comic art by Nelson Dias

Nelson Dias was a Portuguese artist whose contributions to comics history may have been small, but are nevertheless landmarks. Born in Matosinhos, he is best known for his comic book 'Wanya, Escala em Orongo' (1973), which was scripted by Augusto Mota (born in 1939). The graphic style is inspired by Art Nouveau and typical 1960s and early 1970s psychedelica, like George Dunning and Heinz Edelmann's 'Yellow Submarine' (1968), Push Pin magazine and rock album covers. Dias makes use of dynamic lay-out and pointillistic techniques to create powerful black-and-white images. The book has as strong political, anti-war tone and deliberately evokes imagery from Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica' and Francisco de Goya's 'The Third of May, 1808'.

Wanya 5, by Nelson Dias

Nelson Dias and Augusto Mota also contributed to the short-lived fanzine Copra with the work 'Copra, A Flor da Memória' (1974). The last issue of the Spanish comic magazine El Globo (#21, November 1974) featured a collage of two politically conscious pages from 'Wanya, Escala em Orongo', and also published an interview with the authors on pages 53 to 59. He passed away in Lisbon in 1993.

Wanya: Escala em Oronga, art by Nelson Dias
Wanya: Escala em Oronga, art by Nelson Dias

Series and books by Nelson Dias in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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