Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another Hugo Pratt Li... Er... Mystification or Ernie Pike - Coda # 6

It's a dead horse at The Crib by now, I know, and I should shut up and be done with it already. But... sigh!... I can't avoid the topic because I keep stumbling across how a scumbag Hugo Pratt was. This as nothing to do with his greatness as an artist, don't get me wrong.

This time though there's an interesting look behind the scene at Pratt's great visual thinking (and that, to me, is the true greatness of a visual artist, not her or his tech mastery).

That said, let's go...


Hugo Pratt, Hugo Pratt 50, Visualprint, 1980.

The above drawing was published in a book by Gianni Berti showing Hugo Pratt's work from the 1950s. As a comment Berti wrote (undoubtedly misinformed by Pratt; my translation):
The drawing below was an idea for the cover of a war book (Ernie Pike). It was refused because it was considered to be too violent at the time.
If that's the case may I ask what's that below?


Hugo Pratt, Hora Cero Extra! # 10, June 1959.

The original art.




Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ernie Pike: Coda # 5

The next time you say that "Ernie Pike" is a series by Hugo Pratt, please think twice! Don't follow Thierry Taittinger's example in Beaux Arts magazine hors série (Les secrets des chefs-d'oeuvre de la BD, December 2014) who wrote (3) that, and I quote: "La ballade de la mer salée est le premier roman graphique de l'Histoire." Really monsieur Taittinger? La ballade de la mer salée isn't even the first graphic novel in Italy (please scroll down the unbeliavably large header).

But now, since I know that you want it, here's the great man's original version:


Hugo Pratt (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: La patrulla" [the patrol], Hora Cero Extra! # 7, March 1959.

The same drawing as it was published in Italy (the washes turned an ugly thick black; also, Ernie Pike is a bit fatter):


Hugo Pratt (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w - uncredited), Ernie Pike, Arnaldo Mondadori, 1976.

Ernie Pike - Coda # 4


Leandro Sesarego (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Suplemento Semanal # 102, August 5, 1959.


Francisco Solano López (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Del cuaderno rojo de Ernie Pike: "Comanche"" [from Ernie Pike's red notebook: "Comanche"], Frontera # 23, February 1959.


Rubén Sosa (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: ¿Sabría morir?" [would he know how to die?], Hora Cero # 49, March 1961.


Carlos Varau (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: U-29," Hora Cero # 17, September 1958.


Osvaldo Viola (as Oswal - a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Justicia" [justice],  Hora Cero # 20, December 1958.


Eugenio Zoppi (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Ley de guerra" [war's law], Hora Cero Extra! # 75, March 1963.

I didn't post an Ernie Pike drawing by Leo Durañona back in the first coda, so, here's one:


Leo Durañona (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Los apuntes de Ernie Pike" [Ernie Pike's notebook], Ernie Pike Colección Batallas Inolvidables # 1, September 1960.

Note: In two of Rodolfo Zalla's Ernie Pike stories the host doesn't appear, but there's a third one that I've never seen. Ditto Juan Zanotto's story. Carlos Tavano drew an Ernie Pike story, but the host doesn't appear. 

Ernie Pike - Coda # 3


Martínez (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Suplemento Semanal # 110, October 7, 1959.


Julio César Medrano (a), Jorge Oesterheld (as Jorge Mora - w), "Ernie Pike: Miedo" [fear], Frontera Extra # 32, June 1961.


Eugenio Merel (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Caballero del aire" [an air gentleman], Hora Cero # 49, May 1961.


Jorge Moliterni (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Hermanos de sangre" [blood brothers], Hora Cero # 15, July 1958.

Cirilo Muñoz (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Frontera Extra # 24, October 1960.


José Muñoz (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Los apuntes de Ernie Pike" [Ernie Pike's notebook], Ernie Pike Colección Batallas Inolvidables # 11, September 15, 1961.


Horacio Porreca (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Primer trabajo" [first job], Hora Cero Suplemento Semanal # 107, September 16, 1959.


Roberto Regalado (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: El túnel" [the tunnel], Hora Cero Extra! # 33, November 24, 1960.


Miguel Ángel Repetto (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero # 32, December 1959.




Julio Schiaffino (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Extra! # 37, February 29, 1961.


Ernesto Garcia Seijas (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero # 37, May 1960.

Note: Nestor Olivera, Miguel Paradiso, Mut Ribas, Pablo Rost drew Ernie Pike stories, but the host doesn't appear.

Ernie Pike - Coda # 2


Enrique Cristóbal (a), Jorge Oesterheld (as Jorge Mora - w), "Ernie Pike: Operación Fritz," [Operation Fritz] Hora Cero Extra! # 4, October 1958.


Oscar Estévez (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Frontera # 44, November 1960.


Walter Fahrer (a), Jorge Oesterheld (as Jorge Mora - w), "Ernie Pike; Rabia" [anger], Hora Cero # 29, September 1959.


Lito Fernandez (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Extra! # 13, September 1959.


Abel Guibe (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Extra! # 33, November 24, 1960.


Daniel Haupt (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Jeep Popski," Hora Cero # 41, September 1960.


José Miguel Heredia (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero # 44, December 1960.


Tibor José Horvath (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Extra! # 17, January 1960.


Martin Lobo (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Frontera # 48, March 1961.


David Mangiarotti (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Frontera # 47, February 1961.


Note: Leopoldo Durañona drew an Ernie Pike story, but I've never seen it. Franz Guzman also drew an Ernie Pike story, but the host doesn't appear in it. As a curio: Tibor José Horvath is the artist who drew more Ernie Pike stories (19) after Hugo Pratt (24).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ernie Pike - Coda # 1

If you ask any European comics reader about "Ernie Pike" s/he will tell you that Ernie Pike is a comic by Hugo Pratt. Some, but not many, will tell you that "Ernie Pike" is a comic by Hugo Pratt, scripted by Héctor Germán Oesterheld. Few, if any, will mention Jorge Oesterheld at all. And none, I'm sure, will tell you that Hugo Pratt drew, give or take, 10 % of the series only.

Who drew the other 90 %, then? Well, 46 draftsmen did (not counting Ernie Pike Coleccion Batallas Inolvidables and Ernie Pike in Top and Skorpio)...

Today I'm starting a series of posts showing Ernie Pike, the character as drawn by all its creators in alphabetical order. Take this as a homage to all the artists who are forgotten!...

(As legend tells us, Oesterheld was inspired by the American war correspondent Ernie Pyle to create Ernie Pike. On the other hand Hugo Pratt created Ernie Pike using Oesterheld's likeness. He had done the exact same thing a few years before in Misterix with the character Scribe in the "Sgt. Kirk" series.)


Aguilar (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Heroísmos inútiles," [useless heroisms] Frontera # 49, April 1961.


Victor Hugo Arias (a), Jorge Oesterheld (as Jorge Mora - w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero # 35, March 1960.


Jesus Balbi (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Hora Cero Extra! # 37, February 29, 1961.


Victor Hugo di Benedetto (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Un raro episodio," [a strange episode] Hora Cero # 52, August 1961.


José del Bó (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Su mejor crónica," [his best column] Hora Cero Extra! # 41, May 16, 1961.


Alberto Breccia (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: El amuleto," [the amulet] Hora Cero # 24, April, 1959.


Gabriel Cafa (as Yabar a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Ingenio," [ingenuity] Hora Cero # 50, June, 1961.

Al Caruso (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike," Frontera # 46, January, 1961.


Juan Lucas Castro (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Medalla del Congreso,[Congress medal], Hora Cero Extra! # 58, February 13, 1962.


Eugenio Colonnese (a), Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), "Ernie Pike: Medallas,[medals], Hora Cero Extra! # 12, August, 1959.


PS Many thanks to Carlos Altgelt for the data.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Ernie Pike

Maybe I shouldn't post a whole story by the great Héctor, but I'm doing it just the same because I don't believe that this story will ever be republished (Hugo Pratt didn't drew it!, you see?!...). Maybe the Argentinian government will put their money where their mouth is and someday they will publish Oesterheld's oeuvre in a deluxe collection with great production values (getting the Library treatment, I mean...). While that doesn't happen, and I don't believe that it ever will, to be honest, here's my small contribution... Frontera # 48, March 1961: Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), 19 year old Jesús Balbi (a). My translation.


(1/2) A rosary of shadows is coming down the mountain. /  (1/3) The artillery grunts relentlessly at the heights. It seems like the monstrous organ of a nameless cathedral. / (1/4) There, on my side, is a soldier, wounded in an arm, but also wounded elsewhere, a lot deeper than the flesh, because his eyes are trembling when they go from one body to the next... / (1/5) "Are you searching for a comrade?"


(2/1) "Yes, I'm searching for Stanislas... I let him in the trenches when they evacuated me..." / (2/2) "Maybe he's still there, in the trenches...." "No... he can't be... They told me that that trench was sweeped. There was a German counter attack..." / (2/3) "Well, one never knows, of course... Stanislas always manages to get out of trouble... Yes, he always gets out of trouble...." / We are at the front in Montecassino. Our troops try to advance as much as they can. They bleed to death to conquer a hill, but another one follows and the enemy doesn't give up, fighting with all they've got for every yard.... / (2/4) An endless rosary, the mules with the bodies are still passing by. They go up transporting ammunition and they return transporting death. / (2/5) "It's starting to snow, my boy... Soon it will be night. They will come no more today...." / (2/6) "No... they will come no more... I'll have to wait until tomorrow..." / (2/7) "Don't take it like that, my boy, you will meet Stanislas safe and sound soon. You said so yourself, he always manages to get out of trouble..."


(3/1) "Remember Company C. They said that it was licked when they appeared on the ridge they had just conquered to the Germans... but..." / (3/2) "Where's the soldier? Where is he?" / (3/3) "Hey! Come back here! Where are you going?" / (3/4) "He went... to the frontline..." It didn't even cross my mind to go after him. It snowed and he was a lot more faster than me. He soon disappeared behind the rocks. Besides, I have enough with my writing shores. If one tries to follow every man with a problem, this would be the never ending story... / (3/5) The next day it continued snowing. And the next I didn't even remember the soldier with the wounded arm. There're so many things going on at the front that every day seems like a century. / Again the mountain threshed its black rosary of mules and corpses... / "The mules again..." / (3/6) "The wounded come with them... Those who can walk, I mean... who knows what the others do..."


(4/1) "Yesterday the fight was ugly... the mules are more loaded than ever..." / (4/2) "But... that arm?" / (4/3) "The boy with the wounded arm..." / Yes, I recognized him immediately... it was him... / (4/4) "You knew him scribe?" "More or less... What happened to him?" / (4/5) "What was bound to happen... He appeared in the trench looking for a certain Stanislas... he was beside himself... he said that he had been in all the other trenches searching... that he had to find Stanislas..." / (4/6) "The sergeant tried to stop him... He told him that he had to go behind the lines... but he escaped and jumped the parapet..." 


(5/1) "And he went into the snow, onto the enemy. They saw him immediately, of course... The machine gun almost cut him in two..." / (5/2) "He had to be cuckoo. Why search his comrade in such a way?" / (5/3) "In the end, we are all always looking for someone..." / (5/4) "We... we are all searching for someone..." / (5/5) "The wounded man continued his path. And the endless passing by of the mules continued..." / (5/6) "Never, not even in the middle of the desert, did I feel so alone. Yes, we are all always looking for someone..."


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

EDMOND, un portrait de Baudoin - Coda

If you read the quote below you will understand perfectly why the comics milieu (comics publishers especially) is my enemy.

I also wonder why the State (and I mean every State) spends so much money sponsoring the arts while completely forgetting art comics. It's no one's land, really... Great comics fall outside the industry and outside mainstream culture as well...

...And yet... for a while, at the beginning of the 90s (and during most of the decade), everything seemed possible... somehow...

EDMOND, un portrait de Baudoin



EDMOND, un portrait de Baudoin (trailer) from Kaleo films on Vimeo.

Pour justifier son refus de lui accorder un prix prestigieux, un éditeur lui confia un jour: "Si vous aviez été récompensé, cela aurait tué la bande dessinée telle qu'on la connait aujourd'hui. Vous, Baudoin, vous ne faites pas la bande-dessinée, vous faites de l'art, de la poesie. Ça ne nous intéresse pas.
To justify his refusal to give him a prestigious award a publisher admitted one day: "If you had received it, it would have killed comics as we know them today. You, Baudoin, you don't create comics, you create art and poetry. That doesn't interest us.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Comparison

Remember when I said below that craft is not enough to produce great art, but a world vision isn't enough either?...


Robb Armstrong, "Jump Start," Sunday comic strip, January 17, 1993 [originally published in color].

The above Sunday page doesn't represent offensive stereotypes of black people. On the contrary, these characters act and talk like real people which means that the characterization is quite well done... and yet... 

The drawing style is dull: the lines are heavy; the backgrounds either don't exist or are a generic "I drew these books and bookshelves and people, but I could very well draw other books and bookshelves and people instead" kind of backgrounds...

Worst of all though: the situation depicted is rather plain and the worthwhile anti-racist message lacks any kind of punch (even if the punch line, precisely, is the best part of the page). 

Now, compare the page above with these two panels below (I don't think that I need to add anything; the power of the images and the power of the words talk for themselves):


Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), Alberto Breccia (a), "Mort Cinder," Misterix # 799, March 6, 1964. [Night at the Thermopylae. Some wounded man complains. He must be a Persian to wail like that... / The Fates weaving, laughing because they have almost no thread... So many lives will end soon...]