Author and artist David Roach is trying to identify the artists of a number of DC Thomson strips – and his renewed quest, highlighted on downthetubes, is already paying off thanks to social media, and an Argentinian artist’s connections with the Dundee-based publisher have now been been confirmed by his daughter.
Last night, David posted an example of a “Damian Darke” strip from Debbie 271 , “A Friend in Need”, and the artist’s identity has now been confirmed as the late Ernesto Luis García Durán by his daughter, Val García Durán, who is also an incredible artist.
“After Spellbound was cancelled it merged with Debbie,” David explains, and Spellbound strips like ‘Supercats’ and ‘Damian Darke’ continued there for quite some time. Interestingly, new Spellbound strips continued to appear in Debbie – mostly drawn by Jordi Badia Romero, after these carry-overs came to an end, I’m not sure for how long.”
After suggesting the art was the work of Argentinian artist Ernesto Luis Garcia Duran, also known as Luis Garcia Duran, Val, alerted to his quest, confirmed the strip was her late father’s work.
Born in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Luis began drawing and painting at the age of 13. He studied at the Pan-American School of Art, working in advertising after graduation and beginning his career in comics in 1974, working for publishers like Editorial Yago. His first work as a comics artist appeared in Rayo Rojo, aged 18.
He drew for publishers in Argentina, but also drew strips for Charlton in the US, through the agency Columba Editoral, and Fleetway in the UK, working through Lluis Llorente‘s Creacceones agency, but until now, it had not been confirmed he had also done work for DC Thomson.
“He worked for [English publishers for] several years, although not directly,” Val noted, “but through an intermediary.”
Ernesto moved to Spain in the 1980s, living and working in Marbella, publishing the Marbella Sun Guide, a tourist guide and the comic magazine, Mark 2000, and working for Italy’s Eura Editoriale. His strips for Euracomix series include Leticia Gray, La Selvaggia (The Wild) and Taxi Driver, written by Ricardo Barrero. At the same time, he created works of art for the walls of the local jet set.
He also drew strips such as Aqui la Legione (in 1982, his first strip for the company), Kozacovich & Connors (1987) and Nan Hai (1992), all written by Robin Wood, published in the magazines Skorpio and LancioStory.
Returning to Argentina in 1988, and in 1996 was the founder of the Asociación Creadores de la Historieta Argentina (the Association of Creators of Argentine Comic Books) and launched the short-lived magazine Hacha, which featured his much praised strip “Villa Caraza Blues“.
In 2003, together with Pedrazzini, he created La marcha de los sueños (The March of Dreams), a comic used in the campaign of Adolfo Rodríguez Saa for that year’s presidential elections.
Later in life, he focused largely on drawing covers and a career in fine art, studying drawing and painting with Ana Rank and Guillermo Roux, his work featuring in exhibitions.
Writing then on the Forum degli Eternauti on his passing in 2010, his daughter Val García Durán, a talented artist in her own right, said “My dad loved his job, and always tried to do it better and better. He never stopped investigating, experimenting, moving forward, always with great respect for his profession and the public.”
Sadly, a project she and her father were working on together, remained unfinished.
“He was a man of strong convictions,” notes author Armando Fernandez.
DC Thomson employed a number of South American artists in their girls comics in the 1970s, including the greats Alcatena and Garcia Seijas.
David Roach‘s quest to identify artists on other DC Thomson girls comics continues, and you can read about his current quest here on downthetubes – please do comment if you can help!
• Tebesfera: Luis García Durán (in Spanish)
• What are the Clouds: “The Forgotten” – Luis Garcia Duran (originally appeared in Fucine Mute 45)
• Luis García Durán posted some of his art to his personal blog, which is still online at garciaduran.blogspot.com