I'm really excited. I just got the graphic novel "Billie Holiday" by Argentinian writer Carlos Sampayo and artist Jose Munoz in the mail.
They got a few pieces published in Art “Maus” Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly’s RAW Magazine.
|Mister Wilcox, Mister Conrad, from RAW Magazine #3|
I always loved the look of Munoz’s art. It’s wild and messy while at the same time very strong and firm. He can draw faces that look like they belong in a 1930’s Felix the Cat cartoon and yet fit into this gritty realistic world.
After being in RAW some of Munoz/Sampayo’s other work like Joe’s Bar, Sinner and this Billie Holiday were put out.
I also recently discovered that Munoz did an 8 pager for 1996’s Batman Black and White #3 called Devil's Trumpet written by Archie Goodwin. Archie played to Munoz' strengths by making the story about a jazz musician, something he draws wonderfully, while having the Batman appear in all of 1 panels. It was a pretty fun story though I wouldn't have minded seeing Munoz' Batman more.
Billie Holiday was really fun! It was a 49 page graphic novel and a pretty quick read. It contained images from Billie's life, mostly about being a black woman in a racist country and her drug addiction. She often finds herself abused by sadistic whites. Meanwhile modern day Sinner (Sampayo/Munoz' main protagonist detective) reminisces about the few times that he actually met this legendary jazz singer. It's an good narrative, but the art really makes it awesome! Check out these pages of her time making movies in Hollywood.
I’ve seen many really great comic artists since my introduction to Munoz but I still find his work some of the most exciting comics ever made.