July 7, 2009
Alfons Figueras, 1922-2009
According to the blog La Carcel de Papel
, the Spanish artist Alfons Figueras
has passed away.
During a childhood soaked in popular novels and movies, Alfons Figueras became exposed to comics through his magazine correspondent father. After working briefly for a cartoonist in his hometown, Figueras initiated his long solo career in comics after the Spanish Civil War, moving from animation studios to the first of many comics companies in 1939. He began work at Editorial Bruguera as a layout man and sometimes letterer. In World War II, he created work for American franchises whose homegrown material could not reach Spanish shores, including Flash Gordon
He returned to homegrown material at Editorial Bruguera for a decade or so after the war, contributing many pages of work to their magazines. His series included El Hombre Electrico
, Sopera Man
(sample below) and Pau Pi
. In the mid-'50s he went to work for an animation studio in Venezuela for several years before heading back to Spain a decade or so later -- series he worked on at this point included Topolino
and Cine Locuras
. His 1970s and 1980s work included Doctor Mortis
, and in the '90s he did El Malvado Mr. Hyde
among others, and some commerical work for Bayer.
Figueras mixed black humor and surrealism into his comics in a way that broke with many of his same-age colleagues. He was well known for his use of horror movie icons -- he considered Frankenstein
the greatest achievement in the genre -- and seemed to enjoy renewed attention at about the time they were finding favor in Western culture through their rediscovery of 1930s films and entertainment.
He was 86 years old.
posted 8:30 am PST
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