Thursday, May 19, 2016

EL MESTIZO! (1977)

The issue of Battle Picture Weekly and Valiant dated 4th June 1977 introduced its readers to a brand new character: El Mestizo, created by writer Alan Hebden and artist Carlos Ezquerra. The debut of the series was announced with a brilliantly designed cover (above) with art by Ezquerra. 

Traditionally, war comics tended to focus mainly on World War 2 although Battle did broaden its scope somewhat. Even so, a story set in the American Civil War with a lead character who was a lone gunman clearly had elements of a 'Spaghetti Western' about it too, making El Mestizo a unique strip in the comic. I'm not sure how that went down with readers. One would think it'd be welcomed as a refreshing change, but some readers can have fixed preferences when it comes to comics. 

At any rate, the series only ran for 16 weeks, ending in the issue dated 17th September 1977. I'm not sure if there was another series. As always, Carlos Ezquerra's artwork is a joy to see and this is some of his best work of the period. Without further ado, here's the first episode. One of the most interesting things is how that first page slowly builds up to the entrance of El Mestizo. It was very unusual for British comics to use sequential techniques like that at the time...




Carlos Ezquerra is a guest at the Manchester Film and Comic Con this weekend. Why not come along and meet the great man? 
http://www.filmandcomicconmanchester.com/

4 comments:

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

That looks a really interesting strip sadly I stopped buying UK comics before this (with the odd exception of a new comic and the occasional 2000AD). Not being a fan of war comics I probably wouldn't even have looked at this in the newsagents at the time, saying that I managed to pick up a "grab bag" of around 20 UK comics at a local car boot sale for £1 and it had 5 issues of Battle from the 80s, and it was a really nice comic with some amazing art. Thanks for showing this Lew it's always good to see strips I may have missed.

Jim O'Brien said...

I'm so pleased to see this post, Lew. I have a few episodes of El Mestizo and love it!

John Pitt said...

I love Carlos and I love spaghetti westerns. So, what's NOT to like about this strip?! :-)

David said...

El Mestizo is why I started buying Battle. a few years ago, I managed to reread the whole series on a now-defunct website, and I was pleased to see that, if anything, it was even better than I remembered.

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