Click here to view image
Sergio Tòfano (Roma, 1886-1973)
In the photograph, the first panel of Mr. Bonaventura, published in "Il Corriere dei Piccoli" on October 28, 1917. It was October 28, 1917 when Mr. Bonaventura, with his red overcoat and trusty dachshund, made his first appearance in the Corriere dei Piccoli, clumsily swooping down on an unlucky thief and on the stolen goods, thus obtaining as a prize a medal that will soon become the famous millione. Since then, adults and children have joyfully followed the daring adventures of this nice and lucky character for about fifty years, born from the pencil of Sergio Tòfano, aka STO. The rhyming couplet lines that caption the drawings are more than just nursery rhymes. An entire generation has memorized the texts that invariably began with: "Here begins the adventure / mishap/ misfortune of Mr. Bonaventura ...". In 1927 Mr. Bonaventura climbed onto the stage from the panels of the Corriere dei Piccoli. The character becomes the protagonist of six comedies written and interpreted by Tòfano himself: Qui comincia la sventura del signor Bonaventura (1927), La regina in berlina con Bonaventura staffetta dell’Ambasciatore (1928), Una losca congiura ovvero Barbariccia contro Bonaventura (1929), L’isola dei pappagalli con Bonaventura prigioniero degli antropofagi (1936), Bonaventura veterinario per forza (1948), Bonaventura precettore a corte (1953). The volumes of the Tòfano collection are precious: Qui comincia la sventura del signor Bonaventura, published in Milan by the Madella publishing house in 1927; the first collection of Il Teatro di Bonaventura for the Edizioni Alpes in 1930, which brings together the first three plays written between 1927 and 1929, which were followed, over the years, by other illustrated editions.