In Memoriam: Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez

March 20, 2009

It is with great sadness that Harris Comics has learned of the passing of the artist who defined Vampirella’s look for at least two generations of comic book fans has passed away...Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez. He was 70 years old.

Gonzalez is best known for his work on Vampirella. Starting with Vampirella #12 in 1971 when it was published in magazine form by Warren. Together with Archie Goodwin, Gonzalez created horror classics that have stood the test of time as some of the finest examples of the comics medium. His work was thrilling, sensuous and beautiful. He brought the character to life, elevated her to an icon and, most deservedly, won over a legion of fans who have never forgotten him. To this day, many would say his was the definitive rendition of the character.

He was one of the greatest artists comics has ever seen. He will never be replaced and he will be sorely missed.

Painter Joe Jusko had this to say: "I can honestly say that my life long affinity for Vampirella was born due to the discovery of Jose Gonzalez' breathtaking work. From the splash page of Vampirella #21 through the very last panel, my 12 year old eyes had never seen a woman drawn in comics as Gonzalez drew them; beautiful, mysterious, sexy (but never slutty). I have forever tried to capture the glamour and sensuality that he brought to the character, but as all who have tried since have always come up tragically short. There will always be only one definitive Vampi artist in most readers' eyes and he will always be the great Jose ‘Pepe’ Gonzalez."


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