In Memoriam: Commando comic artist Mario Adalberto Morhain

The Commando comic team have announced the passing of Argentinian comic artist Mario Adalberto Morhain, aka simply as “Morhain”, a longtime contributor to the title, who died earlier this year, aged 77, victim to pancreatic cancer.

“With heavy hearts, we mark the passing of one of Commando’s most beloved artists, Mario Morhain,” the team announced this week.

Not to be confused with his brother, comic book writer, journalist, playwright, author and actor Jorge Claudio Morhain, Mario’s many credits over 50 years as a comic artist include “The Adventures of Andy Pruna” for PAP magazine (1980), El Eternauta (1983, as inker for Solano Lopez, and Oswal) and Super Skorpio.

A page of L’Eternauta, pencilled by Osvaldo Walter, inked by Mario Morhain, published in 1983
A page of L’Eternauta, pencilled by Osvaldo Walter, inked by Mario Morhain, published in 1983
“EVOLUCIÓN”, written by Slongo, art by Mario Morhain, for Super Skorpio 154 (1988)
“EVOLUCIÓN”, written by Slongo, art by Mario Morhain, for Super Skorpio 154 (1988)

Mario began working on Commando as an interior artist in 2000 and continued to do so until his passing, in May, supported more recently by fellow Commando artist Gustavo De Feo. He also introduced Clemente Rezzonico to the publisher.

“He was known for his detailed interiors and dedication to the comic,” the Commando team note in a recently released tribute, delayed due to communication issues with Mario’s family, “masterfully illustrating any subject matter the scripts required.”

“He is sorely missed by all at Commando.”

Commando 5309 - Red Snow - Sample
Commando 5309 - Red Snow - Sample
Art by Morhain for the story “Red Snow”, written by Jason Cobley for Commando No. 5309, published in 2020

Born in Buenos Aires in March 1945, Mario’s father was a baker, his mother a cleaner, a creator who settled in Máximo Paz in his early childhood.

After losing a regular job at the motorcycle company, Gilera, he turned to drawing comics for a living, starting his long career in the industry in the late 1960s, working on licensed strips for various titles published by Editoraial MO-PA-SA, includingKung Fu”, “Captain Scarlet”, “The Streets of San Francisco”, “Wonder Woman”, “Zorro”, “Serpico”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “Starsky & Hutch” and “The Planet of the Apes.”

In the 1970s, he joined Editorial Columba where, sometimes using the pseudonym Mario Suárez – he drew the series “Ted Marlow”, “Hilario Corvalán”, “Los Cruzados” and “Lord Bill”, as well as war, western and other strips. He began drawing the newspaper strip, “Milo Garay” in 1978 for Diario Popular and was part of a team of collaborators on La Hojita, a supplement for young people for the newspaper, La Hoja.

Juampi, a classic character of Mario Morhain
Juampi, a classic character of Mario Morhain

His credits also include long-running work on girls comics in his own country, on strips such as “Sabina”, which ran for 16 years (1980-1996), and “Juampi” which he drew for over nine years, both published in a children’s supplement in La Nación, one of the two most circulated newspapers in Argentina, which led to work on girls titles for DC Thomson, on strips such as “Pet Minder”, for Bunty, and work for European publishers.

“I don’t have a favorite story genre,” Morhain told comics journalist Ariel Avilez in an interview about his career in 2020, published in Spanish. “It’s just that drawing is the wonder of interpretation, of challenge, of gratification (if it goes out acceptably well)… There is no routine in drawing, every square is a challenge, every word of the scriptwriter makes the imagination work full and every approach, every perspective, every contrast, is never repeated.”

InfoCN obituary noting his work as artist and councillor (in Spanish)

Ariel Avilez conducted an interview with Morhain for the Nova Agency in 2020 (in Spanish)

Check out a checklist of many Commando stories drawn by Morhain here on the official web site

A tribute to Mario Morhain, published in Spanish in 2011

Categories: British Comics, Comics, downthetubes News, Features, Obituaries

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