Comic Creator Spotlight: Comic Artist Felix Mas

Comic artist and author David Roach, writer of the brilliant reference works, Masters of British Comic Art, Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art and A Very British Affair: The Best of British Romance Comics, has been sharing some fantastic early work by Vampirella artist, Felix Mas.

If you’re on Facebook, David’s page is well worth a follow for his enthusiastic deep diving into comic art by a wide variety of artists.

This week, he’s been looking through a big pile of 1960s British Jackie comics this week, particularly revelling “in the great minimalism of Felix Mas, one of the best romance artists of the era.”

For those unfamiliar, Spanish artist Félix Mas, now in his nineties, studied art at Saint Jordi. After a period of military at La Vall d’Aran, Mas returned to drawing for a living in 1957, joining the Spanish art agency Seleciones Illustrada. He started working for various publishers in the UK and Scandinavia, working on titles such as TV Heroes (drawing the detective story Lt. Kane), Marilyn, Jackie and Valentine for Fleetway, and Romeo for DC Thomson.

Hired by American company Warren Publishing in 1972, he subsequently drew several horror stories for their magazines Creepy and Vampirella, until January 1975. The story “The Vampiress Stalks the Castle at Night” from Vampirella #21 was included within a list of the top 25 Warren stories in the book The Warren Companion by David Roach.

After leaving Warren, Mas moved to Caracas, in Venezuela and stopped working in comics, opting to focus instead on painting. He later moved to Florida.

Artist Felix Mas, via his Facebook page
Artist Felix Mas, via his Facebook page
“The Flute” by Felix Mas
“The Flute” by Felix Mas

Today, Felix Mas is an internationally recognised fine artist and famed for his artistic portrayals of “sensual elegance.” The majority of his works are dedicated to the female form as the subject matter, in a style which has been hailed as intoxicating and alluring. His works take inspiration from a multitude of travels and cultures, with influences from the historical grace of ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, through to the fashions of India and the richness of Japanese woodblock prints.

“Mas’s inspiration comes from the diverse array of beautiful women he has encountered throughout his travels,” notes art critic Charles Daniel McDonald. “His works are particularly influenced by ancient Rome and Greece, as well as his travels to Asia, Egypt, and India. Each of his subjects are painted using a precise elegance which is enhanced by a vibrant backdrop, carefully thought out to add a narrative and individualised flare to the central figure.”

“I first saw him in a Spanish Vampirella magazine,” says David Roach of Mas’ comics work, “which reprinted ‘The Vampiress Stalks the Castle this Night’, from Vampirella #21 – and I was completely knocked out (even in its censored form). All these years later I still adore his art, be it romance, horror or his later fine art paintings which are completely ravishing.

David was so taken with “The Vampiress Stalks the Castle at Night” that he included it in a list of the top 25 Warren stories in his now, unfortunately, ridiculously expensive to buy reference book, The Warren Companion.

This in turn has led to an admiration for his earlier work for British comics, including his strips drawn for Jackie.

“This strip from Jackie 230 might well be his best, but they’re all a treat for the eyes,” David enthuses…

Jackie 230 - How to Get Yourself Noticed - art by Felix Mas
Jackie 230 – “How to Get Yourself Noticed” – art by Felix Mas

Jackie 369, published in 1971, featured two wonderful Felix Mas strips just before he started working for Warren’s Vampirella magazine in America. “I just love his sense of design here,” says David of the opening page of the story “Girl Strike”.

Jackie 369 - “Girl Strike” - art by Felix Mas
Jackie 369 – “Girl Strike” – art by Felix Mas

The second Felix Mas strip from Jackie 369, “Meet Mr Magic”, is a slightly more light-hearted affair than the other strip, which again showcases Mas’ great use of white space and love of patterns.

Jackie 369 - “Meet Mr Magic” - art by Felix Mas
Jackie 369 – “Meet Mr Magic” – art by Felix Mas

• You can discover more about the works of Felix Mas through his two feature interviews (one & two) for World Radio France and on his official website and Facebook and Instagram channels

Buy Vampirella and other comic Collins featuring the work of Felix Mas on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

• Check out Masters of British Comic Art, Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art and A Very British Affair: The Best of British Romance Comics by David Roach (AmazonUK Affiliate Links)

Categories: Art and Illustration, British Comics, Comic Art, Comic Creator Spotlight, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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