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April 10, 2020

Amazing Mid-20th Century Illustrations by Walter Molino

These illustrations of people in various states of peril were painted by the extremely prolific Italian artist Walter Molino. Most of these pieces date from the 1950s and 1960s. Much of Molino’s work was produced for the Italian newspaper La Domenica del Corriere.

Walter Molino (5 November 1915 – 8 December 1997) fulfilled his classical and academic education in Milan. He made his debut as an artist in the student magazine Libro e Moschetto in 1934. It was followed by two series of short-lived comic strips for the Del Duca publications L'Intrepido and Il Monello. In 1935, Molino created a series of political and satirical cartoons, published in Libro e Moschetto and in Il Popolo d'Italia. When the magazine Il Bertoldo was founded in 1936, Molino became one of its most talented contributors.

During the golden period, Molino drew strips like ‘Zorro Della Metropoli’, ‘La Campagnia dei 7’. He created popular series like ‘Virus, il Mago della Foresta Morta’ and ‘Captain l'Audace’, and took over ‘Kit Carson’ from Rino Albertarelli. In 1941, Molino began a collaboration with La Domenica del Corriere, for which he created numerous cover illustrations, humorous drawings and illustrated stories. In 1946, he created sentimental stories for the women’s magazine Grand Hotel, using a combination of wash and photographic techniques. Molino stopped drawing comic strips in the 1960s, and died in 1997.

It has been said that famous fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta was a huge fan of Molino and drew inspiration from his work. These paintings take on an almost sadistic quality, as Molino seems to revel in the beauty of human bodies being tossed about by dire circumstances. The mayhem is delightful.

(via Dangerous Minds)


  1. He wasn't vying for the Feel-Good Artist Of The Century Award, was he?

  2. Maybe some context would help, but I think the fiendish smile on the face of the exploding elephant balloon is going to bother me for a long time.

  3. The picture of the young couple feeding the rabbit is quite a contrast to the others!

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