The much-loved Italian cartoonist Guido Buzzelli grew up in Rome in a family in which his grandfather had been a decorator, his father a painter, and his mother a model. He frequented the Academy of St Luke, and initially decided to follow his father’s steps, but in 1950 he joined the workshop of Rino Albertarelli, one of the main Italian comic book artists of the time, working on the magazine Zorro; he also provided covers for magazines of the publisher Fratelli Spada. Other Buzzelli comics of the time include Susan Bill, Alex l’eroe dello spazio, Bill dei Marines, Bambola, and Dray Tigre.

In the mid-1950s he moved to Spain and then to England, where he produced the Angélique strip for the Daily Mirror. After his return to Italy and his marriage to Grazia de Stefani in 1960, he initially devoted himself to painting, but returned to comics in 1966 with a personal project, La rivolta dei racchi (The Revolt of the Ugly), a fantasy history of the class struggle, but failing to find an Italian publisher it only appeared in French in 1970 in the magazine Charlie Hebdo. He soon established himself as one of the most praised comics artists in France, and later also in Italy, with stories such as I Labirinti (1970), Zil Zelub (1972), Annalisa e il diavolo (Annalisa and the Devil, 1973), L’intervista (The Interview, 1975), L’Agnone (1977), and La guerra videologica (Video Warfare, 1978), intertwining social themes with fantastic and dream-like settings.

In 1973 he received the Yellow Kid Award as best illustrator and author in the Lucca Comics convention, followed in 1979 by the French equivalent, the Crayon d’Or. In the last decades of his life he worked with many publications, including Linus, Paese Sera, Il Messaggero, L’Espresso, L’Eternauta, Psyco, Corriere dei Ragazzi, Playmen, Menelik and L’Unità, and, in France, Charlie Mensuel, Pilote, Métal Hurlant, À Suivre, Circus, Le Monde and Fluide Glacial. Sadly his work never made any impact on the English-speaking market.

We are grateful to our Russian friend Yuri for introducing us to the work of this artist.

Example illustration