Sunday 10 July 2011

This is the oldest comic I have kept. It's in loose leaves and is one of the two colour stories out of the 1964 Tiger annual which I got brand new for Chrismas ('63... did those things have the year that was just about to begin? I can't remember) and which was read to death at an early age. I have always wondered if this was drawn by a Spanish artist, as it has a more robust quality than all the other things that were around it in the book. M'colleague David Roach, expert in these things, has just told me that it's the work of Argentinian Francisco Solano López. Lopez drew EL ETERNAUTA in his home country between 1957 and 1959, as shown here in a recent reprint of Dec.2010, by m'other colleague Pepo Perez. From wikipedia: "A success, El Eternauta came to the attention of the authorities as the series featured commentary of the political situation of Argentina and neighbouring Chile, prompting López to flee for Spain to avoid possible arrest." In Madrid, among other things, López obtained work though an agency that supplied finished comic art to Fleetway in London, presumably from scripts commissioned there (I need names and details!). Through the London connection López drew the long-running Kelley's Eye, of Which British comics afficionado Captain Storm has been posting a great deal (scroll to the beginning). The piece in my files here is set in Dolumbia, one of those made-up Latin American dictatorships of which in my childhood I came to think there must be an unlimited supply. The villain is General Tanco. I'm surethe artist must have felt roused to make a good job of it.


Blogger Berliac said...

Yeah, totally. Pannel 5 from both pages 5 and 6 give him away. Many argentinian artists from those days published for Fleetway, including Breccia and further on José Muñoz. They did mostly westerns and above all war comics, recently reprinted in spanish:

Pepo isn't totally right regarding Lopez's exile, though. What caught the military coup's attention was actually the Eternauta's writer, Hector Germán Oesterheld. He was part of the armed group "Montoneros" (which finally costed him his life: he's one of the 30.000 dissapeared by the regime). But above all, Francisco Solano Lopez's son was also a rebel, so they both flew to spain because his son was in danger. Actually Solano Lopez always denied having participated in any political activities (exept for some propaganda in favor of peronism once back in democracy).


10 July 2011 at 23:18:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

oops. not clear? I was quoting Wikipedia at that point, not Pepo. I was moving through the story so quickly I was tripping over myself. I wonder if they saved this script, waiting For Lopez to come in, and handed it to him with a wry grin?
And thanks for chipping, in, M'colleague Berliac

10 July 2011 at 23:27:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous zenegra online said...

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11 July 2011 at 00:34:00 GMT-5  
Blogger MAnnabel said...

I'd actually got a copy of the 1964 Tiger annual at my parents, I thought it was a bit scary that I could recognise that from the first page.



11 July 2011 at 05:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Rodrigo Baeza said...

Love seeing these Solano Lopez pages, thanks.

About Lopez's exile: The first Eternauta story didn't have any obvious political content. The 1975 sequel on the other hand did, and I believe Solano Lopez's move to Spain for political reasons (including the ones Berliac mentions) occurred after that.

It seems Solano Lopez also lived in Spain for some years during the 1960's, but I don't think the political climate was to blame for that. (The collapse of Oesterheld's Editorial Frontera seems to be a more reasonable explanation.)

Some of Solano Lopez's work was available in the U.S. market during the 1980's and 1990's: his "Ana" was serialized in PRIME CUTS, he did a "Freaks" adaptatation (written by Jim Woodring) for Fantagraphics, and he also did projects for Eros Comix and Dark Horse.

11 July 2011 at 09:06:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agregando datos al os aportados por Berliac. Francisco Solano Lopez es paraguayo, bisnieto de Francisco Solano López Carrillo, caudillo de la guerra de la Triple Alianza.
En lo que respecta a Oesterheld; durante la ultima dictadura militar en Argentina, no solo desaparecio él sino tambien sus 4 hijas, quienes tambien militaban en el grupo armado "Montoneros"

15 July 2011 at 08:25:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something seems odd in the comic, Tanco was a beloved general by exiled peronists, he co-lead an uprising in 1956 against the military dictatorship that had overthrown Peron the previous year, it is not clear then why the name was chosen to portray a villain by a peronist refugee.

26 August 2011 at 16:59:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

That's British comics for you. Lopez certainly wouldn't have written it, and the name 'Tanco' would have been invented because it rhymes with 'Franco' and also suggests 'tank'. I.e the villain is a big fat solid guy built like a tank. I would be surprised ito find that any more thought than that went into he script.

26 August 2011 at 19:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

I didn't keep the story because it makes sense :)

26 August 2011 at 19:54:00 GMT-5  

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