Illustrators #22 (magazine review).

July 13, 2018 | By | Reply More

In the introduction to this latest edition of ‘Illustrators’, comicbook artist Dave Gibbons points out that being an artist’s agent was a good living in the 1950s and he joined their agency much later. As such, Bardon Press Features, headed by Barry Coker from London and Jordi Macabich from Barcelona literally fell into the role, having worked in the industry representing artists and scriptwriters from the UK and Spain. Bardon derived from BARcelona and lonDON.

You might not recognise them but you’d certainly recognise the people they represented, including one Enric Badia Romero, whom they recommended after Pat Wright and John Burns to Peter O’Donnell for ‘Modesty Blaise’. There is even a sample of an advert strip Romero did showing he would be up to the task. Barry Coker reveals that it could have ended up being Frank Bellamy instead of him going to ‘Garth’.

Speaking of Romero, I wasn’t aware he had a brother, Jordi Badia Romero who signs himself as Jorge B. Gálvez, who looks just as good. Bardon’s biggest success was in supplying writer Jim Laurence and artist Jordi Longarón for the American newspaper strip ‘Friday Foster’, an African-American character, although it wasn’t that successful surviving only 4 years.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

From there, we get into particular artists. Jordi Penalva painted a lot of cowboy and war covers before eventually working for Warren Publications in the USA. His use of reds for background adding dramatically to the covers. He also does a mean Sean Connery. Penalva isn’t the only Spanish artist to work for Warren, as you should also include Luis Bermejo Rojo and José Ortiz Moya, both featured here, as well.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

Back in the 1950s-70s, the British were reluctant to feature creative credits with their comics. Even so, there are some surprises here. The Spanish did, after all, had little preference with what they drew and were highly prolific. Matías Alonso Andrés shows an interesting rendition of Judge Dredd from 1993. Seeing his early work, it’s fascinating seeing his early work and watching it getting increasingly more complex.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

The same can also be said for Luis Bermejo Rojo, more so as he moves into colour with gouache. He was also one of the first to paint a graphic novel, written by Nicola Cuti, of ‘Lord Of The Rings’ even though it was never completed.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

Jordi Longarón does get his own feature showing how good his figure work was. When you consider that rarely did these Spanish artists have models to pose for them, even more remarkable.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace 2018

When it comes to José Ortiz Moya, he even did an inked page without any underlying pencils. If you don’t think you’ve seen his work, think again. He painted ‘The Persuaders’ for ‘TV Action’ and, as Jaimie Ortiz, illustrated ‘Rogue Trooper’ for ‘2000AD’.

Some of these artists, alas, are no longer with us but they have left an immense legacy in the British market that will make your eyes water by just seeing a sample of their work here.

GF Willmetts

July 2018

(pub: The Book Palace, 2015. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £18.00 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-28-6. ISSN: 2052-6520)

check out website: www.thebookpalace.com

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Category: Illustration, Magazines

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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