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Thursday, December 17, 2009

POST # 19 - "DEATH AND DOCTOR MORBIDUS" by Auraleon (original artwork)

In the beginning, Warren Publications used well-known and established American comic book artists for their black and white horror magazines, CREEPY and EERIE. But by the time VAMPIRELLA hit the stands in 1969, financial concerns had led them to use many artists unfamiliar to most readers - talented artists from Spain, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and elsewhere. One of my favorite artists from Spain was Rafael Aura Leon, or Auraleon, as he became known.

Auraleon began his career in comics in Spain in 1959. His first Warren stories appeared in 1971. Rafael would stay with Warren until their bankruptcy in 1983, contributing 69 stories in total. He left the comics industry about a year later. He may be best remembered by American audiences as the artist for the running feature 'Pantha' from VAMPIRELLA.

Today's post is just a 'quickie', a two page story running on the inside cover pages of VAMPIRELLA # 26, from 1973. This is the original artwork, and it is for sale on Ebay for $2,750.00, if anyone is interested. It does not belong to me, but the images were there for all to see, so I thought I would share them with you. I always enjoy seeing the original artwork, I hope you will enjoy it, too.
Written by George Henderson, here is...


  1. That was really cool, thank you for sharing it. I loved the Spanish and other foreign artists, it was so different than what we were use to in comics back then. We don't get great black and white work like this these days.

  2. Thanks for letting me know what you think, Ormsby. When I was younger and these comics were new, I must admit it took me a little while to 'warm up' to some of these new artists, because my thinking was a bit narrow-minded in my youth. I have since come to respect and appreciate the great talent that artists like Auraleon and other 'non-American' artists exhibited. I agree, and it's a shame, that there is no real publications nowadays to get great black and white art like this. Thats why I will do my best to keep sharing these wonderful pieces.

  3. Umm... Can I borrow $2,750.00...? I, uh... need to buy presents for some Homeless children...

  4. Apocolyte: What beautiful work. Nearly three large, eh? And to think that most of those original boards from all companies were just tossed in the trash once they had served their purpose. Makes a grown man cry. -- Mykal

  5. That is some gorgeous use of ink wash behind that ominous castle.

  6. Thanks for posting this! I love seeing original boards, especially when they are as gorgeous as these.

  7. It would have been great for Warren to have introduced a few of the more inventive foreign artists like Auraleon and the excellent Vampirella artist Jose Gonzalez to the "staff" of people at his magazines and stopped right there. That would have been great.

    Unfortunately rather than adding variety and interest, he also brought in a bunch of knock-off illustrators who couldn't tell a story inventively to save their lives. So you pick up one of these Warren magazines of the era and you've got a couple of inventive interesting talents, maybe, and very often the rest is all filler from completely interchangeable people who were not good storytellers but rather straight illustrators who were really bland and trying to look like the other people drawing for Warren!

    I pick up one of those books and if there's a Corben story in it, then the rest of the magazine ceases to exist because he's so strong and he's usually up against nobody interesting.

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Trevor, I know what you mean because I used to feel exactly like that...I would search each issue for my 'favorites' and the rest of the issue barely got read. That's what it is, we like what we like! I still have my favorites! As I pull the old issues out now, I try to look at every story, every artist and find a positive bit to be gleaned.Not every story is a masterpiece, but also different people see different things, and quite often someone will point out something to me that I wasn't aware of -- long story even longer, now i try to appreciate more variety of art styles...anyway, thats the end of my long-winded filibuster! Thanks for the comments, all!