Classic cover artists: Vanyo
There’s a little bit of a mystery here, in that the Vanyo – or, to be precise, Vañó – whose many excellent Death Wish covers I’m wishing to celebrate in today’s post may not be the Vanyo that I’ve always claimed him to be. There are two Vanyos – brothers, in fact, and sons of Eduardo Vañó Pastor, who was also a Spanish comic artist. The brothers, Vicente Vañó Ibarra (born 1947) and Eduardo Vañó Ibarra (born 1944), both started producing work for the British market in the mid-1960s and, by the late 1970s were both receiving regular commissions for IPC. When artist credits began to appear, both signed off as ‘Vanyo’. And the two both drew in a remarkably similar style – so much so that I can’t tell them apart, and I’ve found similar confusion in my searches online.
I have always believed Eduardo to be the co-creator and regular artist – in Speed, Tiger and Eagle – on Death Wish. Vincente, I think, was the co-creator and regular artist on The Mind of Wolfie Smith in Tornado. But I can’t be certain of either.
Whichever artist it is, he produced some fantastic covers illustrating the adventures of the self-torturing daredevil Blake Edmonds – star of Death Wish – throughout most of the 1980s. The Vanyos shared a highly distinctive style of linework and shading that lent itself well to the action-packed series, and especially to the gnarly visage that Edmonds kept hidden beneath his iron mask. Splendid artists, all of them.