I realized in the 70s that three creators of comics as Bottaro, Rebuffi and Chendi (and many other cartoonists I was a keen reader of), were regulars at the U Giancu. With the nerve that distinguishes me, I did not hesitate to ask them some “little drawings.”
Then at the suggestion of my wife Adriana I started to hang them on the walls … And now … Well, there is not much to add, just come and look around.
I do not remember what the menu was but I do remember very well that autumn night when U Giancu’s Prize was born. Luciano Bottaro, Piero Campana ( my historical help at the restaurant) my wife Adriana, my selfself and… Claudio Bertieri that all of a sudden spoke about the idea to celebrate our common friend, the cartoonist Antonio Canale who passed away few months before.
It was 1992. We called Emanuele Luzzati and asked him to create a little statue. The White Pulcinella became since then the symbol of the price. The 2 first artists that got the statue have been Aurelio Galeppini and Francesco Tullio Altan. The price has been going on now for 16 years.
That day I met Santa Claus…
Everyone has myths in his life and if one does not have it, he’s creating himself, even knowing that it will be mostly impossible to meet him one day.
Carl Barks for me and for so many others around the world has always been this kind of person.
I practically did not even suspected his existence even if I passed quite a bit of my childhood reading stories that he had written and drawn. In my mind his name was Walt (Disney) and not Carl ( Barks).
Than at last growing up I discovered that he existed and was living in the U.S. He was the cartoonist that shaped Donald Duck character and had invented Scrooge Mc Duck and many others so famous characters I loved so much. You can imagine my surprise and excitement when an american friend of mine called to say that Barks would have been soon on a tour in Europe for the first time in his life, he was then 93 y.o. I immediately started to think of how I could persuade him to come to my small place in Rapallo. Lots of telephone calls, fax and letters. Every day my hopes were going up and down as much as the stock exchange.
But on the 2nd of July 1994 at last him limousine entered U Giancu’s parking. Carl Barks sat in it.
My happiness was overwhelming and my emotions over any expected limit.
I hugged him for a long time… the little child hiding inside of me was so happy.
He had met his…Santa Claus.