Willard the Witch by Pino Rinaldi
'Willard the Witch'.

Pino Rinaldi was a Roman comic artist. He began his career in his home country working for magazines like Skorpio, LancioStory, 1984 and Boy Music, as well as the Bonelli comic books 'Martin Mystère' (1989) and 'Nathan Never' (1993). In the 1990s he worked for the UK, Italy and US divisions of Marvel Comics. Rinaldi has often worked on series with supernatural elements, such as 'Martin Mystère', 'Dagon', 'ClanDestine', 'Agenzia-X' and 'Willard The Witch'.

Early life and career
Giuseppe Rinaldi was born in 1957 in Gravina in Puglia. He grew up reading American superhero comic books. His later comic book work underwent obvious influences from the dynamic artwork of artists like Neal Adams and John Buscema. Rinaldi began his career in the mid-1970s as a graphic designer for advertisements. Together with his brother Rino, he ventured into comics in the early 1980s. The brothers cooperated on the magazines published by Eura Editoriale between 1980 and 1983, providing 23 stories to Skorpio and three to LancioStory. Pino Rinaldi also drew stories for the magazines 1984, published by Il Momento, and Boy Music, published by Rizzoli. His full-color story 'Omega' remained unpublished due to the cancellation of 1984, and didn't appear until the Genoese publisher Lo Vecchio released it in 2010. 

'Una Storia di Natale' (Martin Mystère #93).

After taking a break from comics in the mid-1980s, the artist began an association with Sergio Bonelli Editore in 1989. He illustrated stories for volumes 92 and 93 of the series about supernatural adventurer 'Martin Mystère' (1989), and volume 22 of the sci-fi series 'Nathan Never' (1993). Because his style deflected a bit from the Bonelli housestyle, some of the artwork was adjusted by Bonelli staff artists. Under the pen name Paolo Renzi, he provided the cover illustrations for the 1992 reprints of Max Bunker and Frank Verola's 'Daniel' at Bunker Press. For publisher Fenix, he provided the cover illustrations for Dino Caterini and Giuliano Campo's five-issue comic book series 'Dagon' (1994), which also dealt with the supernatural. Rinaldi also provided the interior story for the series' limited trial issue. The later issues were illustrated by Dino Caterini, S. Cafagna & A. Zaccheo, Vladimiro Missaglia and Giuseppe Manunta.

'ClanDestine' #9.

By the early 1990s, Rinaldi had settled upon a more personal drawing style. In 1993 he began a collaboration with Marvel's UK division, creating the four-issue mini-series 'Wild Angel' (1993) with writer Nick Vince. The Marvel UK line however folded before the series could be published, and the work was only released in a single black-and-white volume by Marvel Italia in 1995. In 1994, he also appeared in the company's US titles, starting with a 'Valkyrie' story in 'Marvel Comics Presents' #168 (1994). He succeeded writer/artist Alan Davis on three later issues of 'ClanDestine' (1994-1995) with writer Glenn Dakin. Rinaldi illustrated issues #9, #10 and #12 of this series about a secret family of long-lived superhuman beings, with issue #11 drawn by Bryan Hitch.

'Conan Il Conquistadora' #1.

He continued to do fill-ins on several Marvel series in the second half of the 1990s. He replaced Dante Bastianoni for the fourth issue of 'Fantastic Force' (1995), and pencilled issues of 'Ultrafoce' (#4, 1995), 'Thor' (#498, 1996), 'Captain America' (#453, 1996) and 'Ka-Zar' (#6, 1997). He was furthermore one of the pencil artists of the Marvel graphic novel 'The Phoenix Resurrection: Aftermath' (1996), together with Jeff Lafferty, John Cleary and John Royle. A project with Jean Marc DeMatteis about a relaunch of Marvel's 'Doctor Strange' remained unpublished. In 1997 he was involved in a local production of 'Conan the Barbarian' for Marvel Italia, called 'Conan il Conquistadore' (two issues). The other artist was Andrea Bianchi Carnevale, with stories by Ade Capone and Xavier Marturet. He was also a cover artist for the Marvel Italia editions of US comic books.

'OSS 117'.

Eura Editoriale
Rinaldo then resumed his collaboration with Eura Editoriale in Italy. As an allround author, he wrote and drew 'Agenzia-X' (2000), a series about a group of futuristic espionage agents. This was followed by 'Wizzie the Witch' (2001), 'Twee-Van-poor' (2002) and the 'Willard The Witch' series (2003). In 2014 he illustrated covers for special editions of the series 'Kriminal' and 'Satanik' on the occasion of the characters' 50th anniversaries for 1000VolteMeglio Publishing. He was also present on the French market with two volumes of the espionage series 'OSS 117' (2015-2016) with writer Gihef for Soleil Productions. 'Agenzia-X' was re-released in graphic novel format by publisher Allagalla in 2017.

Pino Rinaldi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2018. He died in Rome in April of the same year at the age of 60.

comic art by Pino Rinaldi
Illustration for a blog post in which Pino Rinaldi responds to accusations of plagiarism of his 'Agenzia-X' series.


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