The exhibition dedicated to the comics by Milton Caniff, Hugo Pratt’s master, runs until January 24th, 2021, at the PAFF! museum in Pordenone

The exhibition “Masters of black and white: Milton Caniff” celebrates the second anniversary of PAFF! and intends to tell little-known pages of history through the drawings of one of the greatest comics authors in the world.

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Detail of Milton Caniff’s exhibition at PAFF! in Pordenone. The silhouette represents the great comics author portraying a model. Ph: Elisa Caldana

With this exhibition, PAFF! Palazzo Arti Fumetto Friuli confirms its multidisciplinary vocation and uses comics as a tool to connect different cultural fields and speak to everyone with the immediacy and power of the image.

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View of the first of the two halls of Milton Caniff’s exhibition at PAFF! in Pordenone. Ph: Elisa Caldana

In addition to being an opportunity to get to know the work of a great illustrator, this exhibition allows us to better understand the period between the two wars. Caniff was strongly influenced by fashion and told the story of his characters through heavily typified clothes representative of the time. Moreover, Caniff’s comics contained recurrent references to current events in various cultural fields, from cinema to fashion to music.

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View of the second and last hall of Milton Caniff’s exhibition at PAFF! in Pordenone, with illustrations from Dickie Dare and Terry and the Pirates. Ph: Elisa Caldana

Fashion and cinema in 20 years of illustrations by Milton Caniff

His 61 illustrations, some of which are estimated at 100,000 euros, offer the opportunity to get closer to the times in which Caniff lived. The entire production of this great comics author is a representation of the world that surrounded him. For the clothes and hairstyles of female protagonists, Caniff drew inspiration from the pages of Vogue. The scenes of his comics often resorted to the use of low-angle shots, citing the style of revolutionary film directors of the time, such as Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

A corner of Milton Caniff’s exhibition at PAFF! in Pordenone, with some illustrations from Terry and the Pirates, 1937. The silhouette represents the illustrator and a model. Ph: Elisa Caldana

The exhibition, complying with anti-Covid regulations, is set up in the historic Villa Galvani and can be visited online with a virtual tour on PAFF! website, thanks to several cameras that allow a high definition 360°-visit of the exhibition spaces.

View of the first of the two halls of Milton Caniff’s exhibition at PAFF! in Pordenone. Ph: Elisa Caldana

The protagonist of the itinerary is a collection from the Galerie du 9ème Art in Paris, displayed for the first time in Italy, with strips from “Terry and the Pirates”, “Male Call”, “Dickie Dare” and “Steve Canyon”, which represent an essential point of reference in the history of comics and have let generations of readers dream.

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Detail of a section of the exhibition dedicated to Dickie Dare, the adventure series created before the great success of Terry and the Pirates. Ph: Elisa Caldana

The exhibition is curated by PAFF! Palazzo Arti Fumetto Friuli, with the support of Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Comune di Pordenone. It has been created in collaboration with Galerie du 9ème Art (Paris) and themed interventions by Museo della Moda e delle Arti Applicate (Gorizia).