In Memoriam: Klebs Junior, illustrator, comic book artist, agent, teacher and entrepreneur

Klebs Junior, illustrator
Klebs Junior. Photo: IHQ

We’re sorry to report the passing of Klebs Junior, director of the Brazilian art agency IHQ Studios, who worked with comic publishers across the globe, connecting them with a brilliant team of creatives to fulfil a wide range of roles, on a huge range of comic projects, including Doctor Who, Spider-Man, Star Trek and Star Wars.

His family announced this true advocate of the comics form, who encouraged so many young creators in their craft, died on 19th November, after battling with cancer since 2017.

“He leaves an eternal legacy,” notes, rightfully, Klebs de Moura Junior, “for our national comic industry, and for his passion for drawing.”

I only worked with Klebs on a couple of projects, one of them Little Nightmares for Titan Comics, and he co-ordinated the provision of some great work from numerous creators at IHQ Studios with absolute professionalism, enthusiasm, and patience. I’m sure those left behind there will undoubtedly honour his memory and continue his work with the same commitment and style.

Sherlock Holmes art by Klebs Junior
Sherlock Holmes art by Klebs Junior

“We have lost a great artist, a promotor of national comics, a talent scout and polisher of talents… and above all a man who lived his dreams intensely,” commented artist Mauricio Leone, one of many creators to pay tribute since his death was announced. “Thank you for opening doors for me and teaching me so much about this fascinating and challenging career that is being a comic artist. Many years as an intern, studio artist and teacher… were good years to keep in my heart.”

“My condolences. Klebs is instrumental in jumpstarting my career which helped me and my family a lot,” noted artist Roi Mercado.

“I can’t describe the sadness that this news hit me,” commented artist Will Conrad. “We all have lost. We lost a great friend, business partner and laughter. And comics has lost a great ambassador.”

Doctor Who art by Klebs Junior
Doctor Who art by Klebs Junior
Amazonia art by Klebs Junior
Amazonia art by Klebs Junior

Born in 1966, Klebs Junior was an illustrator, comic book artist, agent, teacher and entrepreneur, who held a degree in Visual Communication from the Belas Artes College of Sao Paulo. Over his impressive career, he worked for the most important newspapers and magazines in Brazil, such as Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S. Paulo, Veja, Época. He also worked on Brazilian comics such as Pau Brasil and Metal Pesado.

He worked with US comic book publishers as penciller on comics such as Snakes on a Plane (DC), Excalibur and Citizen V (Marvel), and Willow and Tara (Dark Horse).

He was also the founder and owner of Impacto Studios and School in Brazil, and worked as an agent, editor and teacher of comics, preparing authors for national and international markets and sharing experiences and techniques learned over the years.

Pátria Armada by Klebs Junior
Pátria Armada by Klebs Junior

He was also a member of the board of the Museum of Graphic Arts of the State of Sao Paulo and the creator of his own graphic novel, Pátria Armada (“Armed Homeland”), which, in 2016, won the HQMIX Award for best mini series in Brazil.

IHQ Studios, set up over 15 years ago, specialises in managing artists, inkers and colourists, and part of its ethos is also to seek the best way to manage the development of an artist’s career. Based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, thanks to the dedication of Klebs and the team there, it has become one of the world’s largest studios in art production, illustration and comics, representing some 72 creators and producing, on average, 2500 pages of comics per month.

Just some of the comics IHQ Studios has worked on, the agency run by Klebs Junior
Just some of the comics IHQ Studios has worked on, the agency run by Klebs Junior

Some of the main works they work on, or have worked on, include Doctor Who and Assassin’s Creed (Titan Comics), Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Force and more, for Marvel); Superman (DC Comics); and Star Trek, for IDW), among others.

“I am so sorry that he is gone,” commented David Campiti, CEO of Glass House Studios. “Back in the 1990s, Klebs was part of the Glass House Graphics stable of talents; he even drew pages of my Hero Alliance revival that never got off the ground.

“By the turn of the century, he was running his own studio of talent. By 2002, Klebs became our official manager of artists in Brazil, overseeing art and coordinating projects for all our clients large and small for several years. Last time we were together, he was representing a pile of fine projects to be published in Europe. He was an enterprising guy whom I liked a lot. My condolences to his studio of artists and to his family and friends.”

Our sympathies to Kleb’s family and many friends at this time.

Klebs de Moura e Silva Junior, born 2nd December 1966, died 19th November 2021

• IHQ Studios: | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

A short story Klebs created for Itau Cultural’s event, Caminhos da HQ

Categories: Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, Features, Obituaries

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