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Monday, October 15, 2007

Juan Espacio

Here are a few more covers for Juan Espacio, based, I suspect, mostly on illustrations from Ron Turner episodes of Rick Random. Some of the images look awfully familiar.

But it wasn't just Macabich redrawing covers: here's another one by an artist who signs himself Jorge Fondoliso(?) from the same series.

Juan Espacio seems to have been a regular character, although I'm not certain to any degree how many stories he featured in or whether he was part of an anthology series (Aventuras Ilustradas Ferma) that also included other characters (much the same as in the UK originals).

I do know that some British series were syndicated into Spain by Bardon Art as I was told this by Barry Coker a couple of years ago. He also mentioned that there was some difficulties because of trade restrictions. I've speculated that there may have been some technical difficulty with the printing process that might have forced Macabich to create new colour covers; however, there may equally have been a political dimension which resulted in Spanish pocket library artwork being imported from Spain for reprinting in the UK (by Pearson/Newnes) and British artwork being exported to Spain in payment. Weirder things have happened.

Juan Espacio
Published by Ediciones Ferma, c.1958
07 Juan Espacio y El Misterio de los Sabios de Sparecidos
12 Sabotaje en el Espacio [see cover above]
17 Mision Peligrosa
21 Juan Espacio y Los Piratas del Espacio
28 El Misterio del Mundo Glacial
33 Juan Espacio y El Planeta del Terror
40 Juan Espacio y el Misterio del Mundo Robot

(* Images found around the net -- the best of the above were found at the blog of Juan Navarro.)

The copying of covers wasn't limited to Super Detective Library. This little thread started when Jose Manuel Ruiz dropped me a line asking about a couple of covers he'd spotted on Spanish comics which reprinted Battler Britton covers from Thriller Picture Library. Tommy Batalla translates as "Battler Tommy" or possibly "Battling Tommy"... Tommy being a slang term for British soldier popular in the First World War (see Wikipedia for various explanations of its origins).

Tommy Batalla also appeared in another Ferma series, Hombres Valientes which also included reprints of Dick Daring from Thriller.

(* Thanks to Jose for the scans.)

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