Francisco Solano Lopez
Alfredo Castelli was born in Milan on 26 June 1947. He is considered the first Italian fanziner, since he was the originator of the fanzine "Comics Club 104", which in 1966 inaugurated the rich season of publications in Italy that rapidly acquired an enormous following of fans and enthusiasts. He had effectively begun to contribute to the world of comics the year before, i.e. when he was still extremely young, working together with the members of the editorial board of "Kolosso" and illustrating the adventures of "Scheletrino", which appeared in "Diabolik". (In later years he always remained extremely fond of this character, and composed several stories of this series with the protagonist Eva Kant). In 1967 he wrote the script for issues of "Rocky Rider", "Pedrito El Drito" and "Piccola Eva" for the publishing house Universo; he also worked on the team of "Cucciolo" and "Tiramolla" of the Alpe Publications, and contributed to "Topolino" published by Mondadori. Between 1966 and 1969 he worked on the television series "Cappuccetto a Pois" (together with Maria Perego) and wrote the texts for many TV commercials: "Taca Banda", "Antenati", "Tuttostanco". He also composed the script for the movie "Il Tunnel Sotto il Mondo". In 1969, with Mario Gomboli, Marco Baratelli and Carlo Peroni, he created the humorous periodical "Tilt"; in 1970, together with Pier Carpi, he launched "Horror", for which he wrote not only tens of self-contained stories but also the strip "Zio Boris" (recently collected in an omnibus published by Panini Comics). He then began to work for "Corriere dei Ragazzi", of which he very soon became the multipurpose General Editor, and created "L'Ombra" (artwort by Cubbino), "Gli Aristocratici" (rendered graphically by Tacconi), "L'Omino Bufo" (with his own artwork) and "Otto Kruntz" (artwork by Fagarazzi). For the foreign market he wrote "Mark Merlin", which appeared in the German periodical "Zack", and he also contributed to the French magazines "Pif" and "Scoop". Between 1971 and 1973 we find him working for the "Giornalino" with "Mister Charade" , "Gli Astrostoppisti" and "Chico & Blasco". In 1978, he contributed to the weekly "Supergulp" published by Mondadori, writing the adventures of "Allan Quatermain", an explorer specialized in archaeological mysteries. Quatermain lies at the root of Martin Mystère, a character proposed to Sergio Bonelli in 1980, with artwork by Giancarlo Alessandrini. Bonelli began to publish this series as from 1982. Again for Bonelli, Castelli wrote issues of Dylan Dog, Zagor, Mister No and the books "L'Uomo delle Nevi" (artwork by Milo Manara) and "L'Uomo di Chicago" (artwork by Alessandrini). In 1983, together with Silver, he re-founded the magazine "Eureka", published by Corno. In 1987, by means of the Epierre Atelier, he contributed to the Walt Disney Company which published "Topolino" and the other Disney periodicals. In the same year he launched the Almanac of Mystery, an annual publication linked to the Martin Mystère series. Among the most recent labours of love created by Castelli , mention should be made of Zona X, a series of unusual self-contained stories which, in the original formula, were presented by Martin Mystère. Another recent aspect of Castelli's work is his return to humorous writing, as the Plot and script of a recent adventure of "Pedrito El Drito" (artwork by Antonio Terenghi), published in May 2000 in the Bonelli series entitled "I grandi comici del fumetto". Besides his continous work on Martin Mystère and several projects revolving around the Detective of Impossibile (among these we highlight the first official App of a character from Sergio Bonelli, that premiered on iPad in 2012), recently Castelli, in guise of comic books historian and essayist , has created several publications dedicated to the origins of the comic book medium.