Philadelphia: John D'Agostino Sr., whose work in comic books ranged from Archie and Jughead to the Incredible Hulk and G.I. Joe, has died. He was 81.
D'Agostino died on 28th November of bone cancer in Ansonia, Conn., publisher Archie Comics said in a statement.
Born in Italy in 1929, D'Agostino emigrated to the United States and got his first job as head colorist at New York City's Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel. He worked with Stan Lee, who went on to co-create numerous memorable super-heroes, including Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.
While working at Timely, D'Agostino — his nickname was "Jon" — helped supervise another artist, Stan Goldberg, who later became synonymous with the high school adventures of Archie, Reggie, Veronica and Betty at Riverdale High School.
D'Agostino later joined Goldberg, hired in 1965 by Archie Comics managing editor Richard Goldwater, and began a long and enduring career drawing numerous characters until his death, becoming one of the company's most prominent artists.
Besides Jughead, D'Agostino also drew for titles like "My Little Margie," ''G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero," ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Sonic the Hedgehog," among others. D'Agostino also did the letters for the first three issues of Marvel's "The Amazing Spider-Man."
"Jon was concerned about doing the best job possible. He would always be available to help young artists improve their artwork and draw the Archie cast of characters," Archie co-president and Editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick said. "He was very dedicated to his work and Archie Comics. I had the privilege of working with Jon for over 40 years and considered him a good friend. I will truly miss him."
D'Agostino's latest work in comics is scheduled to be published in the December issue of "Jughead Double Digest (number) 166" and several of his covers will be seen through 2011.
"He came into the offices every week to work with other artists and continued to visit the offices even in the recent weeks before his passing," Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater said.
D'Agostino is survived by his second wife, Vivi Test D'Agostino; three sons; two sisters; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday.