RIP: Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez

Horror artist Jose Gonzalez has passed away, according to Harris Comics:

It is with great sadness that Harris Comics has learned of the passing of Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez. He was 70 years old.

Gonzalez is best known for his work on Vampirella. Starting with Vampirella #12 in 1971 and together with Archie Goodwin, Gonzalez created horror classics that have stood the test of time as some of the finest examples of the comics medium. His work was thrilling, sensuous and beautiful. He brought the character to life, elevated her to an icon and, most deservedly, won over a legion of fans who have never forgotten him. To this day, many would say his was the definitive rendition of the character.

He was one of the greatest artists comics has ever seen. He will never be replaced and he will be sorely missed.

Joe Jusko had this to say: “I can honestly say that my life long affinity for Vampirella was born due to the discovery of Jose Gonzalez’ breathtaking work. From the splash page of Vampirella #21 through the very last panel, my 12 year old eyes had never seen a woman drawn in comics as Gonzalez drew them; beautiful, mysterious, sexy (but never slutty). I have forever tried to capture the glamour and sensuality that he brought to the character, but as all who have tried since have always come up tragically short. There will always be only one definitive Vampi artist in most readers’ eyes and he will always be the great Jose ‘Pepe’ Gonzalez.”


  1. says

    What a talent. Never a big Vampi fan – but always found those covers so incredibly sexy – — and technically strong too.
    But that “Archive Goodwin” is a funny typo.

  2. says

    What a talent. Never a big Vampi fan – but always found those covers so incredibly sexy – — and technically strong too.
    But that “Archive Goodwin” is a funny typo.

  3. Phil Hester says

    A shame. I was a big Vampirella fan at age twelve, just like Joe, but when the fog of puberty cleared I realized I was really more a fan of Jose Gonzalez and Gonzalo Mayo.

  4. michael says

    I think I remember some of his vampi art, and that pic nicely exemplifies what Joe J. is praising him for.

    R.I.P. Jose

  5. Al says

    He did amazing work. I was always impressed as a teen with how he could render Vampi with paint and make her look so real but illustrated.

  6. says

    A true genius who offered a totally different, much more illustrative take on illustrating comics in the early 70’s. As a kid I learned to draw male figures from John Buscema , but I learned to draw women from Jose Gonzalez.

  7. Just A Man says

    This artist will be sadly missed. His work was great. Had a knack for color, proportion, and design.

  8. says

    Very sorry to hear this. Gonzalez version of Vampirella was THE iconic representation of the character. I still have my six-foot tall Vampi poster that I bought from the back of one of the Warren mags when I was a kid.

  9. Shawna Gore says

    Jose was one of the very best painters ever to work in comics. He understood not only the fleshy, delicious parts of rendering real-seeming characters, he also just knocked it out of the park in terms of composition, color balance, and all that lovely technical stuff. He will be remembered and missed!

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