Mystery Artist Quest: A “Spellbound” Artist Identified

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.

The Damian Darke story "A Friend in Need", from Debbie 271, featuring art now known to be by Argentinian artist Luis Garcia Duran © DC Thomson

The Damian Darke story “A Friend in Need”, from Debbie 271, featuring art now known to be by Argentinian artist Luis Garcia Duran © DC Thomson

“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.

Art for the strip "Nan Hai", written by Robin Wood, art by Luis García Durán

Art for the strip “Nan Hai”, written by Robin Wood, art by Luis García Durán

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.

A page from "Villa Caraza Blues", written and drawn by Luis García Durán

A page from “Villa Caraza Blues”, written and drawn by Luis García Durán

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.

Art by and © Luis García Durán

Art by and © Luis García Durán

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!


Art by and © Val García Durán

Art by and © Val García Durán

Can you help David Roach identify some mystery comic artists – and writers, too?

Luis García Durán – Facebook Page

Luis García Durán credits for Euracomix are detailed here on

You can read a 2010 interview with Luis García Durán about his work for European publishers here (in Spanish)

There are excerpts of another interview here, focusing on the craft of creating art and comics on Rebound, but sadly links to the full interview are dead and unavailable

La Bitacora de Maneco: In Memoriam – Luis García Durán (1946 – 2010)

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

100 Anos de Historieta Argentina• For more about Argentinian comic artists in general , this Spanish title,100 años de historieta argentina by Iván De La Torre, published in 2014, may be of interest

There are some smashing old photographs of South American comic artists here


Valeria Duran is online at | Facebook Page | Instagram | Twitter | Wall Art for Sale | Red Bubble

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

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2 replies

  1. Australian artist Peter Foster worked for DC Thomson in the 80s and 90s. His style is fairly distinguished, and identifiable. Do you need to know what stories he worked on? (He doesn’t have email, so I’ll have to snail mail him.) He says that none of his artwork was ever returned….

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