Geminis by James Zee

Genesis of Geminis

The Australian run of Geminis began mid-1975 in Climax Adventure Comic, before transferring to Super Giant Album for the concluding episodes.11See the Geminis story tracking list....  

Composed of eight episodes of 20 pages each, Geminis is an espionage story set during the first world war, from July 1914.

The series' title character Phil Jackson assists British Intelligence as anonymously as "Geminis", while being pursued by them for treason. He moves across the theatre of World War I, facing an array of archetypal villians, including German, British and Soviet soldiers and spies.

Geminis was created in 1973 at the suggestion of Selecciones Ilustradas director, Josep Toutain, specifically for international syndication and with an eye to the European market.22From an interview dated December 2008-January 2009 at www.tebeosfera.com....  

All scripts are by Carlos Echevarría33There is little information published about Carlos Echevarría (possibly Carlos Echevarría Alonso), who worked with some of Spain's most famous...   with art by Alfonso Font (b.1946).44Alfonso Font Carrera was born in Barcelona, Spain, 28 August 1946. In the 1960s, Font was published in Europe (especially...   Font's art at this time reflects the work of Alberto Breccia (1919-1993), regarded as a master of black and white comic art.55Born in Uruquay in 1919, Alberto Breccia moved to Argentina at the age of three. In 1960, via the Bardon...  

The KG Murray Publishing Company began printing this series soon after its creation, so it's possible Australians were among the first in the world to read the series.66At the time of writing, all identified international printings date from after the Australian printing. See the Geminis story...   Around the time Geminis was first published in Spain, Font observed: "I am...a professional of thirteen years experience, yet only three or less for this country [Spain]... One begins to doubt by now if he is born here in Spain or in the Antipodes. To be published in a lot of different countries is flattering, but to not be published in your own country is frustrating."77From Totem 5 (Editorial Nueva Frontera, Madrid) 1977. The quote is from a letter titled "Our new comic artists" (p.4)...  

It seems that Toutain brought Font and Echevarría together specifically for this project, as the partnership did not emerge spontaneously out of the "social club" environment that prevailed at Selecciones Ilustradas. Asked about working with Echevarría, Font commented, "We did not have a significant relationship. The few times we spoke, when we met at Selecciones, our meetings were cordial, but limited to professional contact."88From an interview dated 29 November 2007 at www.zonanegativa.com....  

This was the creators' only joint work and their careers subsequently moved in different directions.

Echevarría became a prolific but largely anoymous scripter for many SI projects, and remains unrecognised despite a considerable body of work. In Font's case, Geminis provided a turning point in his career as he began to take the creative risks needed to become one of Spain's most accomplished comics' artists.

References

  • 1See the Geminis story tracking list.
  • 2From an interview dated December 2008-January 2009 at www.tebeosfera.com.
  • 3There is little information published about Carlos Echevarría (possibly Carlos Echevarría Alonso), who worked with some of Spain's most famous comic artists between 1971 to 1986—including José Ortiz, Luis Bermejo, Auraleon and Suso Rego. His earliest known script was for Ibero mundial de ediciones, but he mainly worked with Selecciones Ilustradas in the 1970s producing photo-novels and comic series for international markets. In the 1980s he worked with Norma Editorial, Editorial Bruguera and other publishers.
  • 4Alfonso Font Carrera was born in Barcelona, Spain, 28 August 1946. In the 1960s, Font was published in Europe (especially the UK Fleetway) and the US (Warren and Skywald) through his agency work with Toray, Selecciones Ilustradas and Bardon Art. He moved to Paris in 1975 and back to Spain in 1978, where he joined the team of the magazine La Calle, working with Victor Mora, Carlos Giménez and Adolfo Usero. From the mid-1990s, he has worked mainly in France and Italy, including for the iconic Italian western, Tex. In 1993 he was awarded the grand prize of the Saló del Còmic de Barcelona.
  • 5Born in Uruquay in 1919, Alberto Breccia moved to Argentina at the age of three. In 1960, via the Bardon Art agency, he worked for European publishers. His most famous series, Mort Cinder, was created in 1962 with Héctor Germán Oesterheld (1919-1977). Oesterheld's comic biography of Che Guevara, with art by Alberto and Enrique Breccia, is considered a primary reason for Oesterheld's forced disappearance and presumed murder under the Argentinian military junta. For further information on Breccia, see lambiek.net and www.dandare.info.
  • 6At the time of writing, all identified international printings date from after the Australian printing. See the Geminis story list.
  • 7From Totem 5 (Editorial Nueva Frontera, Madrid) 1977. The quote is from a letter titled "Our new comic artists" (p.4) providing Font an opportunity to introduce himself and his two four page stories in the issue, "Los protectores" and "Deficiencia ficcion". (This series of short stories was later collected in the album Mano a mano.) Ironically, it appears Totem did not continue printing Font's work. In his letter, Font refers to currently working in France and being published in Italy. While he uses the word "antípodas", rather than specifically meaning Australia and New Zealand, it could metaphorically refer to someone very foreign. (see es.wikipedia.org.
  • 8From an interview dated 29 November 2007 at www.zonanegativa.com.