Working name of Spanish Comics artist José Ortiz Moya (1932- ), whose energetic drawing style and prodigious output have made him one of the foremost talents in the field. His work has great vitality and he draws with precision in a deceptively informal fine pen line, freely augmented with a brush. He is an expert in creating dramatic atmospheres with a wide variety of textures and patterns, subtly tuned to the mood of each story he draws. These have included war stories, Westerns, children's Fairytales, the goriest of horror pieces, humorous sf and historical and fantasy subjects, all of which he has tackled with consummate skill. He is said to be one of the fastest draughtsmen in the business.
JO's first work, at age 16, was for the Spanish comics publisher Maga. His early strips included Balin, Pantera Nera ["Black Panther"] and Sigur el Vichingo ["Sigur the Viking"]. In the early 1960s he worked for UK publishers through the agency Bardon Press Features, producing artwork for Fleetway's digest-size WWII comic books and for an sf series in colour for Eagle entitled UFO Agent. He also drew the newspaper strip Carol Baker for the Daily Mirror plus several stories for the teenage romance title Valentine and the children's fairytale magazine Once Upon a Time.
He created a kung fu action series entitled Tse Khan (1971-1972) for the Spanish agency Selecciones Illustradas, El Niño Salvaje ["The Little Savage"] (1973), and embarked on a long series of true-story Westerns: Los Grandes Mitos del Oest ["Great Legends of the West"] (1973-1974). He began working for Warren Publishing in 1974, drawing adaptations of stories by Edgar Allan Poe and creating several long-running horror, sf and fantasy series including the very gory Jackass (Eerie 1974-1975), the samurai fantasy Skallywag (Eerie 1976-1977), Moonshadow (Eerie 1978) and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Eerie 1975). Meanwhile he created Hombre ["Man"], a gritty post-holocaust series in colour for Norma Editorial, and drew several stories featuring Tarzan. He returned to the UK Eagle comic with the medieval sf saga The Tower King (1982) plus The House of Daemon (1982-1983), The Fifth Horseman (1983-1984) and several more.
The Spanish comics market was revitalized in the 1980s with the creation of fantasy comics like Cimoc, Totem and Zona 84, for which JO created the hard-boiled cop story Morgan (1985; trans in Aces 1988 UK), Jack the Ripper (1989) and Burton and Cyb (1991), a humorous sf series. He produced two colour albums in the series published to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of America, Relatos del Nuevo Mundo ["Stories of the New World"] (1992).
JO currently (1996) works mainly for the Italian publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore, for which he draws the westerns Tex and Ken Parker. [RT]
José Ortiz Moya