Xavier Vives Mateu is a Catalan artist who has worked under the pen names Xavi and MAT. He began his career in the Spanish underground comics scene of the 1970s, and became expecially known for his erotic comics. Since the 1980s he is mainly known as a productive artist of Disney comics.
He was born and raised in Barcelona, and grew up reading TBO, Disney comic books and the publications of Editorial Bruguera. He debuted after Franco's death in 1975, when Spanish press censorship slowly loosened. He published his first works in the satirical monthly El Papus, which was edited by Ramón Tosas Fuentes. He illustrated stories by Ramoncín and Albert Turró, and made cartoons based on TV shows. He quickly found his way to the other magazines of Editorial Amaika, the publisher of El Papus, such as El Cuervo, Hara-Kiri, El Puro, Balalaika, Kung Fu and El Papus Deportivo.
His work also appeared in Rock Comix (published by Gaspar Fraga) and Hermano Lobo (by Ediciones Pleyades) and he made a lot of erotic and otherwise naughty comics for magazines like Lib, Papillón, Emmanuelle and Party. His inspiration for drawing sensual women mostly came from the work of Milo Manara, Richard Corben and Alex Raymond, while Manuel Vazquez also had a large influence on his work. In 1984 Ediciones Amaika published the comic book 'El Caso Bugatti', a collection of Xavi's stories for Hara-Kiri. In the late 1980s, he contributed to El Cómic Erótico of Editorial Iru, signing his work MAT.
El Caso Bugatti
By the mid 1980s, Xavi left the declining Spanish comics market and focused on drawing Disney comics through Studio Comicup in Barcelona. He eventually started to work directly for the Danish licensee Egmont. Xavi initially mainly drew covers and stories starring the 'Beagle Boys'. From the late 1980s he also worked on stories with characters from the films 'The Great Mouse Detective', 'The Little Mermaid' and TV series like 'Duck Tales'.
Since the 1980s, he has also produced material for the Danish pocket book publications. This includes stories with 'Donald Duck', 'Superdonald', 'Mickey Mouse' and the 'Beagle Boys'. Xavi is the artist of the official movie adaptations of the Disney films 'Oliver & Co', 'The Little Mermaid' and 'Aladdin', and he has also illustrated stories in the series 'Mickey Mystery' and 'Totally Minnie'.
Since 2000, he has illustrated several longer adventure stories with 'Mickey Mouse' and since 2016, he also draws Disney comics for Sanoma in the Netherlands. Besides his work for Disney comics, Xavier Vives works on advertising assignments, for the press and for MAD magazine.