Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Alfredo Castelli, Martin Mystère’s father, has died

Vita gazette – Alfredo Castelli, creator of Martin Mystère and the author of a thousand other characters, stories, essays, and unforgettable initiatives, has passed away at age 76. He was an actual comics publishing giant.

Alfredo Castelli, one of the greatest names in Italian comics, died on Tuesday at 76. In his long career, he created significant characters in Italian comics, the best known of which is Martin Mystère, the protagonist of the series of the same name.

He was born in Milan in 1947. His debut in comics was in 1965, at 18, when he wrote a humorous series published in the Diabolik books. He founded some specialised magazines, and from the seventies, he collaborated with Corriere dei Ragazzi and Il Giornalino. In 1982, together with the designer Giancarlo Alessandrini, he created the famous Martin Mystère series, defined in the subtitle of the books as “detectives of the impossible”, which solves mysteries that usually have to do with aliens or lost civilisations. In recent years, he has been active, above all, as a comics historian.

He has worked on many characters and collaborated with many publications, from “Tilt” to “Horror” via “Eureka,” Il Corriere dei Ragazzi, and Il Giornalino. Among the characters he created, we only remember The Aristocrats, The Shadow, The Little Man, Uncle Boris and Allan Quatermain, “Comics Club 104,”  way back in 1966.

His first stories for Zagor and Mister No featured characters he didn’t abandon even after Martin Mystère hit the newsstands. He later also wrote for Dylan Dog and Nathan Never (in both cases architecting the meetings between the characters mentioned and the Detective of the Impossible), for Ken Parker, and for the historical series of newsstand hardbacks Unuomo Un’avventura.

Among the many awards he received during his long career, we remember the two Yellow Kid, the first received in Lucca in 1970 and the second won in Rome in 1996. In Lucca, he was also recognised as “Master of Comics” in 2015 when the cast of his hands was inducted into the Walk of Fame.

Curious by nature and intellectually omnivorous, he has been capable of moving nimbly between the most diverse genres and publications since his early days, sometimes donning the clothes of a screenwriter, now those of an essayist or historian. This incredible versatility has made him a point of reference for many colleagues and authors and, naturally, for his many readers, making him one of the key figures in the history of Italian comics.

Goodbye, Alfredo… Thanks for everything…

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