Duck Tales, by Maximinio Tortajada Aguilar
Duck Tales - 'The City Under the Ice' (F JM 88210). © Disney.

Maximino Tortajada Aguilar is a Spanish artist, working on Disney comics through studios like Recreo and Comicup since the 1980s. He is often referred to as simply Maximino, or Maxi.

Recreo - Italian Disney comics
Maximino Tortajada was born in Barcelona in 1961. In the early 1980s, both Maximino and his older brother José Miguel Tortajada Aguilar joined Recreo, a Barcelona art studio providing artwork to foreign publishers, founded by Francesc Bargadà. Around 1980-1981, Maximino was part of the inking team - along with Albert García and Marçal Abella Bresco - doing finished art for Italian Disney stories penciled by José Ferré, Miquel Pujol and Cèsar Ferioli. By 1982, he was also penciling stories with Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, still for the Italian publisher Mondadori. In 1984-1985, the entire Recreo team - including Maximino - provided the artwork for a series of book-length Uncle Scrooge treasure hunt stories, commissioned by the German publisher Ehapa.

Ellsworth, by Maximino
'Ellsworth' ('Genius') gag from Le Journal de Mickey #1831 (1987). © Disney.

Comicup - French Disney comics
By 1985, Maximino and several other Recreo artists moved over to Comicup, joining studio chief José Canovas in his new production of Disney art. Tortajada initially became a staple of Disney comics for Hachette, the French license holder. Besides longer stories with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and their relatives, he became a productive artist of gag pages with Goofy and his mischievous mynah bird sidekick Ellsworth (1986-1998). He also penciled stories of Donald Duck's superhero persona, the Duck Avenger (1986-1987), and the Goofy 'James Bond' parody series 'James Ding Triple Zéro' (1989-1990).

For Picsou Magazine, Maximino was assigned to draw gag pages by Gérard Cousseau and Jean-Loïc Belhomme starring Launchpad McQuack (1988-1995), Scrooge McDuck's clumsy pilot from the 'Duck Tales' TV series. Tying in with another popular Disney television cartoon, Maximino Tortajada drew adventures and riddle stories with 'Chip 'n' Dale, Rescue Rangers' for P'tit Loup magazine (1989-1993). For the France-based Disney Europe division, he also drew three graphic novel adaptations based on this series. For the main French Disney publication, Le Journal de Mickey, he drew three stories based on the 'TaleSpin' TV series (1991-1992), while also working on gag features with Minnie Mouse (1996-2003) and Supergoof (2005-2009), the latter written by François Corteggiani. In 2019, he began drawing 'Les Petits Boulots de Donald', a back-cover gag feature about Donald's ill-fated attempts at different kinds of jobs, drawn previously by Comicup colleague Santiago Barreira.

Magica the Spell by Maximino Tortajada
Magica De Spell - 'A Familiar Complaint' (story D2007-447). © Disney.

Comicup - Italian and Danish Disney comics
During the 1990s, Comicup assigned Maximino to work for other Disney publishers too. Between 1991 and 1995, he was back in the Italian Topolino with long 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Donald Duck' stories, created in the more expressive Disney style initiated by Giorgio Cavazzano. By the early 2000s, Maximino was drawing similar stories for the pocket books of the Danish publisher Egmont. Since 2002, he works frequently for the regular production of Danish duck and mouse stories, published in the weekly magazines of Egmont's Eastern-European divisions. He notably illustrated several of Kari Korhonen's stories about young Donald Duck, Donny Duck. For Egmont's Swedish division, he provided artwork to non-Disney properties like 'Tom & Jerry' and 'Woody Woodpecker'.

Comicup - Dutch Disney comics
Also starting in 2002 was Maximino Tortajada's more extensive story production for the Dutch Disney licensee Sanoma (later DPG Media). During the 1990s, he had already drawn a couple of 'Brer Rabbit' stories for the Dutch Donald Duck weekly, but during the 21st century, he became one of the main artists for Comicup's Dutch production. Maximino has drawn many gags and stories with all the Duck family characters, but also back-up features with the Big Bad Wolf. Among his main productions were the lengthy all-star celebration comics, made for anniversaries of either characters or the weekly itself. During the Dutch weekly's 70th anniversary in 2012, Maximino notably drew a series of thematic stories - written by Jan Kruse - in which Donald and his family visited the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. Maximino additionally provided artwork to many thematic Disney gag pages, created by the Dutch editors for magazine and the TV guide TrosKompas.

Commercial artist
Besides his work through Comicup, Maximino Tortajada has also worked as a commercial artist for advertising agencies like Grey Trace, Tandem DDB, MacCann Ericson, Bassat & Ogilvy and Wild Pony. He was founding partner in his brother's agency Onno Comunicación (1993-1997), and has worked through the Barcelona graphic design agency Estudio Fénix. For Maiden Sunshine, he designed towels with Disney characters, and he additionally provided artwork to Artiach's Dinosaurus cookies.

'Donald Duck in Utrecht' (Dutch Donald Duck weekly #34, 2012). © Disney.

Inducks entry

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