazine Orient Express, and well-known comics magazines such as Linus, Corto Maltese, and Un uomo un’avventura in Italy and l’Histoire de France en bandes dessinées and La Découverte du Monde published by Larrousse in France. Collected exclusively in Europe by the French publisher Editions Mosquito, his body of work has been recognized as a masterful example of illustration and sequential storytelling that has influenced many of the biggest names in the industry worldwide. His art has been displayed in the “Masters of the European Comic Book” exhibit at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and in the Museum of Comic Art in Angoulême.
Toppi passed away on August 21, 2012 in the city of his birth.