A Tribute to the of






Here is the interview I enjoyed with Jose Delbo:

Bryan D. Stroud:  According to my research you began at 16 in the industry.  Was cartooning something that caught your imagination?

Jose Delbo:  Yes, I was 16 when I started drawing comic books in Argentina where I was born.  I grew up with American comics that were being published in Argentinian magazines and I loved them.

BDS:  Did you have any formal art training?

JD:  Yes, my teacher was a great Argentinian cartoonist, Carlos Clemen.  I later went on to become one of his assistants.

BDS:  You did work for nearly all the publishers to include Charlton, Dell, Gold Key, DC, Marvel and Acclaim.  How did they compare?

JD:  It's hard to compare the publishers.  In DC I did Wonder Woman and most of the heroes of DC.  For Marvel I did the Thundercats and the Transformers.

BDS:  Did you feel any particular advantage to one company over another?

JD:  I received more leeway working for Marvel because Marvel gave you just the plot instead of a full script.  That allowed me to be more creative.  At least that's how they did it when I was working there.   In general I enjoyed working with all the publishers.

BDS:  Did you have a particular editor you enjoyed working with?

JD:  I worked with almost every editor.  I have fond memories of working with Paul Levitz, Julius Schwartz and Don Daley.

BDS:  How about a favorite writer?

JD:  Again, Paul Levitz, Len Wein and more but I don't remember the names.

BDS:  You pencil and ink, but it looks like penciling might be more of a specialty.  Did you have an inker you thought was particularly good over your pencils?

JD:  Well I have several inkers who were very good in different books.  I got great guys like Al Williamson, Dick Giordano, Joe Giella and Al Gordon.

BDS:  When you worked for Tower, did you interact with Wally Wood?

JD:  Not really, at one point Wally Wood did ink some of my pages on Wonder Woman.

BDS:  Was it easier to do a comic book character as opposed to a television adaptation?

JD:  Both of them were fun.  I had a lot of fun doing The Monkees.  I enjoyed that one very much.

BDS:  Which projects gave you the most enjoyment?

JD:  Besides The Monkees, the Beatles Yellow Submarine and definitely The Lone Ranger.  I love westerns.

BDS:  What was your production rate?

JD:  Well it's hard to say.  It all depended on how difficult the script was but normally it would be two to two and a half pages per day of pencils.

BDS:  Were deadlines ever a problem?

JD:  Deadlines are always a problem for a cartoonists but I always managed to meet mine.

BDS:  You managed many cartoonists' dream by working on daily strips, both Superman and the Phantom.  How did that compare to comic books?

JD:  Again they are two different things.  It was much easier to do three panels then a full comic book.

BDS:  How long were you doing the dailies?

JD:  I don't really remember when I started or when the Syndicate canceled the strip.  I know that I penciled the Phantom for almost a year as a ghost artist.

BDS:  You were an officer in the National Cartoonist's Society.  Tell me a little about your involvement.  Who did you enjoy associating with?

JD:  I was Vice-President of the society.  For me it was a tremendous honor and emotionally rewarding as I was able to meet some of the great artists that I had always admired like Milton Caniff, John Cullen Murphy, Burne Hogarth and others.

BDS:  When did you teach at the Kubert School?

JD:  I believe that I started in the 90's and I taught up until I moved to Florida which was in 2005.

BDS:  What was your specialty, or in other words, what did you teach?

JD:  Basic Drawing.

BDS:  Who else do you remember being on staff while you taught there?

JD:  Joe Kubert (of course), Hy Eisman, Irwin Hasen, Mike Chen, Tex Blaisdell.

BDS:  Tell me about your cartoon camp.

JD:  About 13 years ago when the International Museum of Cartoon Art opened in Boca Raton, Florida, we started a cartooning program for school aged children.  It's a place where they create their own comic books, make animated cartoon movies and a variety of other activities related to comics and cartoons.  Since the first location at the museum we have run the camp at about a dozen different schools and Universities in the Florida area.

BDS:  Do you do commissions?

JD:  Only under special circumstances.

BDS:  Do you keep up with the industry much anymore?

JD:  Well, I keep track more or less of the industry but I don't work full time anymore.

BDS:  Where do you think comics are headed?  Do they still have a future?

JD:  Comics unfortunately have a tremendously hard time competing with the video games, but I believe that reading and using your imagination is something that will endure forever.  A person who reads comic books and likes to draw could be in the future a great video game designer.

BDS:  Any current projects?

JD:  I am currently working on my own Graphic Novel that I believe is a different idea than what I've seen out there.  As soon as I finish it I will start looking for a publisher.


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