Averardo Renato Ciriello, born in Milan on 28 May 1918, at only 17 years old he began working for a big advertising agency in Milan, the I.M.A. (Idea Metodo Arte), at the same time completing his studies at Liceo Artistico and at Scuola Superiore di Arte Applicata. During the Second World War he was called up to arms obtaining to be assigned to the Propaganda Bureau of Italian Navy in Rome where he continued his artistic activities, collaborating until the end of the conflict with publications of war propaganda such as Prore armate and Acqua salata. He decided to remain in Rome to work with the first publishers who, with great effort, were resuming their activities.. He collaborated with L’Intrepido, a comic-book periodical by Fratelli Del Duca , illustrating the first post-war episode of “Il principe azzurro” (scripts by Luciana Peverelli), and the second episode of “Giorgio Duca di Serano”, entitled “La freccia d’argento”.
He also illustrated plates/covers for La Tribuna Illustrata and for magazines such as La Falena and Le Nuove Grandi Firme by Editore Da Imera - Rome. With humorous panels he simultaneously collaborated with Il Travaso, Pettirosso and Marc’Aurelio. He also cooperated for the weekly magazine for kids Giramondo.
In the same period he illustrated wonderful covers for the magazine Sette, followed by the magazine Otto, before being forced to close because of the continuous requisitions. Here Ciriello did not overlook the art of comics, also illustrating some stories with diluted ink tecniques: initially with an adaptation of “Le memorie di Giacomo Casanova”, followed by “Casanova farebbe così” and “Bel Ami” updating to our own times the famous character of Guy de Maupassant.
His next collaboration was with the magazine Supergiallo, where he realized both internal illustrations and ten half-tone planes for the story (by a text of A. Wallace) “Il dado azzurro”. In 1947 he did a bizarre experiment, translating into comics the magazine Follie 1947, which saw a hot catwalk of half-dressed women, rotating around the comic personality of Erminio Macario, very famous at that time.
In that period he was contacted by Lux Film for the creation of some movie posters, and he revealed himself so skilled that, from the 1948 onwards, drawing movie posters became his main activities with a great deal of recognitions. Indeed, between the 50’s and the 70’s, he illustrated over 3000 posters. However this very intense and profitable activity did not distract him from drawing covers – for crime novels such as I gialli polizieschi americani, I gialli del triangolo, I narratori americani del brivido, all published in Rome – and from collaborating with several magazines: Il Travaso, Marc’Aurelio, Detective, Serena, Giorni.
From 1966 to 1968 Ciriello moved to Milan, for working as a cover creator at La Domenica del Corriere, in replacement of Walter Molino who had interrupted his collaboration. But it is only a short period. Returned to Rome, he illustrated covers for La Tribuna Illustrata and, over several years, also for books addressed to young audience: in the series “Children’s Classics” by Casa Editrice Fratelli Fabbri he curated the illustrations for Ben Hur and The Prince and the Pauper, while in the series “Masterpieces for the Green Years” edited by Mondadori were published Treasure Island and The Call of the Wild.
In the 70’s he returned to illustrate adult comics, a genre quite popular at that time, above all with dozens of titles in pocket-size format. He worked mainly for Editrice Ediperiodici, illustrating suggestive covers for the series entitled Maghella and Lucifera, as well as for the series Star Stories. In addiction, for Editrice Tattilo, he illustrated several covers of erotic-satirical magazine Menelik, under the pseudonym of Max Perrier. All this, without never stopping his work of movie-posters illustrator.
Until the late 90’s, in spite of his old age, he has continued his work of illustrator. He has also continued to live in Rome, on 22 November 2003 he received the Caran D’Ache Award for “a life dedicated to illustration”, within the Expocartoon Mediagate Show of Rome. Amongst the awards received by Ciriello in the past deserve a mention: “Spiga Cambellotti” 1953, for the great appreciation of his posters and the “Tavolozza d’Argento” for the movie poster Samson and Delilah.