José Delbo is an Argentinian born comic artist who has illustrated a number of Silver and Bronze Age comic classics. He’s the artist behind the pen of some of your favorite superheroes and comic classics — Wonder Woman, Batman, Transformers, The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine comic book, Billy The Kid… just to name a few. Delbo’s work is timeless, but nonetheless he’s looking to the future and immersing himself in the latest art movement taking place on the Blockchain.
Comic & Crypto: An Art Match Made in Heaven
No matter who you are or where you are from, chances are you’ve been touched by the world of comics. An important escape to a world of fantasy, where anything is possible and good triumphs over evil (usually), this world has provided readers and art lovers alike with a lasting sense of inspiration, hope and excitement.
Many of us were consuming comic books before we could even read. Even those who deny their love for comics must admit the far-reaching influence the industry has had on today’s pop culture.
Members of the blossoming rare digital art community knew it was only a matter of time before our two worlds collided… and with the upcoming release of comic legend José Delbo’s first rare digital artworks, that time has officially come.
José Delbo’s Comic Art Take Over
“My art is a journey of passion. As a young child my world was a pencil and paper. Drawing was the only thing that interested me and to date this passion to draw continues.”
José Delbo started his artistic career in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina under mentor Carlos Clemen, a comic art pioneer in Argentina. Delbo became a professional artist at the age of 16 when he began illustrating for the Argentinian comic series Poncho Negro. He refined and articulated his skills further at the prestigious Pan American Art School. At the time he was drawing Argentinian superheroes in magazines like Rayo Rojo, Hora Cero, and Mister X. Soon enough, Delbo’s work had spread all over South America, including a daily comic strip in Brazil and a sports comic strip in Chile.
From an early age, Delbo was inspired and entranced by American Westerns. According to Delbo, “The big difference between the Latin American comics of old and the United States ones was that the US ones had much more action.” Naturally, Delbo wanted to be where the action was, so he eventually relocated to the United States, immersing himself in the land of cowboys and Hollywood. And behold, his dream of creating Western inspired comic books came alive with Billy The Kid and The Lone Ranger being some of Delbo’s early successes in the United States. In fact, Delbo was the man behind the artwork of Billy The Kid for an entire decade.
His early career also consisted of a number of TV tie-in comic books including The Monkees, The Rat Patrol, The Twilight Zone, The Brady Bunch, Hogan’s Heroes, and more. His first official superhero work in the United States was Doctor Solar for Gold Key Comics in 1964. Following the passing of former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Delbo illustrated his biography for Dell Comics in 1969.
Delbo also was the illustrator behind The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine comic book (1968), inspired by the critically acclaimed animated film. Much like the film, this comic book embodied the psychedelic pop culture of the 1960s and is revered as a timeless piece of comic art history.
At this point, Delbo had previously worked on a few projects for DC comics, but their official partnership came to fruition in 1969 after Delbo illustrated The Witching Hour #4. Long-time DC Comic editor Julius Schwartz assigned Delbo to Wonder Woman during his “trial series” at DC and it’s safe to say the rest was history. As Delbo puts it,
“It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with a beautiful lady!”
Over the next five years, Jose Delbo went on to create over 50 Wonder Woman comic books (issues number #222 — #286 from 1976 to 1981) and 12 iconic Wonder Woman covers. His many adventures at DC included a host of other projects including The Batman Family, The Superman Family, Teen Titans, and more. But Wonder Woman will always remain a favorite for Delbo.
“I loved drawing Wonder Woman. I really enjoyed the character, and how smart and powerful she was.”
In 1986, Delbo switched over to Marvel Comics, where he drew ThunderCats and The Transformers (from 1988–1990). He also co-created Brute Force with Simon Furman in 1990.
In the 90s, Delbo continued creating comics many of which, such as Captain Planet and the Planeteers, reflected the new attitude of environmentalism that overtook the world at this time. He continued to work on beloved cartoon classics like Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, Little Mermaid and the Mighty Ducks. He also drew the NFL Superpro hero who teamed up with Spiderman to fight crime in the big city.
It was during these years that Delbo ventured into the profession of teaching at The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey. He later went on to found “Cartoon Camp” for young cartoonists which was originally housed at the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida. Delbo’s attention to detail and high expectations made a lasting impression on many of his students. One former student Jim Keefe fondly recalls his classes with Delbo stating:
“José Delbo was a great teacher because he wouldn’t let an inferior drawing slide. When you got a compliment or a good grade from him you knew it was well deserved.”
Today, Delbo’s work hangs in museums and private collections around the world. He’s been the recipient of a number of awards, including Comic-Con’s coveted Ink Pot Award for a lifetime of service to the comics industry. Artworks in his traditional comic style are highly coveted by collectors, with Wonder Woman #256 Cover Original Art auctioning for $3884 and Wonder Woman #246 Page 1 Original Art auctioning for $2886. José Delbo continues to create, but has taken to a new medium (and greater heights). Instead of illustrating handheld comic books, Delbo’s artwork is now magnified on six foot tall painted murals.
“Comic books involve multiple panels that need to be created. The art I do on canvas is pretty much a section of a comic book. As to preference, I still enjoy sitting at my art desk drawing comics, but it was, and is, a great experience to work on canvas with a different medium such as acrylic paint.”
Now, Delbo is pushing his artwork even further into the future by releasing his first ever comic book artworks on the blockchain through MakersPlace.
Rare Digital Comics: A New Chapter
José Delbo’s artistic legacy is far from over. Today he pushes his classic comic style to the future with the release of three rare digital artworks, available exclusively on MakersPlace. Digitally enhancing his classic illustration approach has resulted in timeless creations that fit today’s digital consumption demand without sacrificing the integrity of Delbo’s beloved style.
“I am interested to see the reaction of the public when they see this Silver Age comic dinosaur out in the digital world. I also think it is an opportunity to bring my work to a whole new fanbase that I hope will really enjoy it.”
These releases mark Delbo’s first ever artworks to be authenticated and stored on the blockchain, an exciting next step for Delbo.
José Delbo’s rare digital art debut will take place with the release of three very different, but equally exciting, digital comic releases.
“These artworks are inspired by the changing times, this new world experience. In my previous works I was following a script and drawing what I was asked to draw. These drawings are ideas that flow from within and are inspired by current events and/or inevitable events.”
1. The Last Son of Krypton Fights for Humankind — Ultra Rare 1/1
A one-of-a-kind rare digital artwork depicting a modern day superhero will be up for grabs. This artwork is portrayed in Delbo’s classic Bronze Age illustration style but the subject matter will take on a theme particularly relevant to us living in the year 2020. Only one original edition will be released of this creation that undoubtedly will go down in digital history.
2. Amazonian Princess and the Panther — Rare 10/10
Another modern twist on a beloved superhero, this artwork highlights the strength and charisma of the Amazonian goddess Delbo’s best known for, taming a powerful, mechanical beast from another one of Delbo’s renowned series. Only 10 editions of this creation will be released.
3. Death — Limited Edition Digital Comic Book 250 Editions
Delbo will be releasing a 43 page digital comic book introducing a brand new character. Full access to the comic book will only be available to owners, so sorry folks no spoilers here. But what we can tell you is the comic’s main theme and character have a notorious reputation, yet are a salient part of every person, every where’s life.
A full list of Delbo’s many comic illustrations can be found here.
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Get in Touch
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