Official Press Release
It is with deep regret and sorrow that Archie Comics acknowledges the loss of longtime artist John P. “Jon” D’Agostino Sr., of Ansonia, Connecticut who passed away on Sunday, November 28th after a battle with bone cancer. He was 81.
Jon D’Agostino was born in Cervinara, Italy on June 13, 1929, son of the late Pasquale and Annunziata Pitanello D’Agostino. He was an American comic book artist best known for his Archie Comics work. He attended the Industrial School of Art in New York City. His first job was as the Head Colorist for NYC’s Timely Comics, the 1940s forerunner of Marvel Comics. There he supervised a new young artist named Stan Goldberg. Stan would later become one of Archie Comics’ most prominent cartoonists.
His mentor early on was the well-known Stan Lee. For the next 62 years, he did work for many comic book publishers. His credits include “My Little Margie,” “The Amazing Spider Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” and “Sonic The Hedgehog.”
Jon married his first wife, Jean D’Onofrio D’Agostino, in 1955 and was happily married for 37 years until her passing in 1992. In 1995, he married his present wife, Vivi Testa D’Agostino. They lived in the Bronx for most of their 15 years of marriage. He will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, youthful attitude, and for being a loving & caring family man. Jon was an avid hunter and fisherman and was a Civil War buff.
In June 1965, Managing Editor Richard Goldwater hired Jon away from the competition to join Archie Comics, where he was affectionately known as “Dag.” He continued there for over 40 years; working up until his death. One of his best-loved works at Archie Comics is “Jughead’s Time Police.”
“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. 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,” said Co-President and Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick.
“Jon was a part of the Archie Comics family. 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. I have had the pleasure of having many great conversations with him in his time at Archie Comics. He will be greatly missed,” said Co-CEO Jon Goldwater.
Jon D’Agostino’s last interior work will be published in December 2010 in JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST #166, as part of the four-part “Cyrano Jones” story. Jon’s work on covers will continue to be seen throughout 2011.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, John D’Agostino Jr., Peter D’Agostino and Pat (Stacey) D’Agostino; two sisters, Lucielle Felice and Gina; two brothers, Peter and Ted D’Agostino; four grandchildren, John D’Agostino III, Lance Corporal Marc D’Agostino, Nicholas D’Agostino and Gabriella Grace D’Agostino; 2 great-grandchildren, Isabella and John D’Agostino IV and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Charles and William D’Agostino.
A wake will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 from 4-8 pm at the SPINELLI-RICCIUTI/BEDNAR-OSIECKI FUNERAL HOME, at 62 Beaver Street in Ansonia, Connecticut. Friends and relatives are also invited to attend his funeral on Thursday Dec. 2, 2010 at 8:15am at the same location followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 am at the Holy Rosary Church in Ansonia. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Shelton, Connecticut. To send an online condolence, please visit www.spinellifuneralhome.com.