Iconic Vampirella cover and comic strip art offered in private sale

One of the most iconic covers in the history of Vampirella, painted by Sanjulián, is being offered in a private sale – and that’s not all…

Cover art for Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #12 by Sanjulián
Cover art for Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #12 by Sanjulián

The art, featured on the cover of Vampirella #12, is painted by Spanish artist Manuel Pérez Clemente, better known as Sanjulián, acclaimed worldwide for his stunning magazine and book covers. He began working for Selecciones Ilustradas around 1962, and Warren Publishing in 1970 and this as his first of many covers for Vampirella, making it much sought after.

Cover for Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #12 by Sanjulián

In addition to the cover, also up for sale, as revealed through the Facebook group for Big Wow! Art, is the first ever, entire 20-page story drawn by artist Jose Gonzalez (aka “Pepe”) – his first work on the character.

Considered the Vampirella artist, from the get go with his art on “Death’s Dark Angel”, written by Archie Goodwin, Jose’s work on the character caused an immediate sensation.

The opening page of “Death’s Dark Angel” for Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #12, with art by Jose Gonzalez, his first published work featuring Vampirella
The opening page of “Death’s Dark Angel” for Warren Publishing’s Vampirella #12, with art by Jose Gonzalez, his first published work featuring Vampirella

Noting his earlier work for some of Fleetway’s romance comics, author David Roach commented, in The Warren Companion, “Here was the same glamour and sophistication that had worked so well in Britain applied to a character of enormous potential but hitherto little direction. The cover of #19 featured González’s memorable full figure painting of Vampirella, a bat balanced on her outstretched hand, which came to symbolize the character on everything from posters to books to stickers and pillows. It was an icon, as a pin-up for adolescents (of all ages) that his vision of her worked best since her strips, particularly in the early day, failed to live up to their potential.”

Vampirella, the vampire super heroine, was created by Forrest J Ackerman and comic book artist Trina Robbins, first appearing in Warren Publishing’s magazine Vampirella #1 in 1969. Writer-editor Archie Goodwin later developed the character from horror-story hostess to a horror-drama leading character.

Neither cover art or the strip pages are being offered at anything below their considerable worth, but how often do you get the chance to own first issues by the definitive artist on a major character?

• Message or email Steve Morger (to stevemorgerATgmail.com) and he will let genuine enquirers know the specifics of the sale | Big Wow! Art Facebook Group

With thanks to David Roach

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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