Picchioni Franco (aka P. FrankO) was an Italian artist.
After finishing the art school Picchioni Franco attends the "Institute Don Orione" in Rome, where he studied the subject "movie posters". His early works, both painted covers and half-tone illustrations, were published by the magazine "Giallo Selezione" in the early 60's. At first he signed his works Picchioni or simply Franco, before he finds his trademark signature: P. Franco.
In 1965 he starts working for "Edizioni COFEDIT", and from then on, all magazines of the Roman imprint have their characteristics in their modern and effective covers. Many of these covers are printed in spot colors - ie the shade of a spot color - such as a spot light is created by printing smaller dots halftone of the base color, like those of "Fantasm", "Gordon Shott", or "Dany Coler" and "Demoniak"; but others ones are painted like those of "Alika".
Franco had a very wide range as an artist, with good knowledge of the works of many Italian painters like Averardo Ciriello and American artists like Frank Frazzetta.
In 1966 he began an intense collaboration with" Edizioni Ma.Ga". He made the covers of their novel series: "Gialli del Cerchio Rosso" and "F.B.I.’s Story", novels that are collect more for the beautiful girls pictured on the covers than for the narrative content. Franco also painted almost all of the covers of "Joe Sub" and "Lucy Melson". At the same time, he was active as cover artist and did very important artwork in the field of movie posters. He worked closely with the "Studio Paradiso", but had also direct contacts with film studios who commissioned a number of flyers and posters.
In 1968 he painted several covers for Edizioni Fratelli Spada, where he met one of his admirers, Romano Felmang. Later Felmang, by putting Franco in direct contact with publishers, often asked him to paint the cover for his comic in various comic books. Thus we can see the beautiful cover on comic books like "Zorro", "Il Santo", "Sylvie", "Loana", "Sgt Clem", "I Diavoli" and many others.
When the recession of comic books with painted covers and movie posters came, Franco began to paint posters for the circus, mainly tigers, lions and lion tamers.
Franco left us in the early 2000s due to an incurable disease.
Mandrake Covers by Picchioni Franco
- Free translation based on a biography written by Romano Felmang.