East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Old comics and DIY censorship

In the past week, what with being forced to stay at home in isolation and all that, I decided to put some order in the growing pile of books, magazines and other papers that are slowly but steadily taking possession of my house.
We have been on a permanent state of warfare with a rat, in the last few weeks, and piled-up paper is not a good thing.

And in this way, while digging on a long-forgotten shelf, I found a few re-issues of old volumes of L’Eternauta, an Italian magazine that in the 1980s published color and black and white comics by Argentine and other Spanish-language artists and the occasional American or French story. It was built along the same lines of Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal, and it was the gateway for many long-standing passions of mine – first of all for artists such as Carlos Trillo or Juan Jimenez, or Vicente Segrelles.

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Other People’s Pulps: Segrelles

When I was a kid, I did not read fantasy.
OK, I did read the Arabian Nights, Alice in Wonderland, and a few books of folk stories and fables, but when it came to novels, I was a science fiction reader since the tender age of ten, with a side interest in mysteries (and I still am, actually, mostly a SF reader).
Fantasy was basically old sword & sandal movies, and little else, to me and my friends.

The very first time I realized there was this genre of fiction featuring warriors and monsters and beautiful, scantly-clad women in strange exotic locales, was when I discovered the works of Spanish painter and comic artist Vicente Segrelles, and his character, The Mercenary.


I was fourteen or thereabouts. The age of discovery.
For me, Segrelles came before Frazetta, and Buscema, and Adams, and Alcala, and Robert E. Howard.
I saw his paintings, and I was hooked for life1. Continue reading