Revista de Toros by Jse Canovas
'Revista de Toros'.

José Cánovas Martínez is a Spanish comic artist and studio owner. He started out in the alternative comic scene of the 1970s, before founding Studio Comicup (1980) in Barcelona. Comicup has been responsible for the artwork of many European children's comics, particularly with licensed characters from comic, cartoon, film, TV and video games. The studio most notably works on Disney comics for publishing houses from The Netherlands, Denmark and France. Besides European Disney magazines, Comicup's art has been featured in various publications from Germany (YPS, Knax, Die Pillen, Quix), The Netherlands (Tina, Zo Zit Dat!) and Denmark.

Early life and career
José Cánovas Martínez was born in 1949 in Spain's Murcia region. He made his first mark in the 1970s, as one of the creators working for the alternative comic review Troya in the 1970s. He later also published in the magazines Rambla and Trocha-Troya. His art - consisting of film, fairy tale and superhero parodies - was additionally present in Primeras Noticias, a weekly youth's paper distributed primarily to schools. Working through studios like Estudios Ortega in the mid-1970s, he drew features like 'Candy Floss' for the British market.

'Grupo Especial', by Canovas & Nieto (Bang! Troya #3-4, 1977).

Studio Comicup - Germany
In 1980, Canóvas founded Studio Comicup in Barcelona to produce artwork for Rolf Kauka's 'Fix und Foxi' comics from Germany, through Peter Wiechmann and Fred Kipka's Comicon agency. Among the early affiliated artists were Carlos Grangel, Blas Gallego, Joaquín Cañizares, Miguel Fernández and the inkers David Buixader and Paco Pineda. The team quickly acquired new German clients, especially after beginning an association with Kipkakomics in Munich in 1988. Since then, Comicup has produced series like 'Gespenster GmbH' and 'Punk-Piraten' for YPS, a comic magazine loosely modeled after the French Pif Gadget magazine. The studios also provided the artwork for Knax, the children's magazine of the German saving banks, as well as Die Pillen and Quix, the children's supplement of Eltern Family magazine.

Candy Floss by Jose Canovas
'Candy Floss' (1976).

Studio Comicup - Disney comics
Eventually, Comicup became mainly involved with producing comics, games and illustrations for Disney magazines and pre-school publications throughout Europe. Cánovas recruited many artists who previously worked on Disney material through studios like Recreo, such as Cèsar Ferioli Pelaez, Marga Querol Manzano, José Miguel Tortajada Aguilar, Maximino Tortajada Aguilar and art director Miquel Pujol. Many more followed in the 1990s and 2000s. Comicup's artists have worked on Disney art for publishers in Italy (Mondadori, Disney Italia), France (Hachette) and Denmark (Egmont), but the largest part of their production has been for the subsequent Dutch licencees VNU, Sanoma and DPG Media.

La Bella Roncante by Jose Canovas
'La Bella Roncante', by Jose Canovas.

Studio Comicup - other licensed work
Comicup has also provided artwork to non-Disney magazines published in the Netherlands. Since 2010, the studio has worked for the girls' magazine Tina on features like 'Nick & Simon' (2010-2015), 'Karlijn, Catootje en de Ouders' (2011-2021), 'Tina' (2013-2019) and 'Emme's Dierenwereld' (2014-2016), as well as 'Professor Breinstein' (2011-2017) )back cover stripof the scientific children's magazine Zo Zit Dat!. In addition, Comicup develops art for apps, character designs, children's book illustrations, multimedia productions, animation and advertisements. Among the many other licensed properties that Comicup has worked with are the Danish children's book series 'Rasmus Klump' (created by Carla and Vilhelm Hansen), 'Tom & Jerry' (based on the cat & mouse duo by Hanna & Barbera), 'Star Wars', 'Looney Tunes', Robert van der Kroft's 'Sjors & Sjimmie' strip and 'Angry Birds'.

Recent years
While Jose Canovas is still the owner, Comicup's current director is Oscar Cánovas, with Alejandro Cánovas and Isabel Cervelló Cánovas serving as project coordinators.

Ovni by Jose Canovas
'Ovni', by Jose Canovas.

Studio Comicup: personnel
Among the artists (pencilers and inkers) that have worked for Comicup throughout the years are:


Troya cover by Canovas

Series and books by José Cánovas you can order today:


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