Thanks to several Commando and comic art fans, we can reveal the real identity of the artist who provided the stunning cover to Commando 5202, “The Joker” a reprint of a story first published back in 1994 with interior art by Gordon C. Livingstone, on sale now in all good UK newsagents.
Uruguayan “Dalger” per the issue’s credits – real name is Alfredo de la María – is today a word famous painter of motor racing, partnering with Festivals of Speed, a luxury Lifestyle automotive event to distribute a portion of his original paintings and limited edition prints on paper and canvas, in 2017.
In addition to a number of Commando covers, in the comics world Alfredo most notably provided covers for Colombian publisher Editorial Columba, such as those for the action adventure anthology title Nipper Magnum and the associated titles Nippur Magnum All Color and Nippur Magnum Yearbook. Copies of the title command a high price on the South American site Merco Libre.
Born in Uruguay in 1945, Alfredo de La Maria studied art and architecture at the Bellas Artes School, in Montevideo. Aged 18, he served as an illustrator of politics and sporting events for a leading newspaper and in 1961 conducted his first exhibit of paintings in Punta del Este City. His subject matter included mainly equestrian and naval and aviation subjects.
In 1966, he left for Europe where he settled in Paris over the next three years.
Returning to Montevideo for a short time he travelled to Argentina, to take a position with a publishing company in Buenos Aires. It was there that he created illustrations for the covers for many of the larger magazines including Automundo, Parabrisas, El Tony – a comic published in Argentina by Editorial Columba from 1928 to 2000 – and D’artagnan, Argentina’s favourite comics magazine, its most famous characters “Nippur de Lagash” and “Gilgamesh the Immortal”, published from 1957 to 2000.
“Nippur de Lagash” was one of the most popular comics characters in Argentina, getting its own publication called, Nippur Magnum, from 1979 which ran for around 450 issues over more than thirty years of publication. The stories were based on historical figures and famous myths, happening mainly in Sumeria during the fourth millennium BC, and in the historical region of the Fertile Crescent, which corresponds to part of the territories of ancient Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia.
During this time, he became involved in automotive art, and in 1989 he made the first of his many exhibits at the Buenos Aires Classic Cars Club. In a short time, his paintings were known not only in Argentina but also around the world.
His paintings have been exhibited at significant automotive events including the Pebble Beach Concours d ’Elegance, Retro mobile, the Cavallino Classic and others.
Although his official site is offline, you can check out Alfredo de La Maria’s car art here on historiccarart.net
For those of you knocked out by his cover for Commando 5202, here’s a checklist of his work for the title, courtesy of the Commando editorial team.
Commando 2773: Plague Town
Commando 2775: The Joker
Re-published and on sale now as Commando 5202
Commando 2810: Hero on Trial
Commando 2841: Hero of the Reich
Commando 2885: The Outriders
Commando 2912: Grudge Team
Commando 2920: Operation Kidnap
Commando 2936: War Criminals
Commando 2966: Warrior Marines
Commando 2975: Adam’s Army
Commando 3013: Officer Material
Sean Morris was a first class fighting soldier, of that there was no doubt. But was he officer…
Commando 3106: Tug the Tankie
With thanks to the Commando editorial team, Sebastián Cabrol, Colin Noble and David Roach
Commando © DC Thomson