Born in 1938, Belardinelli's first work in the UK was 'The Steel Claw' for the Fleetway Super Library in 1967, inking and drawing backgrounds for Giorgio Cambiotti whilst working with Studio Rosi. Studio Rosi took over the weekly strip in Valiant in 1968 with Belardinelli continuing to ink in a style reminiscent of the strip's original artist, Jesus Blasco. In 1969-70, he worked on various strips for Lion.
As a member of Giolitti studio in the 1970s, he drew backgrounds for Alberto Giolitti on the Gold Key titles Turok, Son of Stone and Star Trek, also drawing 'Atlan' as a back-up strip in the German comic Perry. He was one of the many artists to contribute to 'Rat Pack' in Battle Picture Weekly before drawing 'Greens Grudge War' and episodes of 'Spinball' in Action. His association with 2000AD began with the revived 'Dan Dare' in the very first issue.
For ten years Belardinelli stamped a very strong style on the pages of 2000AD, one which gradually found less favour until, by 1988, he was relegated to second string stories. A prolific artist of stylish quality, he continued to draw for the UK, later working on Fleetway's Eagle and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
His contact with the UK market ended with the death of his agent, Alberto Giolitti, in 1993. His life was further devastated when his wife committed suicide, leaving him with a young daughter to support. It was often presumed that Belardinelli himself had died, although drawings continued to appear from his home in Rome, some of his work appearing in Japan.
Rumours of Belardinelli's death were only recently (2005) scotched when a UK fan, Rob Cox, contacted the artist and a feature appeared in the June 2006 issue of Italian Ink magazine (as I noted here back in August 2006).
- Leo Baxendale drops a line to the Forbidden Planet blog about the opening of his 'Stroppy Women' exhibition.
- Bryan Talbot is profiled in the Washington Express, 'Through the Looking Glass: Bryan Talbot' by Scott Rosenberg (11 April). Link via Journalista.
- Interview with Neil Gaiman at Wild River Review, 'Myth, Magic, and the Mind of Neil Gaiman' by Tim E. Ogline (11 April). Link via The Pulse which also provides a link to an earlier piece I missed in The Independent, 'Neil Gaiman: The Truth About Sandman' by Tim Martin (8 April).
- Ian Rankin talks about why Sean Connery should return to Scotland... but then talks about his long-held ambition to write comics and his upcoming 6-issue stint on Hellblazer in 'Rebus author calls on Sir Sean to fight for independence on the home front' (The Scotsman, 14 April).