Francisco Hidalgo, Franco-Spanish artist and photographer, died in Paris on 25 July at the age of 80.
Born Francisco Hidalgo Bartau in Jaén, Andalusia, on 17 May 1929, Hidalgo studied at the schools of fine arts in Madrid and Barcelona before finishing his education in Paris. He was a youthful fan of comics, publishing his first, La Secta de Tong Khan (Marco, 1943), at the age of 14. Other early strips included "Ted Grangton" (Mundo Infantil, 1945) and "John Harrington" (El Gran Chicos, 1947), "Dick Sanders" (El Champeón), "El Lobo" (Victoria) and "Skilled" (El Coyote) (all 1948). He also participated in the animated film Garbancito de la Mancha (1945), directed by Arturo Moreno.
Hidalgo became the main artist of "Doctor Niebla" [Doctor Fog] which first appeared in El Campeon from issue 17 (1948). The character, based on the crime novels of Rafael González and scripted initially by Silver Kane (Francisco González Ledesma) and later by Victor Mora, appeared irregularly in various publications, Super Pulgarcito, Pulgarcito Almanaque (1953) and Suplemento de historietas de el DDT, the last appearing in 1959. He continued to create and draw other characters, including "Bing Fisher" (Historietas, 1949) "Dick Tobor" (Alcotán, 1951; El Coyote, 1952), 3 issues of El Inspector Dan (Bruguera, 1951), private eye "Ángel Audaz" (El Coyote, 1953), Al Dany (Cliper, 1953) and "Marga, la hechicera" (El Coyote, 1954).
In 1954, he moved to France, although continued to contribute to Spanish comic Bisonte Gráfico (Dan). His early work in France appeared in Spirou and Pierrot and Coers Vaillant. At the same time, he worked via A.L.I. for the British comic Comet, drawing 3 episodes of "Buffalo Bill" in 1955 alongside other Spanish imports Jesus Blasco, Eugenio Giner and Romeu.
In France he was best known as Yves Roy, under which name he took over the long-running "Bob Mallard" strip for Vaillant, where he also created the strip "Teddy Ted". His work appeared in numerous French comics, including Tintin, Lisette, Bayard, Pilote, Chouchou and Record.
In 1963, Hidalgo began photographing some of the world's great cities and, by the end of the 1960s, had left the comics' field to concentrate on photography. He worked for several agencies, producing images for Gamma, Image Bank and Getty Images as well as producing books of photographs of Paris, New York, London, Venice and Peru. His work was exhibited in Paris, Madrid, New York, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Amongst the awards he received were the Obélisque d'or au salon mondial Photokina at Cologne in 1974 and the Lauréat du prix du meilleur livre photo at the festival of Arles in 1976.
Paris, text by Geneviève Pons. Paris, AGEP, 1976.
La Défense. Marseille, AGEP, 1979.
Venise, préface by Luc Senanque. Marseille, AGEP, 1980.
London. London & New York, Proteus, 1981.
New York. London, Proteus, 1981.
Oro del Perú, text by Aurelio Miró Quesada Soso. Lima, Banco de Lima, 1981; Boulogne, Éditions Delroisse, 1981.
Valparaiso, text by Jaime Valdés. Boulogne, Éditions Delroisse, 1981.
San Agustín, text Luis Duque Gómez. Boulogne-Billancourt, Éditions Delroisse, 1982.
St. Maarten. Boulogne-Billancourt, Éditions Delroisse, 1984.
Propos d'opéra. Images de la Bastille, with others. Paris, Establissement Public de l'Opéra de la Bastille, 1989.