Once again, COVID-19 has claimed one of our own. Argentinian artist Juan Giménez has succumbed to complications of the coronavirus. He checked into a hospital in Mendoza, Argentia on March 22, and died of the virus on April 2. He was 76.
Juan Antonio Giménez Lopez was born in the same city he died in, Mendoza, Argentina. November 16, 1943. Like Dr. Seuss, he started his career in advertising. As a young man, he went to Spain and attended Barcelona’s Academy of Fine Arts. He then began working in European comic books, and quickly developed an international following. In 1981 his international fame expanded when he designed the “Harry Cannon” section of the animated classic Heavy Metal. In 1992 he moved on to one of his most popular endeavours, Metabarons with writer Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Many comic book artists worldwide, whether or not they had the honor of his personal acquaintance, have been mourning his loss and thanking him for his influence on their own work. He, himself, was heavily influenced by Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt.
Marvel’s Walter Simonson said, “He did beautiful elaborate and decorative work that was the envy of many, including me. Never met him, but I didn’t have to. His influence touched my work and still remains, hidden away here and there.”
Gimenez made his Heavy Metal magazine debut in the April 1981 issue, with a black-and-white story “Good-Bye, Soldier!,” written by Ricardo Barreiro. He published numerous installments of his “Matter of Time” series, beginning in August 1983. Other Gimenez stories that followed included “The Sleeping Princess” (August 1985), “Top Secret” (September 1985), “Timescooter” (October 1985), “Primabell” (Fall 1986), “Garbage” (with Carlos Trillo, Spting 1987), “The Naked Branch” (with Felipe Hernandez Cava, Summer 1988), “Leo Roa” (March 1989), “The Fourth Quarter” (January 1990), and “Apocalypse: Eyes of Doom” (July 1993, later collected in a hardcover edition). Beginning in July 1997, Heavy Metal serialized Gimenez’s “Choose Your Game,” which played out over several issues.