Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Play of Lights

This week we feature the work of José Antonio Muñoz or simply Muñoz

According to "Wakipedia", Muñoz is "an Argentine artist"… "most notable for his influential black-and-white artwork. His hardboiled graphic novels series Alack Sinner (with writer Carlos Sampayo) is a noted source for Frank Miller's Sin City."

"His style is characterised by a sharp line, heavy chiaroscuro, and exaggerated, sometimes grotesque, faces and figures. His work has had a strong influence on Argentine Alberto Breccia, his teacher. Also British artists Dave McKean and Warren Pleece"

Something that "Wakipedia" does not mention is Muñoz actually did work for Fleetway publications here in the UK working on strips mostly credited to (Francisco Solano) López

Muñoz worked for Fleetway editors Jack Le Grand (1920-1986: Buster, Valiant, Hurricane, Giggle, Jet) and Sidney Bicknell (1922-1991: Valiant, Vulcan). Munoz worked on four strips for the Lion comic: Stitch in Time, Lost in Limbo Land, The Treasure-Hunt Twins and Sark the Sleeper

But Muñoz is probably much better known and defintely more celebrated in France

The Page of Muñoz I have chosen  to attempt to redraw by hand is from The Play of Lights or Jeu de lumières which is available via Amazon France in French for those who like the look of it

The page is of course Copyright Albin Michel, Muñoz José, Sampayo Carlos - 1988

We start on a dark highway - overhead the small street lights can be seen dotting the curve of the highway

As the headlights of a car play around the darkness depicting incredible speed flashing and bouncing off the dark until a destination is reached

These play as deliberately stylistic statements of cinema or the idea of moving pictures (this is the dance of light in question) the flicker of light onto a screen

"To get an image as pure as this is something else"

But the man in the last panel is asked in response to this statement to "tell me what you think really"

He (roughly) says he was born in italy but is french - while italy is in his soul

Whatever you take away from that you certainly can not deny the powerful fluidity of styles used and the totally free and unrestrained used of sheer abstract yet heartfelt poetry displayed within

Thanks to Ed Hilyer for suggesting I attempt a Muñoz - Ed this drawing is yours! Just get in touch

Next week - Hugo Pratt and the announcement of what is next for Images Degrading forever - Please cast a vote you have 7 days left! - For more details see the last few blog posts - Thank you

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