Friday, January 25, 2008


Bulletin: Author Goes Mad, Gives Away Books

Alfredo Castelli, Italian comics icon and cartooning history scholar, has been researching and writing his magnum opus, Here We Are Again, for the past decade. The work, which recounts the history of American comic strips in their formative period (up to 1919), was released with Italian text last year and an English translation is in the works.

In a strategy that has some fellow authors aghast Castelli recently announced that anyone who would like a copy of the Italian edition (text in Italian but the voluminous illustrations in their native English), which retails for about $300 US, may download it in PDF form for free. Castelli characterized the offer as "a late Christmas present" to comics fans.

Fellow researcher Allan Holtz, who contributed data to the book, said Here We Are Again "is absolutely the greatest contribution to the scholarship on American comic strip history yet published." Regarding the giveaway Holtz commented that "Castelli has obviously spent far too much time breathing old newspaper fumes. Mad as a hatter, I'm afraid. He has been struck down by an affliction that all comic strip researchers dread. Every time you open a newspaper bound volume you can feel the brain cells dying. It's a wonderful but highly addictive and harmful aroma."

Castelli's Here We Are Again is downloadable in a series of 12 zipped PDF files, each representing one chapter of the book, plus an English introduction. Those on slow internet connections are cautioned that these files are about 20 MB each:
Castelli says that the offer will expire on February 7 and the PDFs will no longer be available after that date.

Is it madness, though? The zip files give you the text, though in Italian, and an indication of what these thousands of illustrations look like, though the resolution is such that you can't really see them that well. It has all really whetted my appetite for this book: full size, discernable pictures and in English. Brilliant promotion, in my opinion.

F Flood
Is the book n sale yet?
What? Me Worry?
Seriously speaking: thanks to Allan for the very kind (and very funny) words. You’ll find a similiarly enthusiasic appreciation of Stripper’s Guide at page 688, col 3 (Vol 11). It’s in Italian as everything else, and I’ll just translate the sentence “la più importante opera di reference mai
pubblicata sul fumetto americano in syndication”, “The most important reference work ever conceived on American syndicated comics”. A short entry dedicated to Stripper’s Guide Blog is at page 704, Col 1.
Please download the book’s frint and back endpapers, where Allan’s very important contribution to “Eccoci ancora qui!” is credited.
To Eddie Campbell ---Hi Eddie, maybe you remember me when we both were “Honor Guests” at the Rome Comicon, together with Lupin III’s Monkey Punch – I took you to that messy restaurant where the dinner was held, “L’Ardito”. Eccoci ancora qui is sold, but it is very expensive (385 Euros!!!) as the first printing was only of 100 copies, with a (already rare) reprint of the extremely rare “The Yellow Kid in McFadden’s Flats” (download the color presentation at
and other special gadgets. My advice: wait for the (not so) cheap edition in a single book. Anyway, for the Rockgellers and Berlusconis, connect to
Best, Alfredo

ah, that was you. It all goes past in a blur. But I must say that my wife and I enjoyed the dinner very much (My mother-in-law was of Italian descent), and don't recall the place being too messy at all.

best to you


and to Allan, I had a little trouble with Blogger myself today, but it came right. Am missing my shot of Zoozoo.
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