Born in Milan on June 26, 1947, Alfredo Castelli, before being an author, has always been a great fan of comics. He made his professional debut in 1965, creating Scheletrino, a satirical-humorous comic that appears in the appendix to Diabolik, published by the publishing house Astorina. In the following years, Castelli’s contribution to the “black” series of Angela and Luciana Giussani materialized with the writing of numerous screenplays, creating a bond that remained strong to the present day.
In 1966 he founded the first Italian fanzine dedicated to comics, Comics Club 104, of which five issues were published. The following year he worked with the publishing house Universo, writing the western Rocky Rider and the humorous Pedrito El Drito, and with the Edizioni Alpe, collaborating with Cucciolo and Tiramolla.
In 1968, with his friends Marco Baratelli, Mario Gomboli and Carlo Peroni, he created and directed the magazine Tilt (Editrice Sgt. Kirk). The following year, with Pier Carpi, he gave life to Horror (Gino Sansoni Editore), a monthly magazine on which the Zio Boris strip appears, drawn by Peroni.
In 1972 he became editor of the Corriere dei Ragazzi (Corriere della Sera), a weekly magazine that also hosts some of his series, such as Gli Aristocratici and L’Omino Bufo. The first, illustrated by Ferdinando Tacconi, focuses on an extravagant group of gentleman thieves. The second, designed by Castelli himself, is a series with a somewhat ungainly humor that relies on the author’s poor graphic skills. In the seventies he established a myriad of collaborations with French periodicals (Pif and Scoop), German (Zack) and even Italian (il Giornalino and Topolino).
In 1971 he wrote a story by Zagor, but a continuous working relationship with Sergio Bonelli’s publishing houses began only in 1976, thanks to Mister No, of which he wrote a total of fifty-seven books.
In the rest of the decade, the Milanese author also found time to write new stories of Zagor and, in collaboration with Giancarlo Berardi, two episodes of Ken Parker.
In 1978, on the pages of SuperGulp!, Mondadori’s comic book weekly, Castelli gave shape to Allan Quartermain, almost a prototype of Martin Mystère , the most famous and enduring series created in 1982, whose protagonist is an archaeologist specialized in mysteries, who alternates his adventurous expeditions with the passion of a bibliophile.
This series, in which Castelli inserts some autobiographical elements, is a real springboard for editorial experiments whose success can then be transferred to other Bonellian newspapers. In 1984, with the first issue of Martin Mystère Special and, to which “The Dictionary of Mysteries” is attached, the fashion of manageable monographic volumes began that will accompany for a long time the special summer series “made in Bonelli”.
Another success was, in 1987, L’Almanacco del Mistero, from which the Almanac series was later born. Thanks to the success of Martin Mystère, in 1992, the Milanese writer created Zona X, a science fiction series, almost a “rib” of the parent magazine. In 1993, then, Castelli wrote Mister No Special No n. 8, “Escape from Skynet”, which is the first narrative crossover ever made by Bonelli, in which Jerry Drake meets Martin Mystère.
In addition to the now forty-year collaboration with Bonelli, the tireless author does not disdain to work with other publishers.
In 1983, together with Silver (Guido Silvestri), he directed and relaunched the container magazine Eureka (Editoriale Corno). He carries on the series Gli Aristocratici and L’Omino Bufo. He writes articles on comics for the IF magazine of the Epierre publishing house. He writes, for the magazine Comic Art, short stories of Martin Mystère, who in 2003 also becomes the protagonist of a television series (Martin Mystery) and a video game. In 2017, in collaboration with Tino Adamo, Sergio Masperi and Luca Bertelé, he created the Bonelli Kids series.
Among the most recent works Apocalypse. The book of the revelation of St. John drawn by Corrado Roi.
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)