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, March 7, 2012

Leopoldo Ortiz

Leopoldo Ortiz was the older brother of the more famous — at least in the UK — artist Jose Ortiz. Born Leopoldo Ortiz Moya in Cartagena, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, on 11 September 1930, like his brother, with whom he worked closely, Leopoldo was educated at the Escuela Valenciana.

His first big success was the historical swashbuckler El Principe Pablo [Prince Paul], set in the mythical country of Chon-Chon, ruled by a once powerful king whose life had been blighted by the loss of his wife and young son. Unknown to the king, or the powerful enemies he has, his son Paul is still alive, believing himself the son of a merchant and it is only as her wedding approaches that Paul's sister, Rosalia, learns that she has a brother. The series ran to 25 issues from 1953 and was followed in 1954 by Terciopelo Negro [Black Velvet], in which another prince, Marco Scipio, dons a black mask as he tries to restore his father's fortunes, battling the Doge of Venice who has seized power.

Leopoldo's early comics, published by Editorial Maga, had covers by Jose, and their working relationship also led Leopoldo to write 47 issues of Dan Barry, el Terremoto [Dan Barry, Earthquake], drawn by Jose (with one episode by Miguel Quesada); at the same time, he wrote and drew Carlos de Alcátena and El Caballero de la Rosa [The Cavalier of the Rose] for Maga. Leopoldo subsequently drew a number of other series for the same publisher, including Jungla, Audaces Legionarios-El Capitán Rey [Bold Legionnaires - Captain King], and two series of Bengala (a Tarzan-like character from the jungles of India), often working with scriptwriter Pedro Quesada.

Leopoldo Ortiz was one of the earliest contributors to the famous Commando pocket library published by D. C. Thomson in 1961, but his main output for the UK was for rivals Air Ace Picture Library and War Picture Library, drawing over two dozen issues between 1961 and 1969. This was still something of a sideline to his work in Spain, which included Espia, El Libertador, El Gran Cazador, "Flecha Roja" (in Pantera Negra) and "Policía en acción" (in Españolin) during the 1960s.

Leopoldo Ortiz continued to work into the 1980s, his later strips including "The Secret Files of the Luftwaffe" for Warlord, "Shi-Kai" in the Spanish magazine Kung-Fu and Metropol. He subsequently retired from drawing comics.

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

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