Johnny Galaxy and the Space Patrol by James Zee
Beá's development as an artist
Beá's early scripts and artwork on Johnny Galaxia are naïve and crude, but with energy and potential.
Beá observed about his work on Galaxia, "The story content does not exceed the intellectual level of an amoeba, but that was what was read in those days."11See Slow Studio.... Still, the series shows the gift for storytelling that, fuelled by his fertile imagination, later matured into his distinctive style.
In 1962,22Some internet sources suggest 1967, but the dating at lambiek.net seems to match Beá artistic output.... Beá travelled to Paris to study at the School of Fine Arts and the Academie Julian, his youthful enthusiasm burned out from churning our repetitive stories for the foreign market under the constant discipline of strict deadlines.33See www.tebeosfera.com....
That sabbatical was a turning point for his career, initiating the darker tone and surrealist style of his later work. Back in Spain, he founded own studios and returned to comics. He provided some conventional work for UK comics, with his new style gaining prominance in projects such as Sir Leo for Dracula44For more on this fertile period in Spanish comics, including reflections by Beá, see the AusReprints article on Geminis.... and his collaboration with US Warren, via Selecciones Ilustradas. From 1971 he became one of the most prolific SI artists at Warren, producing 30-odd strips in his new style:
"...A mixture of darkly realistic figures with bizarre, often cartoonlike creatures, rendered in a mixture of textures, collages, and cross hatching... While he could clearly draw representationally when he wanted to, he was obviously disinterested in heroic ideals; there's a graceless, awkward feel to his figures and their faces often seem fixed in cadaverous scowls. His strips, most of which he wrote himself, were populated by a succession of grotesqueries that seemed to inhabit a world that was part-70s chic, part-Brothers Grimm 'Mittel European', and wholly unsettling."55Page 260, David A. Roach & Jon B. Cooke (Eds), The Warren Companion (Twomorrows Publishing, US: 2001)...
Some of Beá's work during his Warren period appeared in Australia through KG Murray's Creepy and Eerie reprint editions.
After Beá moved on from Warren in 1976, he produced Tales of the Galactic Inn (Historias de Taberna Galáctica), which was published in English in Heavy Metal Magazine (1981-1985). In 1979, Beá had been sentenced in Spain for "public scandal" due to a mildly erotic story. He was banned from future publication in Spain and Heavy Metal publicised his plight, including publishing these stories.66See Spain vs. Bea: Censorship Is the Reality from Heavy Metal Magazine Vol. 5 No. 7, October 1981. See...
After the ban had been lifted, Beá co-founded Rambla in 1982 and became its publisher with Luis García (b. 1946) in 1983. He later launched publishing house Intermagen. As a publisher, he reprinted highlights of his own work, including a modified version of Peter Hypnos.
Seven of Beá's Peter Hypnos stories were published by Australia's Gredown in The Monster Factory, including at least one story previously published by KG Murray. However, the Gredown version derives from a Spanish source and includes stories that had not previously been published.77See es.wikipedia.org. Two of these stories may have never been published elsewhere.... Only three Peter Hypnos stories were printed by Warren in 1976, with similar Spanish printings by Garbo in 1975/76. When Beá established Rambla, further stories were published and an Intermagen collection in 1985 included five of the Gredown stories.88See www.tebeosfera.com and 20th Century Danny Boy....
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