Super heroes and super bikes.

Riccardo Burchielli's illustrations bring the first BMW Motorrad comic to life.

Comics carry us off into a colourful parallel universe. One where super heroes are fighting an endless battle against evil villains in an attempt to save the world. Riccardo Burchielli is the maker of comics like these. His current work was inspired by his love for BMW bikes.

In the graphic novel "Riders in the Storm" by BMW Motorrad and Panini, Riccardo Burchielli has immortalized real-life motorcyclists in a futuristic plot about the struggle against evil. Without giving too much away, readers can expect strong female characters (but not in the way the comic scene is mostly known for), genetic engineering, monsters, evil assistants and, of course, motorcycles.

Drawing and motorcycling.

Drawing and motorcycling.

Riccardo Burchielli combines his greatest passions in the comic: drawing and biking. "Riding motorcycles is obviously much more exciting than drawing them. But drawing them is still second best", the 41-year-old Italian jokes. "Many people all over the world are fascinated by comics. BMW Motorrad wanted to create a connection to this type of storytelling. With this in mind, BMW was on the lookout for a cartoonist who also rides motorcycles. It probably made it a lot easier to get Panini Comics' consent thanks to the fact that I am a passionate BMW rider."

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Cars and walls had to believe in it.

Cars and walls had to believe in it.

Riccardo has been drawing since he has been able to think. At school, he was top of his class in art and his extraordinary talent attracted attention. When he was just five years old, he painted the roof of his father's VW Beetle and the walls of his parents' house. He has always felt a yearning to draw and create something special, and the comics lying around at home played a decisive role in influencing Riccardo's future.

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The road to become the crème de la crème.

"I wanted to imitate things from real life and from other comics. My father and my uncle had a lot of comics and used to pile them up at home. I never really read childrens' comics; only ever the ones for adults. In the eighties, Italian comic magazines published the crème de la crème among comic illustrators from South America, Spain and France – Bernet, Moebius, Mandrafina for instance. But my hang-up for American comics only came later."
Over the past years, Riccardo has worked for the greats in American publishing: DC Comics, Marvel, Panini, Dark Horse. But it wasn't until talent seeker Will Dennis from DC Comics saw Riccardo's work in at Comic Con in Naples and fell head over heels in love with his drawing style that he really made a name for himself on the international market. Together with author Brian Wood, Riccardo created a series of comics that have been available from Vertigo/DC Comics since 2005. The great breakthrough.
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"
I have worked on the DMZ series for six years and created a world which didn't exist before. For me, it was like raising a child.
"

Riccardo Burchielli

Surrounded by sources of inspiration.

Although he has become well-known all over the world in his scene, Riccardo's reputation has never gone to his head. He still works in his simple studio, where you can find real originals, illustrations, prints, posters, books and comics from friends and colleagues, whom he honours for their work. The sources of inspiration are just scattered all around him. But if this is not enough, he simply listens to some heavy metal.
"Deep down, I am a rock and heavy metal fan. I listen to something strong in the morning. This gives me the right energy kick. It makes me happy. I am not sure if my neighbour agrees. Joking aside – my main source of inspiration is my peace of mind. To be able to express myself properly, my thoughts must be free. Then drawing happens automatically."
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Comics and the GS

For Riccardo, motorcycling is one of the best ways to clear his head. He loves to ride over the narrow, winding Italian country roads on his GS, far away from the noise of the motorway, totally old-school, without a sat nav. Motorcycling is one thing. Drawing motorcycles is something completely different. Especially when the objects of my illustrations are BMW motorcycles, which must later be clearly recognizable as such in the comic. The motorcycling enthusiast has met this challenge with open arms and a sharpened pencil.

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"Drawing technical machines is a fascinating task. Appearing static is a threat to the final result", Riccardo admits. "But the challenge is clearly demarcated: bring metal and plastic to life. I really enjoy it and believe this is exactly the way it should be." With the BMW Motorrad comic, motorcycling and comic fans get the chance to connect their passions, like Riccardo did.

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"
Comics are part of our education. Together with books, they are the foundation for our fantasy.
"

Riccardo Burchielli

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