Artist and author David Roach has revealed he’s about to start work on a book devoted to the life and career of Spanish painter and comics artist Luis Garcia Mozos, perhaps best known to downthetubes readers for his work for US publisher Warren, but who also drew some strips for British publishers in the 1960s.
David, who’s also author of the brilliant Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art, has previously acknowledged the Spanish creator as his favourite artist “and a major inspiration in my own work.”
“When I first discovered the work of Luis Garcia Mozos in the pages of Vampirella it was a revelation, David wrote back in 2010, offering a detailed guide to Luis’ career and encounters with musical celebrities during his time in the UK in the 1960s. “I had genuinely never come across work that was quite so realistic, yet also so atmospheric and challenging before. Some 30 years later those same strips still sit next to my drawing board as a constant source of inspiration. The covers may have fallen off through constant re-readings long ago, but then surely that’s a sign of a truly great comic.”
More widely known in English as Luis García, his artistic career began at Creaciones Editoriales, then joining the Spanish agency Selecciones Illustradas and started drawing western and romance comics that were published in Britain.
He would go on to join a artists Esteban Maroto, Ramon Torrents, Suso Pena and Adolfo Usero Abellan, who created the series 5 Por Infinito in 1968.
He joined Warren Publishing in 1971, where he drew nine stories for Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. His first story published for Warren, “The Men Who Called Him Monster” (Creepy #43, January 1972) is notable as having – through an accident of translation of the script – the first interracial kiss in mainstream US comics, a story written by Don McGregor.
His art for the story “Welcome to the Witch’s Coven” (Vampirella #15, January 1972) won him the Warren award for best art in a story for 1972.
In Europe, Luis many credits include “The Chronicles of the Nameless“, for the magazine Pilote in the early 1970s, co-created with writer Víctor Mora, which was reprinted in Vampirella in 1975, and work in La Isla del Tesoro (1977), La Gran Aventura (1978), Etnocidio (1979) and Chicharras (1985).
Today known as a fine art painter, having retired from comics in 1985 after the magazine he helped create, Rambla, went out of business, his comics work also includes the disturbing story Nova 2, published by Glenat, which focuses on a comic book artist’s attempt to kill himself. First published in 1980, it was later published in English in Heavy Metal magazine.
Of the new book, David says he is thrilled beyond belief that The Art of Luis Garcia Mozos is actually happening, which will hopefully include scans of the artist’s many influential works from original pages.
“This is a book I’ve dreamt of seeing for 40 years, and not for the first time it turns out that If I want to own a copy I have to write it myself!
“We already have almost all the art and I can tell you it is looking incredible. This is going to be very, very special.”
• If you haven’t already got Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art, then you really should buy it now (Amazon affiliate link), since it features many examples of Luis astonishing artwork. Here’s a preview we ran back in 2016, pre-release