Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hispanic Heritage Month (José Luis Salinas)

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month here is a profile of one of the great, largely unheralded comic strip artists..

José Luis Salinas was born in Buenos Aries in 1908, after graduating from school he began a nine year apprenticeship at an advertising agency where he learned his craft. His art-style was heavily influenced by the great American comic artists of the time, notably Harold Foster and Alex Raymond. His first succesful magazine strip was Herman el consario (Herman the Corsair) which appeared in the December 1936 pages of Patoruzu. In 1937 Salinas drew comic adaptations of popular literature for El Hogar, notably Last of the Mohicans, King Solomon's Mines, The Scarlet Pimpernel etc.

In 1949 he immigrated to the United States where he was employed by King Features Syndicate to create a project that they had in mind. The project was a syndicated comic strip version of O. Henry's character The Cisco Kid. King Features had commissioned writer Rod Reed to write the stories and Salinas to draw the strips. The result was magic: Cisco actually kissed the heroine rather than his horse, Salinas' animals looked life-like, his villains mean, his heroines pretty. The Cisco Kid debuted in 1950 and ran without changing editor, writer or artist every weekday for the next eighteen years, during which time it was syndicated all over the world. Salinas died in 1985.

No comments: