A painting of Vampirella by Spanish artist, Enrique Torres-Prat.
Spanish comic book artists have had a thing for drawing Vampirella for decades. This is an indisputable fact. Even though the very first illustration of Vampirella is credited to Brooklyn, New York native Frank Frazetta, there are more than a few prominent Spanish artists responsible for creating incredible, almost tangible paintings of one of the world’s most famous female comic book characters. For instance, Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez was a fucking legend when it came to his illustrations and paintings of Vampirella, and his many fans say that his artistic portrayal of the she-vampire perfectly defined the character. In fact, when Frank Frazetta was asked for his opinion about Gonzalez he responded saying that “no one drew women as beautifully as José Gonzalez.” Work by other well-known Spanish artists who drew Vampirella, such as the man who is the subject of this post, Enrique Torres-Prat (aka Enric/Enrich), was compiled into a fantastic book that came out just this past January, Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art, a must-have book that will make your coffee table much more appealing.
Torres-Prat/Enric is a revered artist and his original Vampirella paintings are known to sell for thousands of dollars when and if they become available. It has also been noted by Vampirella experts that Enric was likely the only artist to paint Vampirella into a triptych (a three-paneled painting). His experience with formal artistic training and education as a youth was vast and Ernic had the good fortune to be able to travel around the world during that time visiting museums in Amsterdam and the United States, soaking in work by the true masters such as one of his primary inspirations, Rembrandt. In 1971 the artist scored his first U.S. gig when his artwork was chosen to appear on the cover of People Machines—a collection of science fiction stories written by Jack Williamson who many called “The Dean of Science Fiction” as they did his peer, Robert Heinlein. This success would lead Enric to Warren Publishing where he would ink the covers of horror comic staples, Eerie and Creepy as well as Vampirella. 52 of Enric’s paintings of Vampirella would adorn the cover of the magazine during his time with Warren Publishing. José Gonzalez may be considered the definitive benchmark for Vampirella’s look, but it was Enric paintings that would become synonymous with the ethos of the dangerously-drawn, vampiric femme-fatale.
Many more after the jump…