More Esteban Maroto


Psychedelic Kali from Vampirella 18.

Copies of the Dracula comics may be scarce these days but two of the artists who appeared in the title—Esteban Maroto and José Beá—were also appearing regularly in Vampirella around the same time. The Internet Archive has a large collection of Warren titles including an almost complete run of Vampirella. Esteban Maroto’s work stands out for me for his draughtsmanship, his page layouts, the atmosphere of heady eroticism, and the frequent touches of psychedelia of which the panel above is one of the more striking examples. The best strips are the ones he wrote himself; when he works with American writers the results tend to be more restrained. It’s a shame Vampirella was mostly a black-and-white title, so many of these pages would benefit from the same colour treatment as Wolff.


Wolf Hunt from Vampirella 14.

And speaking of wolves, there’s a similar collection of witches and lycanthropes in these stories.


Tomb of the Gods: Horus from Vampirella 17.

Tomb of the Gods is a short series in which mythological stories are explored Maroto-style. The exception is Gender Bender, a piece of science fiction with masculine and feminine psyches pitted against each other in a virtual arena. The story title is a surprise for anyone thinks that phrase originated in the 1980s.


Tomb of the Gods: Kali from Vampirella 18.


Tomb of the Gods: Kali from Vampirella 18.


Tomb of the Gods: Gender Bender from Vampirella 20.


Tomb of the Gods: Gender Bender from Vampirella 20.

The figure at the top right is borrowed from Aubrey Beardsley.


Tomb of the Gods: A Legend from Vampirella 21.


Tomb of the Gods: Orpheus from Vampirella 22.

More borrowings, this time from Gustave Doré’s Inferno illustrations.


Cobra Queen from Vampirella 23.


The Tiara of Dagon from Vampirella 36.

A Lovecraftian tale.


Forgive Us Our Debts from Creepy 50.

Maroto also had strips in Eerie and Creepy. The ones I’ve seen of the latter aren’t as impressive as the Vampirella stories but this is one of the better ones, a jungle tale that owes a debt in some of its native details to Burne Hogarth’s Tarzan.

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