miércoles, 31 de marzo de 2010


Since nothing is perfect in life, there are always things that will go wrong. 1989-1990, I can’t remember exactly. Everything was smooth. I had plenty of work and a great relation with my publishers for whom I was working exclusively: SEMIC PRESS. It was so good they improved my income without me ever asking. And then the problems with my agent started. My idea of what she deserved for the mediation and management wasn’t what she expected and we part ways. After threatening me with taking my job, I got a plane and flew to my publisher headquarters in Stockholm. There we decided to keep working together without the intercession of any agent, directly and, to be honest, the relation got much better, fluent, warmer and closer.
After that experience I do not fear to say that the intercession of any agent may be a dead weight for the artist-publisher relationship. The agents and studios I know in Barcelona (Spain) deserve a post themselves. I’ll talk about them some day.
From this new period and thanks to the more fluent communications, the possibility of adapting for comic the animation classics of Tom and Jerry presented itself. I was excited with the idea since they talked about adapting the best batch of stories of the characters in my opinion. I made some adaptations, I can’t remember all the names (I’m getting old): “Jerry’s Cousin”, “The Bodyguard”, “Little Runaway”, “Kitty Foiled”, “The Cat and The Mermouse”, “The Dog House”…
One of the new things that came with that period was that the stories changed from four strips per page to three strips; a big improvement in my opinion. Four strips lead to very small art for the comic-book format and texts occupy too much space inside the composition of the scenes. Three strips of panel, instead, allow for better composition and, due to more square panels, made the adaptations of animation to comic easier because it was more or less the same space you would see on the screen.
Since then, all the pages have consisted of three rows of panels. This story I post today is the first one to be drawn in that way, and it’s the adaptation of the shortcut “Jerry and the Lion”. You can compare and evaluate the job I did that time. The color is awful! The publishers couldn’t deal worse with the color.

jueves, 18 de marzo de 2010


For about a year more or less i worked for two publishers producing TOM & JERRY stories: Condor Velag and Semic Press. It was then when I decided to study more the characters. I thought that if I could master movement and the construction of the scene, or at least get closer to the classic animators, maybe I would be able to produce some acceptable works.
Being the best is an impossible challenge, a gift only those with overwhelming talent can enjoy. But learning from the best is always a good option. Tired of inspiring myself in the comics, I switched my source of references to the Hannah-Barbera classic cartoons. Armed with a video recorder with a good “pause” function and the VHS tapes of Tom and Jerry, I made all the photos I needed for my documentation. It was then when I discovered the real talent of those characters and the dexterity of the animators. Kenneth Muse, Irven Spence, Ray Patterson and Ed Barge, they opened my eyes. A never-ending display of expressions taken to the limit, unbelievable elasticity, an awesome management of movement… ¡A glorious work!
With all those new documents on my table it was logical to expect some alterations in my new work, and the publisher, through my manager, noticed. “The characters look strange”, they said. Well, since that moment I understood that trying to be faithful to the original is “strange” (I’m still laughing). And I was so satisfied with my last story! I just had found new facets, new ways to express… I believe the publishers, when it comes to artists with potential, should promote his need to grow as a professional and not try to install him in conservative ideas. They asked for some changes I did but I quit working for them voluntarily. Being conservative doesn’t make you advance. It’s the challenge what moves you.
SEMIC PRESS gave me, and kept giving me, all the freedom I needed to progress and the safety I needed to reject CONDOR VERLAG assignments. There’s the advantage of working for more than one client.
Here there are some of those photos I still keep and some of the panels that created so much strife. More elastic mouthes, expressions not in the catalog and a gag involving flames were labeled as “strange”.

viernes, 5 de marzo de 2010


In my last post i talked about the need for publishers that trust artists and writers and respect their will to take risks so they can make works as singular as the one I expose today.
1992. It’s been so long, I know, and that’s why I think this story has this singular component. It’s a parody of two big classic characters of comic portrayed by two other big classic characters of comic. That itself is quite bold
In the technique department, the pages themselves have non standard structure for a work of that kind. The ink isn’t conventional either: black spots, the shadowing of characters… All that and some other details like drama brought by the rain in the last sequence, make this work an exercise of freedom in an environment often too ruled by the establishment and excessive conservatism.
Once this work was edited, I got congratulated. I’m very sure I wouldn’t be able to do this story for any other publisher. Freedom is born from trust and in my case, for many years, I didn’t give any explanation about what I was going to do or the kind of story I was working on. The publishers received the final work. I will always be grateful to SEMIC PRESS for the chance they gave me to evolve into what I thought I had to.
The only inconvenient was that I never had the chance to color my own work. That was managed in the publisher offices and I was never satisfied with the results. This story would look much better with a different selection of colors and someone with a bit of talent working with them.