The Vroom by James Zee
Artistic Output of José Duarte
José Duarte's earliest confirmed artwork is for the Spanish comic El Capitan Trueno Extra, published by Editorial Brugeria in 1962, although it is possible he did westerns for Spanish publishing house Toray earlier.
El Capitan Trueno ("Captain Thunder"), is Spain's most popular heroic comic character, a wandering knight fighting to liberate the oppressed during the Middle Ages. Created in 1956 by Victor Mora (Sunday) under the pseudonym Victor Alcazarin, El Capitan Trueno left an indelible mark on the collective imagination of Spaniards across five decades of publication.
Around 26 weekly episodes of Brugeria's El Capitan Trueno Extra were intermittantly completed by Duarte between 1962 and 1964.11According to various assessments, probably issues 103-105, 116-118, 133-135, 141-143, 148-150, 158-160, 163-165, and 228-230. See www.tebeosfera.com and
Throughout most of the 1960s, Duarte appears to have worked for Toray. Early work has been reported in Hazañas Del Oeste (1959-1971), with further western series in Sioux (1964-1971) and jungle/adventure stories in Leopardo (1971-1972). This later series included covers by artists associated with SI, including López Espí and Carlos Prunés.33By 1959/1960, Selecciones Ilustradas artists (Fernando Fernandez, Auraleon, Brocal Remohi, Lopez Espí) were providing artwork for Toray's seminal 1950 western...
Duarte also had western stories published in 1974 and 1975 in the anthology series, Apache (Ediciones Anceo/Alberto Serrano Méndez, Spain). While these may be new stories, they carry a Toray copyright and seem likely to be reprints of earlier work. At least eight stories by Duarte appear in the Apache series44At least some of the stories are copyrighted by "Ediciones Toray" suggesting that they are reprints or at least commissioned... and the art is stylistically similar to his work on The Vroom.
The most well known Duarte work is his "classics illustrated" style stories in Editorial Bruguera's series "Joyas Literarias Juveniles". This includes four stories:
Issue 33: Jules Verne's La estrella del Sur (1971), adapted by Cassarel with a cover by Antonio Bernal Romero.
Issue 65: Jules Verne's La esfinge de los hielos (1973), adapted by Cassarel with a cover by Antonio Bernal Romero.
Issue 77: Alexander Dumas' Aventuras de John Davys (1973), adapted by Alberto Cuevas Hotelano with a cover by Antonio Bernal Romero.
Issue 83: Emilio Salgari's El higo del Sol (1973), adapted by Andrés Martín Farrero with a cover by Antonio Bernal Romero.
Awareness of Duarte's work on this series has been boosted by numerous subsequent printings, including new editions in the 1990s that explicitly credit him, Colección Grandes Aventuras (El Periodico, Spain). Duarte's work with Victor Mora on El Capitan Trueno was also reprinted in new editions in 1989 (Ediciones B, S.A.). Work by Duarte is also reported in the 1988 revamp of the western title Hazañas Del Oeste (G4 Ediciones, Spain).
Based on The Vroom's earliest publication dates, Duarte's work on it appears to have been done around 1973/74. This is his only known Selecciones Ilustradas work and it is possible that he became involved with the Agency at this time through his contact with Victor Mora. Duarte worked with Mora on El Capitan Trueno, they both adapted stories for "Joyas Literarias Juveniles",5512, El último mohicano (1970); 21, Viaje al centro de la tierra (1971); 28, Aventuras de 3 rusos y 3... and Mora also worked at SI in the early 1970s on the series Sunday and Dick Turpin.