Comic Creator Spotlight: 2000AD’s Vanyo, two artists for the price of one

Older downthetubes readers may recall credits for an artist, Vanyo, or Eduardo Vanyo (and, sometimes, as Vano), in the pages of weekly British comics such as 2000AD. But I hadn’t realised until recently that “Vanyo” was an alias for two Spanish artists, neither, sadly, still with us, one member of the once prolific team dying earlier this year.

Vanyo was, in fact, the professional name chosen by two comics artists, brothers Eduardo Vaño Ibarra (1944 – 2023) and Vicente Vaño Ibarra (1947 – 2006), themselves the sons of artist of Eduardo Vañó Pastor, a famous creator in Spain.

In addition to an impressive body of work in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, their credits in British comics, hired through the Bardon Agency, include “Judge Dredd” for 2000AD and “The Mind of Wolfie Smith” for Tornado and 2000AD, “Death Wish” for Speed, which has been collected by Rebellion, and “Bloodfang” and “The Hand” for Eagle.

They also worked on Battle Action Force and Wildcat. Vanyo supplied art for “The Flight of the Golden Hinde“, one of the series launching in the first issue of Battle and they would go on to draw episodes of “Operation Shark” and “Return of the Eagle” as well as “Carver”, a “Clash of the Guards” story which isn’t included in the recent collection from Rebellion, and episodes of “Action Force“.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s they worked for the Italian publisher Editorial Universo de Italia, contributing to magazines such as Monello, Albo dell’Intrepido and Bliz. They also worked for other European countries such as France, Germany and Belgium through another agency, Norma.

Death Wish Volume 1 - Best Wishes
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo
  • Death Wish by Barrie Tomlinson and Vanyo

Above: Some pages from the Death Wish collection, a story written by Barrie Tomlinson, with art by “Vanyo”

“Turbo Jones” by Vanyo, for Wildcat No. 12
“Turbo Jones” by Vanyo, for Wildcat No. 12

Over on his always enjoyable Boys Adventure Comics blog, downthetubes contributor Richard Sheaf notes that despite how prolific the “Vanyo” team were, you rarely see their original art from the strips they worked on here in the UK up for sale.

Was their art victim perhaps to the various management ordered purges of the IPC/ Fleetway art archives, the artists never offered its return? Artworks rarely surface for sale, although a page of “The Mind of Wolfie Smith” was sold earlier this year by Compal.

"The Mind of Wolfie Smith" original artwork by Eduardo Vanyo for 2000AD Prog 139, cover dated 17th November 1979
“The Mind of Wolfie Smith” original artwork by Eduardo Vanyo for 2000AD Prog 139, cover dated 17th November 1979. This art, previously highlighted on downthetubes, sold for £583 earlier this year, through Compal

After a long career in comics, Vicente Vaño Ibarra left the industry, which came with some relief, because, as he himself declared, he had a love-hate relationship with drawing strips. He apparently enjoyed working as a comic artist, but he hated the harsh working conditions that were imposed on him. Unfortunately, his retirement was short: he was diagnosed with a serious illness, and died before his sixties.

Art by Eduardo Vañó Ibarra

Eduardo ended up retiring from comics for health reasons, reducing his artistic activity to some drawing and painting work for personal pleasure. He died earlier this year, his passing regretfully not picked up by us here at downthetubes. Our sympathies to family and friends.

“A wonderful artist who truly captured the essence of picture story telling,” notes former Battle editor David Hunt. “One always knew immediately what was going on in the countless clean and dynamic frames he created. Eduardo made it all look so effortless which it certainly wasn’t.”


Lambiek: Eduardo Vaño Ibarra

Tebeosfera: Eduardo Vaño Ibarra (in Spanish)

Lambiek: Vicente Vaño Ibarra

Tebeosfera: Vicente Vaño Ibarra (in Spanish)

Valencian Comic Association

• David McDonald of Hibernia interviewed Eduardo for their book, Fantastic Adventures (reviewed here by Peter Duncan, now sold out), during the pandemic. “He was a really nice guy,” says David, ” and sent me this video…”

Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, British Comics - Collections, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Obituaries

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