Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Angel Nadal

Spanish artist Angel Nadal was one of a group of artists discovered in Spain when Ron Clark, Barry Coker and Keith Davies went in search of new humour artists for planned launches by the new Fleetway Publications. In Spain, they discovered the Bruguera School of artists and introduced a host of them to the pages of Film Fun, Knockout and the newly launched Buster.

One of the leading artists thus discovered was Angel Nadal. Born Ángel Nadal Quirch in Barcelona in 1930, Nadal began his career in 1944 as an assistant to Antonio Ayné and Emilio Boix. He began working for Editorial Valenciana's Jaimito where, in 1948, he credited the strip "Sindulfo Sacarina". That same year he also began working for Bruguera.

Editorial Bruguera were established as Black Cat Publishing by Juan Bruguera in 1910 but was renamed by Bruguera's son in 1939. Black Cat launched the weekly comic Pulgarcito [Tom Thumb] in 1921 but its popularity grew after 1947 and Bruguera expanded with more humour titles such as Din Dan and El DDT.

Nadal began working on strips for the magazine Pulgarcito, his creations including "Casildo Calasparra" (1948), "Sandalio Pergamín" (1948), "Don Folio" (1951), "Don Cloroformo" (1951) and "Pascual, criado leal" (1953). Nadal's style of artwork mixed realism with caricature and he became known for his ability to draw attractive women in such strips as "Rosita, la vampiresa" (1951) and "Las mujeres de Nadal" (1954). Nadal also drew historietas costumbristas – stories of daily life – including "Matildita y Anacleto, un matrimonio completo" (El DDT, 1954) and "Maripili y Gustavito, todavía sin pisito" (Sissi, 1958).

In 1957, some of Bruguera's contributors – amongst them José Escobar, José Peñarroya, Carlos Conti, Guillermo Cifré and Eugenio Giner – were unhappy with their lot and set up the group DER (Dibujantes Españoles Reunidos [Spanish Designers Reunited]) who created Tio Vivo, a Spanish adult humour magazine along the lines of the Argentinean comic Rico Tipo. Nadal's contributions included "Tip y Top y su pandilla" and "Marilin, chica moderna" (1959), which were immediately dropped when the paper was taken over by Bruguera in 1961.

The struggling paper was also home to the work of Gin (Jordi Ginés) and Raf (Joan Rafart), who, along with another Bruguera regular Martz Schmidt (Gustavo Martínez) and Nadal, were to become regulars in British comics, represented by Bardon Art.

Nadal's first work in the UK was the gag strip "Laugh in a Line" for Film Fun, but he soon became a regular in Buster and Knockout. Although a prolific contributor to the early issues of the former, his earliest success was with "Blarney Bluffer" in Knockout (1960-63). In 1962, Nadal took over the front cover artwork on Buster when he began drawing "Buster's Diary" (later "Buster's Dreamworld"), which he continued to draw until 1974. At the same time he also drew the popular "The Nutts" for Valiant (1962-76). His later work in the UK included "Minnie's Mixer" (Whizzer & Chips, 1969-73) and "Penny Pincher" (Buster, 1973-74).

In the 1970s, Nadal also began contributing stories featuring Goofy and Mickey Mouse to the Danish Disney publications published by Gutenburghus. He also drew episodes of Donald Duck in the 1980s. For the German market, he drew "Viva la Revolution" in Primo and "San Tomato" in Zack. Other German strips include "Bussi Bär" and "Fridolin" for Kauka Verlag.

Nadal's studio was based in Cadaques, where Salvador Dali was a near neighbour.

Examples of Angel Nadal's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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