Der Fluch des Pharaonengrabers by Carlos Prunes
Der Fluch des Pharaonengrabers (Gespenster Geschichten Spezial #99)

Carlos Prunés Álvarez was a Spanish comics artist, who mainly worked on war and romance comics for publishers outside of Spain through the Selecciones Ilustradas agency. His main comic book output was during the 1960s, after which the artist focused on painting and illustration. His name is sometimes written as Carles Prunés.

Born in Barcelona in 1937, Prunés studied at the School of Arts and Trades in the Llotja de Mar palace, obtaining a degree in painting and drawing. He was one of the early artists affiliated to Josep Toutain's agency Selecciones Ilustradas, joining the team at the age of 19. His work was mainly featured in British romance and girls' comics published by Fleetway. He produced over 100 stories for the teenage romance comic Valentine between 1957 and 1966. Most of these stories were based on titles of popular hits of the time. Other prominent Spanish artists for this title were Florenci Clavé, Antonio Romero, José Garcia Pizarro, José Mariá Miralles and Jordi Longaron.

Story based on the Marty Wilde song Sea of Love (Valentine, 7 May 1960)
Story based on the Marty Wilde song Sea of Love (Valentine, 7 May 1960)

Up until the mid 1960s, he was also a regular in other Fleetway girl's titles such as Roxy, Marilyn and Serenade. He continued to do an occasional story for Fleetway's Tammy and June & School Friend until the early 1970s. From the second half of the 1960s he was mainly present in the girls' comics Mandy and Diana by DC Thomson with serials like 'Princess Cookie' (1969), 'Little Yoo in The Castle of Secrets' (1970) and 'The Pendant of Peril' (1974). He also contributed to Fleetway's 'Battle Picture Library'.

Comic story from Tina by Carlos Prunes
Prunés' stories for the British girls' titles also appeared in Dutch girls magazine Tina ('Wie van de vier' in Tina #29-35 in 1974)

In Spain, Carlos Prunés' stories appeared in the pulp comic books by Ediciones Toray. His art was featured in issues of the romance/girl titles 'Rosas Blancas' (1959) and 'Susana' (1959), the war collections 'Hazañas Bélicas' (1966-1971) and 'Relatos de Guerra' (1970), as well as the crime/espionnage series 'Brigada Secreta' (1962-1966) and the safari adventure series 'Leopard' (Toray, 1970). He drew the feature 'Noel Bertrand' in the adventure comic book 'Hurón' (Toray, 1967-1969), with scripts by Manuel Dominguez Navarro. Prunés additionally drew an adaptation of Homer's 'Odyssey' for the collection 'Novelas Graficas Clásicas' ('La Odisea', 1966), and comic books about Egyptian Mamluk leader Ali Bey al-Kabir and the Spanish general Gonzalo de Córdoba for 'Hombres Famosos' (1969). He was furthermore present at Ediciones Galaor, most notably drawing all five issues of the historical series 'El Cid' (1968), and at Ediciones Manhattan with the first issue of the suspense title 'Manhattan' (1963).

To Be or Not To Be a Witch (Creepy #30, 1969)
To Be or Not To Be a Witch (Creepy #30, 1969)

Prunés also worked for the German market, drawing ghost stories for the horror/supernatural comic books Geisten Geschichten, Gespenster Geschichten and Spuk Geschichten by Bastei Verlag. He was furthermore the first Spanish artist whose work appeared in James Warren's horror magazines in the USA. He contacted the publisher directly, without mediation by Toutain, and saw his sole story, 'To Be or Not To Be a Witch', published in issue 30 of Creepy in 1969. Eighteen months later, artists from Toutain's team would dominate the pages of Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, but Prunés never drew another story for them. Partially because his more delicate and figurative line better suited romance comics, and partially because the artist's main focus became painting and illustration from the 1970s onwards.

El Mundo Futuro

He painted covers for comic books like the sci-fi series 'El Mundo Futuro' (1977) and other titles by Ediciones Ursus. He continued to do an occasional comic book in the 1980s and 1990s, however. He drew a biographical comic book about Michelangelo for Bruguera's series 'Cómic Biografías' in 1983.  In 1992 he drew the story of 'Los Espanoles en la Florida' as part of the "Stories of the New World" series produced by Planeta-DeAgostini for the Quinto Centenario State Society.

Carlos Prunés dedicated the final years of his life to painting. An exhibition of his paintings took place at the Centre Cívic del Parc – Sandaru in Barcelona in February 2017. The artist passed away a couple of months later, on 18 June 2017, at the age of 79.

comic by Carlos Prunes
Comics panel from the catalogue of the 1st Salon del Comic y la Ilustración in Barcelona (1981)

Carlos Prunés on Tebeosfera.com

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