Superlopez by Jan
Otra Vez el Supergrupo

Juan López Fernández, better known as Jan, is one of the most popular Spanish comics artists, famous as the creator of the superhero 'Superlópez' and the title comic of Pulgarcito magazine. Born in Toral de los Vados, El Bierzo, but raised in Barcelona, Catalonia, he worked in a metal factory before the went to work in the Macián animation studios in Barcelona in 1956. He drew his first comic stories in the style of Gin for the magazine Yumbo by Ediciones Cliper.

In 1959 Jan emigrated to Cuba, where he worked for Cuban television and as a technical advisor and designer/animator for the Institute of Cinematographic Art. He continued to draw comics for the children's magazines Pionero, Mella, Din Don, Muñequitos and newspaper supplements, signing his work Juan José.

After ten years in Cuba, Jan returned to Spain, where he started contributing to children's magazines like Gaceta Junior and Strong. He continued the adventures of his Cuban characters 'Lucas y Silvio', and created new ones like 'Don Talarico', 'Los Hermanos Rengifo', 'Lucas, el Maldito', 'Virgilio y Katakrak' and 'Sicodelic Hood'. He was also present in Trinca with 'El Ultimo Vampiro' and 'Don Juan Poca Cosa'.

Superlopez by Jan
Superlópez

It was however his Superman-parody 'Superlópez' that has earned him the most fame. A first version of the character was published by Euredit in 1973. The strip was continued in Bruguera publications like Tío Vivo, Zipi y Zape and Mortadelo Gigante from 1975, in the early years with assistance from Francisco Pérez Navarro (Efepé) for the scripts. The hilarious strip about the concealed identity of the extraterrestrial office-worker Juan López not only mocked 'Superman', but also superheroes from the Marvel school (when 'Superlópez' joined a supergroup in 1979) as well as Tolkien and Jules Verne books. 'Superlópez' has appeared in magazines published by Bruguera and its successor Ediciones B throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and is collected in a series of comic books since 1980.

Pulgarcito by Jan
Pulgarcito (Pulgarcito 14, 1987)

Jan had started his long collaboration with the publishing house Bruguera in 1974. He created numerous other comics for the publisher's magazines, such as 'Doroteo', 'Felipe Gafe' and 'Don Viriato'. In the 1980s he created the title comic for Bruguera's popular children's magazine Pulgarcito. He drew the character for a couple of years and then handed it over to his eldest son Juanjo.

Because of the crisis with Bruguera, Jan also began an association with Ediciones Druida in 1982, creating new serials like 'Cab Halloloco', 'Los últimos de Villapiñas', 'Lurgk de Turgk' for the publisher's magazine Jauja. By 1984 he was present in Rumbo Sur with 'Viceversa, Trotacosmos De Ida y Vuelta' and in A Tope with the erotic comic 'Laszivia' (Norma Editorial). Jan also illustrated promotional material with Hanna-Barbera and other licensed characters, and was involved in the creation of the animated series 'Mofli, el último koala' for Estudios Equip in 1986.

Superlopez, by JanSuperlopez, by Jan

While working on new and more satirical 'Superlópez' stories for Ediciones B, Jan created new characters and strips during the late 1980s and the 1990s. These include 'Superioribus' for Forum, the comic 'Fechas Mágicas' with Miguel Ángel Nieto and 'Phillip Marlobatón' under the penname Pikágoras in cooperation with Jaume Ribera for ¡Al Ataque! (1993) and El Chou (1994). He also made a junior spin-off of his main series called 'Los gemelos Superlópez' between 1994 and 1996.

Cab Halloloco, by Jan (from Jauja)

The new millennium introduced contributions like 'Pun Tarrota' and 'Supertron' to ¡Dibus! and DibuComics. His comic 'Situaciones Insólitas' ran in Amaníaco in 2002 and 2003. This magazine also published 'Días Moscosos', Jan's collaboration with writer Raúl Deamo from 2008. He adapted Enrique Gato's animation character 'Tadeo Jones' in a series of two comic books in 2008 and 2010. His final creation todate is 'Cederrom', an old shelved project that finally materialized in September 2011.

Juan López Fernandez has received many prizes for his extensive oeuvre and his contributions to Spanish comics culture. He received the Grand Prix and the Barcelona Comic Fair in 2002 and was awarded the Ivà Award by the City of Cornellá de Llobregat (Barcelona) in 2005. He refused the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts from the Ministry of Culture in 2012 because of "personal ethics regarding the current social and political circumstances".

Viceversa, by Jan
Viceversa, Trotacosmos De Ida y Vuelta

Last updated: 2013-08-03

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