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August 7, 2012


Carlos Albiac, 1928-2012

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Carlos Albiac, the prolific Argentine writer of comics series that were widely published in Europe, died on August 1.

Albiac was born in Buenos Aires.

imageAlbiac began his comics writing career in 1958 for the magazine Impacto. His first notable co-creation came in 1960s with the western series Pithy Raine, which he worked on with the artist Carlos Alberto Casalla. Casalla and Albiac followed up the success of Pithy Raine with Alamo Jim at Editions Columba. This was more of an action-comedy, and was also the writer's first major entry into the French-language, where it was published as Apaches et La Route de L'Ouest. This led to opportunities in television and film, where he won a few honors in the mid-1960s. He eventually became a well-regarded teacher of writing for the screen.

In 1969, Albiac returned to the Alamo Jim. By the mid-1970s, the creator hit his stride with a series of period efforts. In 1975 came Meteoro for Editions April. In 1976 he partnered with the artist Angel Fernandez for A Través De Oceania, published in Frances as Calico Jack En France -- a work compared to Hugo Pratt's genre-defining The Ballad Of The Salt Sea. This was followed in 1977 by Perdida Joe (with Casalla) about a jazz pianist in the 1920s, Sargente York (again with Casalla) in 1978 two different books in the La-Bas Dans L'Ouest series (with Arturo del Castillo), Wakantanka (with Juan Zanotto), Les Aventuriers (with Ernesto Garcia Seijas) in 1979, Lord Jim (with Horacio Lalia) during that same period.

Albiac continued to work through the 1980s -- this was the decade he taught as well. In 1992 he wrote the one-shot color album El Dorado -- El delirio de Lope de Aguirre for Planeta Deagostini, which featured art by Alberto Breccia.

Many of the 1970s series were published to success in Italy, primarily through the anthology Lanciostory, which debuted in 1975. He was also published through Fierro in Italy, in the newspaper La Nacion, in France with Brik and with at least one Spanish anthology.

Albiac's comics influences included Chester Gould, Jacques Tardi, George Herriman and Hugo Pratt. The writer cited Alfred Hitchcock and Francis Ford Coppola as filmmakers he admired. He said he favored as spare an approach to text on the comics page as possible, and also tried to give his artists a great deal of latitude with how they might interpret his words for the page -- serving as a resource for them but allowing them to find their own narrative solutions.

thanks to Domingos Isabelinho for the heads-up

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