Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Fernandez, Fernando

(1940-    ) Self-taught Catalan artist and writer whose art has appeared as book covers and illustrations and whose fantasy and sf Comic strips have received worldwide acclaim. His writing includes comics criticism as well as comic strips and educational books. FF often uses several art styles in successive frames on the same page of comic strip.

He had several menial jobs before being taken on as an art assistant for Sparky: The Phantom Horseman's Son in 1955. He then began to produce strips, and gained professional experience inking artwork for the studio/agency Selecciones Illustradas (SI), then beginning to provide artwork for the UK comics market. By 1957, FF was doing strips for UK romance titles like Romeo and Valentine.

In 1958 his family migrated to Argentina. Here he met Hugo Pratt (1927-1995), Arturo del Castillo (1925-1992) and Alberto Breccia. He came back to Spain the following year and continued producing strips for the UK market including some war stories for Fleetway, and then in 1965, along with a few colleagues at SI (including José Maria Miralles, Felix Mas and Lopez Espi), he gave up comics to produce painted covers for books and magazines. But by 1970 he returned to comics, with a satirical humour strip, Flies (1970-1972), and began work on a long series of short pieces with a fantasy or sf bias which were published very widely in many languages, including English (by Warren Publishing).

In 1975-1977 FF wrote and illustrated four educational books for the publisher Afha in the series Ciencia y Aventura ["Science and Adventure"]. These took the form of comic-strip adventures featuring a group of pioneering cosmonauts embarking on voyages of discovery: FF's titles were Conocimientos del Cuerpo Humano ["Facts about the Human Body"], Viaje al Mundo Secreto de los Insectos ["Journey into the Secret World of Insects"] – awarded the Premio Nacional for Best Illustrated Book in 1977 – Viaje a la Preistoria ["Voyage into Prehistory"] and Viaje a las Estrellas ["Journey to the Stars"]. FF then embarked on the impressive L'Uomo di Cuba ["The Man of Cuba"] (graph 1979), one of Cepim's Un Uomo Un'Avventura ["A Man, An Adventure"] series of comic-strip books which presented stories about individuals caught up in the great events of history.

FF's masterpiece, the Graphic Novel Zora y los Hibernautas (1980; trans as Zora and the Hibernauts in Heavy Metal 1982-1983; graph 1984) was published in the Spanish magazine 1984. This luxuriantly coloured Science Fantasy was followed by the richly painted Dracula (1984; trans graph 1984), based on Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897).

FF has continued to write for the Spanish comics magazine Cimoc and to produce impressively drawn comic strips in collaboration with his wife, Rosa Lleida. [RT]

Fernando Fernandez

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.