It seems every month there’s a new artistic sensation winning over comics audiences. Although to the casual fan they might seem to come out of nowhere, nearly every one has a history under the radar in comics. Some artists take months, others years, to break out of the teeming mass of comics creators outside the cushy top spots in comics. Artist Federica Manfredi has been working for over a decade in comics, bouncing around from a series of small projects for Marvel, IDW and others. She hasn’t stood in one place long enough to be noticed by the comics world at large, but there a few of us who’ve been fan for years — and you should be too.
Manfredi began her professional career working in 2000 for publishers in her native Italy, illustrating various one-shots and fill-in issues. After proving herself to Italy’s Indy Press, Manfredi got the opportunity to write and draw her own miniseries, Magenta, about a would-be rock star and an ingenuity-filled young woman. Work like this, and her own spirit to reach outside Italy, got her noticed by American publishers beginning with a two issue stint on Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash in 2004. She then worked on a brief short for Marvel’s Amazing Fantasy before finding a lush creative collaboration with Alex De Campi on the CSI-for-kids graphic novel series Kat & Mouse. After doing two volumes of that for TOKYOPOP, Manfredi re-engaged with the House of Ideas doing the one-shot Marvel Western: Kid Kolt & The Arizona Girl and an excellent Black Cat and Hell Cat story for Spider-Man Family #1. The artist then departed Marvel to start a long partnership with IDW, drawing issues of Angel as well as several Star Trek one-shots focusing on Spock and Sulu. In 2009 she submitted the webcomic series Fire & Water to DC’s Zuda Comics while working on the four-issue series Star Trek: The Burden Of Knowledge. While Fire & Water didn’t win the monthly Zuda contest, it found a home in her native Italy with the publisher Innovate Comics. She recently completed a graphic novel for Italy called Alice Dark #3, and did work on IDW’s Infestation 2.
Manfredi’s become a bit of a journeyman artist, honing her craft in different countries and for different publishers. She’s one of several artists that seemed primed for the right opportunity to become a recognizable name. If you like what you see here, its worth tracking down the two Kat & Mouse graphic novels and the fun little Black Cat and Hell Cat romp from Spider-Man Family #1. She’s rumored to be working on projects for both Marvel and IDW, so she’s bound to have more work on the shelves to look out for soon.