Today is the 70th birthday of José Luis García-López, one of the all time great artists in comics.
Born in Spain, García-López has worked on a number of notable US comics, including Atari Force, Twilight, On the Road to Perdition, Wednesday Comics and many more. All drawn with flawless draughtsmanship, and some of the best character design. There’s an effortlessness to his work that can only be admired, never imitated.
But his greatest contribution to the world of superheroes is his work on the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide, which is still in use today thanks to his perfect renditions of the classic DC characters. It may be the Bronze Age version of these characters, but in García-López’s hands they are timeless icons of grace and heroism. In fact this guide is still used for merchandise – just last year I picked up a sweet Wonder Woman makeup bag adorned by the JLGL version!
You can actually see the whole thing on a Facebook age devoted to Garcia-Lopez.
García-López is a cartoonist’s cartoonist, who reduces strong people to gibbering fans. He’s also one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and totally humble about his work.
In honor of his 70th birthday, here’s a tribute strip all the way from France by Frank Biancarelli, who is a prolific French comics artist, who has drawn many comics in France those last 20 years: Galfalek, Le Livre des Destins, Dunk, Le Circuit Mandelberg, Grand Est. His American work includes one short story published in Savage Sword of Conan 8, written by John Arcudi, in 2014. Lion Forge will translate and publish his issue of Infinity 8, written by Lewis Trondheim & Emmanuel Guibert, in 2019.
Jose Luis García-López has been and still is a major influence for Biancarelli. To celebrate García-López’s 70s birthday, he penned and drew this 2 page mini comics, explaining how a single moment in his life, a simple decision, changed forever the way he would approach comics.
Thanks to Jean-Paul Jennequin, Patrick Marcel & Fershid Bharucha for translating it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.