Giorgio Bellavitis (1926 - 2009) was born and died in Venice, though he spent a number of years in England. Starting out as a comic book artist, but changing career to architecture, his reputation in his later years was for his contribution as an architect to the restoration of Venice.
After being held prisoner together by the Nazis during the Second World War, Bellavitis and his friends Mario Faustinelli and Alberto Ongaro later set themselves up as publishers and gathered more artists and writers to form the Grupo Veneziano (Venetian Group). Their first magazine, called Albo Uragano (White Hurricane), was later renamed Asso di Picche, after its lead strip, which was pencilled by Hugo Pratt and inked by Bellavitis and Faustinelli. After drawing the first episode of ‘Junglemen’, Bellavitis then drew ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ under the pseudonym George Summers. After 1948, when Asso di Picche folded, and until 1954, when he moved to England, he worked mainly on Il Vittorioso (The Conqueror). His strips in this period included ‘I Cavalieri del Corvo’, ‘Acqua Cattiva’, ‘Il Palio di Siena’, and ‘Amburgo 1947’.
In England, he was instrumental in introducing the Italian illustrator Rimaldo D’Ami (Roy Dami, founder of the Damy Agency) to Britain, and was the first of many Italian comic strip artists to be published in Britain via D'Ami's agency.
A fuller obituary and bibliography can be read on Steve Holland's Bear Alley blog.
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