CHICAGO — A major Italian comic-art school is opening a campus on the Near West Side.
The Scuola Internazionale di Comics, a 34-year-old art school specializing in comics and animation, chose Chicago as its first location outside Italy.
It has nine Italian campuses, with headquarters in Rome. It boasts 30 alumni working for major U.S. comics publishers, including Marvel and DC. Foremost among them is Sara Pichelli, who has recently worked on Marvel's "Spider-Man" franchise.
School founder Dino Caterini chose Chicago over finalists Miami and San Francisco. The welcome the city gave to Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti played a role.
"Given the overwhelming enthusiasm and affection that Chicagoans showed for Maestro Muti, I am not surprised that Caterini had the vision to choose Chicago," said Silvio Marchetti, director of the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago. "Our city and cultural community will certainly benefit from this unique export of Italian culture. Most important, artists here and throughout the Midwest will have the rare opportunity to take advantage of a truly European art school."