Pumby, by José Sanchís

José Sanchis Grau was one of the main representatives of the Valencian School of Spanish comic art. He grew up reading comics from both Spain and the USA and studied Fine Arts at the San Carlos Academy, which he combined with an apprenticeship in jewelry. He published his first artwork at age 16, when he drew some cartoons for a calendar. He then became one of the main artists for the children's magazine Jaimito, published by Editorial Valenciana. It was for this magazine that he developed his first regular comic character, 'El Soldate Pepe', in 1948.

Despite being accidentally wounded by a gunshot in 1950, he expanded his activities for Valenciana by creating series like 'El Machote', 'El Recluta Policarpo', 'Pandolfito Cebollínez' and 'Gaspar' for not only Jaimito, but also La Hora del Recreo and Taco Myrga.

Pumby, by José Sanchís

Sanchis created his trademark character, the cat 'Pumby', for Jaimito in 1954. The character gained such popularity that it got its own title in the following year that ran for over 1,200 issues until 1984. A second title called Super Pumby was added in 1969.

He continued to develop new series for Valenciana until the company's demise in 1984. For Jaimito he created 'El capitán Mostachete', 'Sandokancio', 'Miguelín y el trenecito' and 'Don Esperpento', and also drew 'Marilín y la moda' for the women's magazine Mariló in 1955. In 1978, he illustrated a series of comic books based on the film 'The Iron Superman',  in turn an adaptation of Go Nagai's manga serial 'Mazinger Z'.

Mazinger Z by Jose SanchisMazinger Z by Jose Sanchis

Besides Valenciana, he has also contributed to publications by other publishers, starting with the short-lived comic magazine Cubilete by Editorial Gong in 1949. He was also present in the Catholic magazine Trampolín with 'Benjamín y su pandilla' and in Bruguera's Zipi y Zape and Pulgarcito with 'Robín Robot' from 1972.

Sanchis was inactive for several years during the Spanish comics crisis in the 1980s, but he returned in 1991 with 'Miss i Fuss, els Fills de Pumbi', a series about Pumby's children written in the Valencian language for Camacuc. He made a 'Pumby' book in commission of the Valencian Community in 1994 and also made illustrations for dictionary of the Valencian language in that same year. He came up with a new rendition of his famous character called 'Kuasar Pumby' in 1996, but it wasn't until 1999 that he obtained the rights for his character from the heirs of Editorial Valenciana. José Sanchis Grau passed away in August 2011.

Robin Robot by Jose Sanchis Grau
Robin Robot (Zipizape 17, 1987)

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