Wednesday, March 25, 2009

93. José Casanovas Sr., 1934-2009

Thrillpowered Thursday is a weekly look at the world of 2000 AD. I'm rereading my collection of 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine, one issue an evening, and once each week for the foreseeable future, I'll see what I'm inspired to write.

This week, we have an unfortunate departure from the regular Thrillpowered format, because the House of Tharg lost one of its earliest model droids over the weekend. Steve Holland, of the essential Bear Alley blog, broke the sad news that Spanish artist José Casanovas Senior passed away on March 14 at the age of 75. Born in Barcelona in 1934, he'd been working in Spanish comics since 1957, and found work for IPC in England starting in the mid-1970s. He most often worked in conjunction with his son, José Jr., who inked his father's work, and the duo were credited, once IPC began permitting creator credits, as "José Casanovas + Jr." Some of the English series they worked on include Dora Dogsbody for Jinty in 1974, Star Rider for Tiger, and later Eagle after their merger, in the mid-1980s, and the adventures of Mikal Kayn in various editions of Starblazer.

For the 2000 AD family of titles, Casanovas never had a signature series, but he was probably best known for his episodes of Judge Dredd's informer Max Normal which appeared in the early Dredd annuals. He also contributed one-offs to 2000 AD's sister title Starlord, including the wonderfully grisly "Good Morning, Sheldon, I Love You!" and a number of Tharg's Future Shocks in the mid-1980s. From 1991-93, he illustrated three stories of the retooled Robo-Hunter scripted by Mark Millar, and also returned for a one-off Dredd episode written by Garth Ennis.

Bear Alley notes that much of Casanovas's work was for a number of smaller European publishers in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, and I think a complete bibliography would be a real chore to compile, particularly as much of it was done in the days before creator credits became common. His last identified work was for a German comic, Geisterjäger John Sinclair, in 2005-06. Here are some examples of some of his work.

"Good Morning, Sheldon, I Love You!," Starlord # 11, 1978

"A Second Chance!," 2000 AD prog 245, 1982

Judge Dredd: "The Game Show Show," 2000 AD prog 278, 1982

"Extra! Extra!," 2000 AD prog 407, 1985

Star Rider, Eagle # 211, 1986

Robo-Hunter: "Serial Stunners," 2000 AD prog 820, 1993

The Casanovas, featured in 2000 AD prog 729, 1991

Goodbye, José.

Next time, we'll resume the reread with details on Necronauts and Bad
, and look at the new collection of the classic future war strip The VCs. See you in seven, fellow Earthlets.

1 comment:

Tohoscope said...

I seem to remember a Dredd and Mean Machine team up with Casanovas art. Casanovas was one of the better Dredd Art Bots. He'll be remembered.