In this post I don't tell you, I ask you to tell me.
I am fascinated by the iconic Beautiful Female Face drawn by Spanish comic artists. I hope someone out there can tell me where it came from.
I first encountered the Face in the work of cartoonists employed by the Selecciones Ilustradas studio of the late 60s. These young men revolutionized comics with their work both for Spanish publications and for clients in England, France, Germany, and the USA. Among them were Esteban Maroto, Carlos Gimenez, Victor de la Fuente, Jose Ortiz, Jose Gonzales, Luis Bermejo, Rafael Auraleon, Enric Sio, etc. etc. etc. American fans first met many of them in the pages Jim Warren's horror comics, Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella.
Rafael Auraleon, Jose Gonzales, Adolfo Usero, Jose Ortiz
At first I thought the Face was the product of the studio environment. This often happens when many artists work in the same room, especially if they're young and enthusiastic: they pick up bits of each other's style. Perhaps one of the SI men drew the Face and everybody else liked it and copied it. Or maybe an editor (or studio manager, art director, client) liked the Face and insisted everyone draw it.
Jesus Redondo, Homero
Later, though, I ran across the Face drawn by Spanish artists not connected with SI. It seemed that almost every Spanish comic artist with a "modern" (i.e. post-fifties) style used the Face.
I associate the Face with the mid-to-late 1960s. I wish I knew more about Spanish comics from this period. Browsing Joan Navarro's excellent gallery of classic Spanish comic art I discovered artwork from late 1950s-early 1960s romance comics in which the women almost had the Face...with differences in hair style and makeup, of course.
Purita CamposDid the Face originate in Spanish romance comics? Was there a particular artist who created it and inspired an generation of younger cartoonists? Why is the Face particularly Spanish? A few Italian, British, and Mexican cartoonists used it, but they seemed to do so in imitation of the Spaniards.
Frank Langford (UK)
Does anyone know the origin of this classic Spanish beauty?