Martadelo y Filémon, by Francisco Ibàñez
Mortadelo y Filemón - 'La Tergiversicina'.

Francisco Ibáñez Talavera is one of the most popular Spanish comic artists, and best known for his series 'Mortadelo y Filemón'. After having studied accountancy and a merchant banking, he got a job at the Banco Español de Crédito. His true passion was comics however, and he began to draw for the periodicals El Chicolino, La Risa, and Paseo Infantil. He was 21 years old when he decided to pursue a professional career in comics and quit his job at the bank.

Mortandelo, by Francisco Ibàñez
Mortadelo y Filemón - 'El Oscar del Moro'.

Ibanez joined the publishing house Bruguera, where he soon established himself as one of the key artists. After some first publications in DDT, he started his famous 'Mortadelo y Filemón, Agencia de Información' in Pulgarcito in 1958. This comic was a great hit for its absurd humor and dynamic style, and eventually got its own magazine, Mortadelo, in 1970. Mortadelo's popularity is not restricted to Spain - translated publications followed in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium.

Sacarino, by Francisco Ibàñez

While continuing to work on his hit series, Ibáñez created several new series. Also for Pulgarcito, he came up with 'La Familia Trapisonda' in 1958. In the magazine Tio Vivo, he began the series '13, Rue del Percebe' (1961), 'Rompetechos' (1964) and 'Pepe Gotera y Otilio' (1966). He also continued his collaboration with DDT with 'El Botones Sacarino' (1963), a series that was heavily influenced by André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe'. Other creations are 'Tete Cohete' and 'Don Pedrito'.

Cover, by Francisco IbàñezCover, by Francisco Ibàñez
'Mortadelo y Filemón'. 

The increasing demand of work by Ibáñez, at one point he produced about 20 pages a week, resulted in Bruguera hiring other artists to ghost on shorter stories starring Ibáñez's characters. Ibáñez quit Bruguera in 1985 and joined Grijalbo. Since Bruguera held the rights to his characters, he had to develop new ones for the Grijalbo magazine Guai!, like 'Chicha, Tato y Clodoveo' and '7, Rebolling Street'.

Rompetechos by Ibanez

By 1988, Ibáñez reached an agreement with Ediciones B., the successor of Bruguera. He continued to produce about 6 'Mortadelo y Filemón' albums a year, while also continuing his other favorites 'Rompetechos' and the graphic innovative '13, Rue del Percebe', which debuted on 6 March 1961.

13, Rue del Percebe by Ibanez13 Rue del Percebe by Ibanez
'13, Rue del Percebe'. 

In 1994 Ibáñez received the Grand Prize during the Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona for his entire oeuvre, and in 2001 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts.

Sacarino, by Ibanez

Gaston by Franquin
Above an example of how Franquin served as an inspiration to Ibanez. Please keep in mind that this was in the early stages of Ibanez's career, when he had to come up with about 20 pages a week.

Mortadelo y Filemón by Francisco Ibanez
Mortadelo y Filemón - 'Safari Callejero'.

Francisco Ibanez signing in Barcelona (Photo courtesy of Henrik Bernd).
(in Spanish)

Series and books by Francisco Ibáñez you can order today:


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