So farewell Massimo Belardinelli. I didn't even realise you had died until I happened upon this.
It's sad that the passing of such a fantastic creator has gone almost unnoticed but not all that surprising. Belardinelli was one of the finest artists to work on 2000AD, but unlike many of his contemporaries he never made the transition to American comics and as a result superstar status eluded him.
He still leaves an amazing body of work behind him and will always be special for me because he was responsible for the art on one of my favourite 2000AD strips.
His collaboration with Alan Hebden on Meltdown Man, which ran for 50 issues between progs 178 and 227, still holds the record as the longest consecutive run by a single writer and artist team on 2000AD.
Bellardinelli might be better known for his work on ACE Trucking, Dan Dare or Slaine, but Meltdown Man really got into my brain as a kid. In my opinion it is one of the most underrated stories 2000AD ever ran.
The story was good, but Belardinelli's art made the strip, in particular his depiction of The Yujees - the half human/half animal products of genetic engineering who populated the post apocalyptic world of Meltdown Man.
They were nightmarish and violent and to be honest they scared the crap out of me, but I was fascinated by the Yujees and as a result Meltdown Man was always the first thing I read during its lengthy run.
Then as now I could spend hours looking at Bellardinelli's detailed artwork. He was a truly weird and special talent. RIP.