Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Alberto Breccia

Alberto Breccia is one of the undisputed masters of Argentinian comics.
I must confess that if it weren’t for writer and friend Alessandro Ferrari, who suggested me to give a better look to the last Mort Cinder story (printed in an anthology collection that I lent to him!) I may have continued to consider him “one of the Argentinians”.
Breccia was a master of lighting and mood. Even if based on a very solid and “classical” drawing stile, his characters and backgrounds have a strong expressionistic look. He must also be remembered for experimenting a lot with mixed media techniques, comprising of photo collages, watercolors and zip-a-tones to create unique textures.
He has probably been a big influence on Frank Miller, both for themes (the final Mort Cinder story is a retelling of the battles of Thermopylae) and for the use of stark black and white contrasts.
An important collaboration in his life was with writer Héctor Oesterheld:  the duo collaborated on a number of series, besides Mort Cinder, and on the comic-book biography of Ernesto Che Guevara (co-illustrated by Breccia’s son, Enrique) which is generally considered the reason of Oesterheld’s disappearance in 1976.

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