Born in Albany, NY, John Belcasto (who used the pannames Johnny Bell or Jack Bell) served in the US Navy during World War II and then studied at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York City under Burne Hogarth. He briefly worked at the Rice Studio, before working for Fiction House Comics directly until the company folded in 1954. He was an artist for adventure features like 'Captain Wings' in Captain Wings and 'Suicide Smith' in Fight Comics (1952-53). Bell showed a talent for drawing technical accurate renderings of military hardware.
Who Called Us Back? (Ghost #7)
Bell was mainly active as an artist of horror stories, which were published in Ghost Comics and Monster Comics. He was also a capable science-fiction illustrator, as can be seen from his stories in this genre for Wing Comics and Planet Comics. Bell's artwork has been compared to that of EC grandmasters like Wally Wood, Jack Davis and John Severin.
His other horror credits include Horrific and Weird Terror by Harwell Publications. When Fiction House folded, Bell briefly worked on the syndicated newspaper strips 'The Adventures of Captain Tov', 'The Goldbergs' and 'Jewish Oddities'. Belcastro then gave up comic illustration to become a commercial artist in his hometown of Albany, NY.
Ghost of the Gorgon (Ghost Comics #10, 1954)