Alfredo Castelli – RIP

Comics writer and editor and comic strip historian Alfredo Castelli has passed away.

Alfredo Castelli

June 26, 1947 – February 7, 2023

Several comic sites have reported the death of Alfredo Castelli.

On February 7, Aldredo Castelli died in Milan, at the age of 76. Since 1965, his name has been linked to the history of fumetti: Italian comics. By turns a fanzineur, editor, newspaper creator, editor-in-chief, designer and above all screenwriter, he had an unfailing passion for comics. A respected scholar in Italy, he was the author of articles and books dedicated to the 9th art and a professional journalist since 1974.

John Freeman gives us a report in English:

We’re sorry to report Italian comic creator Alfredo Castelli has died, aged 77. He’s best know as the creator of the series Martin Mystére, for Sergio Bonelli Editore in Italy, of which has been published in Italy since 1982.

In a tribute, his publisher notes he was also author of a thousand other characters, stories, essays and “unforgettable initiatives, a real giant of comic book publishing.”

Comic Art Fans has a gallery of some of Alfredo’s creations, including a few of Alfredo’s art works.

Cartoon Club Rimini gives a brief but full rundown of Alfredo’s comic creations, ending with his work as a comics historian which places him at this site:

The passion of a comic book historian led him over time to create important book works such as the monumental Eccoci ancora qui! (Edizioni If), a well-documented essay on the birth of comics and its subsequent diffusion on the pages of American newspapers from the late nineteenth century. This is flanked, among others, by L’altro Yellow Kid, L’altro Little Nemo (Comicon), Fumettisti d’invenzione and Fantomas, both for Coniglio Editore, Horror, half a century of nightmares… (Ninth Art)

Lo Spazio Bianco reviews Alfredo’s Fumettisti d’invenzione with a nice sampling from the book.

Here, in the comments, Alfredo complements Ron Harris’s look at newspaper comic strips created for Hollywood.

Unfortunately for Americans his histories of early U.S. comic strips are in Italian and/or out of print.

update: Gianfranco Goria of graciously passes along an link that includes a number of Alfredo’s works for free download (also in English):

2 thoughts on “Alfredo Castelli – RIP

  1. Sad to hear that my long-distance colleague Castelli is no more. We worked on “Here We Are Again” together, a very worthy project documenting and exhibiting early US comic strips. From my distant and obscured perspective, Castelli’s health problems at the time seemed to apparently torpedo the publication of what would have been an incredible boxed book set. Was it ever actually published in dead tree form, or just as a massive set of PDFs? I dunno, but I do know that my contributor copy never showed up despite constant assurances, and my volunteering requests to help translate the book into English, an important aspect of the project, were never taken up.

    I suppose Castelli’s name and reputation were already so honoured that “Here We Are Again”, despite his hard work on it, were never important enough to him to bother revisiting. He had bigger fish to fry, and I get that. It’s a shame, though, that comics fans will never have that book.

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