Commando artist Paolo Ongaro honoured at Lucca, new issues out this week

There’s an action-packed, high-tension set of Commando comics from DC Thomson Media on offer in newsagents and as digital editions this week, visiting the Home Front, North Africa, and the Pacific and European Theatres. 

But before we launch into details of these new issues, congratulations to Commando artist Paolo Ongaro, who has received the Best Comic 2021 award at the Lucca Comics festival in Italy, for his work on the Italian series Martin Mystère, on a story set in Venice.

Paolo Ongaro at Lucca 2022
Paolo Ongaro at Lucca 2022

“It’s not the first recognition of my work,” Paolo told Italian news site eNordest in a brief interview, “I’ve received others that pleased me, even at Lucca. But this time, I was even more proud that this award came not from a jury, or a vote of comic creators, usually few people, but through a ballot of readers for the best 2021 book, influenced only by the quality of the design. Wow – double wow!”

Paolo Ongaro made his comics debut at the age of 17, in 1964, providing inks on pencils by Vladimiro Missaglia. At the end of the 1960s, he began to collaborate with various Italian publishers such as Gino Sansoni, creating some comic stories published in the magazine simply titled Horror.

His work in the 1970s was varied, including strips for children’s periodicals such as Intrepido and Il Monello, published by Editrice Universo and the series Collana Eroica, published by Dardo. His credits also include Diabolik, inking eight issues drawn by Sergio Zaniboni, Il Giornalino, Il Corriere dei Ragazzi and SuperGulp! (1975); and the series, Storia d’Italia a fumetti, written by Enzo Biagi (1978), published by Mondadori.

Spreading his wings further, he drew the series La découverte du monde and Histoire du Far West for French publisher Larousse from 1980 to 1987, as well as stories for L’Écho des Savanes and Pif; and in 1986, he started drawing stories for Mickey Mouse. Towards the end of the 1980s, he returned to the Universo with Xenio and Rally, two series that appeared in Intrepido. For Lanciostory, he created the series Old America, based on scripts by Andrea Mantelli.

In the early 1990s, Paolo joined the staff of the popular Martin Mystère series, beginning a long collaboration. Since 2010 he has also created Rici and Flay comic for the Centro Riciclo di Vedelago (Giano Editore), intended to raise awareness among children about separate waste collection. In 2012/2013, he drew the story of Caravaggio, for the love of art, a comic series published in the magazine Skorpio (Editoriale Aurea),written by Roberto Recchioni and Giulio Antonio Gualtieri.

In addition to his work on Commando for DC Thomson and, previously, for IPC Media, this versatile, award-winning artist has also drawn strips for publishers in China, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Paolo seems focused on his work for Commando at present, although he’s also hinted at a new colour comic planned for release in 2023, but there’s no indication that is for the British market in interviews.

Commando Issues 5535-5538 are in shops from Thursday 28th April, 2022 and this set features…

Commando 5535: Home of Heroes: The Clockmaker
Story: Calum Laird | Art: DeFeo | Cover: Neil Roberts 
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5535: Home of Heroes: The Clockmaker - cover by Neil Roberts

The SOE have clocked something strange going on in France, as the explosive devices sent to their operatives aren’t quite tickety-boo. A mystery is unfolding and time is against Major Jimmy Ivory as he races to help the resistance and save them from an unknown foe — horologist at the ready!

A timeless classic from former editor Calum Laird, with crisp interiors from DeFeo and an atmospheric cover from Neil Roberts.

Commando 5536: Gold Collection: The Cobras’ Nest
Story: Brunt | Art: Arias | Cover: Porto
Originally Commando No. 435 (1969)
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5536: Gold Collection: The Cobras’ Nest - cover by Porto

A hotch-potch flight of Airacobras is hidden deep behind German lines in the desert, where no arrogant Nazi would think to look. But a good position and hardware isn’t everything, and these passionate pilots will need to learn patience and planning to overcome the German advance and avenge their fallen friends.

A dramatic and high-paced action story from Brunt, with intense interiors from Arias and an explosive, classic cover from Porto.

Commando 5537: Action and Adventure: Tomasz and the Tank Engine
Story: Colin Maxwell | Art and Cover: Manuel Benet
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5537: Action and Adventure: Tomasz and the Tank Engine - cover by Manuel Benet

Tomasz Zielinski and his fellow countrymen form a stalwart defence against the German onslaught in Poland, September 1939. As their people escape ahead of the blitzkrieg and the enemy fall upon them, Tomasz and his unit team up with a fearsome dragon — an armoured rail engine with a fiery bite as bad as its occupant’s roar!

A thrilling, high-speed adventure from Colin Maxwell with stunning interiors and a dramatic cover from veteran Commando artist, Manuel Benet.

Commando 5538: Silver Collection: A Whole Lot of Trouble!
Story: Roger Sanderson | Art: Denis McLoughlin | Cover: Ron Brown 
Originally Commando No. 1775 (1984)
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5538: Silver Collection: A Whole Lot of Trouble! - cover by Ron Brown

Bob Knowles is being packed off to what he thinks might be the most boring pilot’s gig in the whole war, until he lands on a remote island being evacuated ahead of the Japanese advance. As he helps relocate the island’s people, he finds himself in a battle of wills with corrupt officials and sinister pirates — all after a treasure they’d give their own lives to hold…

An unusual setup in this action-adventure from Sanderson, with detailed interiors by McLoughlin and a bold cover from Ron Brown.

• Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | FacebookTwitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

Commando 5535 – 5538 – Full Cover Gallery

  • Commando 5535: Home of Heroes: The Clockmaker - cover by Neil Roberts
  • Commando 5536: Gold Collection: The Cobras’ Nest - cover by Porto - Full
  • Commando 5537: Action and Adventure: Tomasz and the Tank Engine - cover by Manuel Benet - Full
  • Commando 5538: Silver Collection: A Whole Lot of Trouble! - cover by Ron Brown - Full

• Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | FacebookTwitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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