People like to be in on the first of anything so having a special edition specialising in a particular subject has to have some pull. Read the title: ‘Illustrators Special Issue # 1: Warren Magazines – The Spanish Artists’. You want a crash course on these artists, then you’re in the right place.
Reading the introduction piece about Josep Toutain who represented many Spanish artists and who went to see Jim Warren in America who only saw him because he travelled so far and was most reluctant until he saw the portfolios and then felt he found the right artist for the newly released ‘Vampirella’ in the hands of José ‘Pepe’ González. The rest is history and the Spanish invasion of American comics as Toutain went to other publishers as well.
However, we first have a look at Enric aka Enric Torres-Prat, who really started off doing America SF book covers but got recruited by Jim Warren solely on a sketch that ultimately ended in 52 ‘Vampirella’ covers, a couple of which he has repainted over the years and shown here. His examples of other art, including Red Sonja, and a variety of women are a strong reminder that I must dilute my paint more. His works are a lesson to themselves.
The second biggest cover contributor to Warren Publications was Sanjulian aka Manual Pérez Sanjulián. I knew his art long before I got his name when I picked up a gorgeous set of his trading cards back in the 1990s. Seeing his work at magazine-size also shows how his painting technique varies to what he needs to do and his life study is something to learn from, although I’m not sure how I’d paint with a one-hair paintbrush, which I presume he starched with dry paint.
Looking at José ‘Pepe’ González’ (1939-2009) illustrations of Vampirella and then be told he only used a marker pen shows its talent not tools that really counts. Unlike the other artists in this volume, González got quickly bored with drawing, often not finishing his work. Adding my own analysis to this I would think that he never saw his art as challenging him just as a means to an end. Even so, looking at his art, you would have to have wondered what if he had come from another background than the Spanish ghetto. At the back of the magazine, David Roach explains the problems he had getting all the material for a biography of Pepe for Dynamite! Publications book on him.
Lucis Garcĭa Mozos was seen as Pepe’s successor, even if he was only 7 years younger than him when he joined the SI studio. His girl-friend, Carol De Haro, was also the model all the Spanish artists used Vampirella and looking at her eyes and high forehead, I can understand the exotic look although, unlike Vampi, she has no fringe. Mozos draws and paints showing his own versatility. With pencil and then ink, he has an interesting texturing technique that gave vitality to his panels.
Esterban Maroto only ever drew two ‘Vampirella’ stories but he did far more in Warren’s other mags. His style is less textured than the other Spanish artists but when he needs to, as demonstrated in this edition, he excels at the task.
Jordi Bernet only did a little work for Warren Publications but considering he was really following his late father and taking over his comedy and gangster works that doesn’t seem so surprising. The Spanish ethic is if a parent dies, then the eldest son, Jordi, who was only 15 when that happened, and had to quickly master drawing. As pointed out in the article, it was a fast learning curve and explains why he doesn’t draw women as well as his contemporaries at the time.
As you can tell by my enthusiasm, this is a great addition to add to your collection and with some mouth-watering art to savour. Don’t miss out.
(pub: The Book Palace. 146 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £25.00 (UK), $ (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-37-8. ISSN: 2052-6520)
check out website: www.thebookpalace.com