In honor of a great publisher in Europe: Jose Maria Berenguer

Just learned that the greatly influential publisher Jose Maria Berenguer of La  Cupula passed away a couple days ago. He was only 67, not only too young to die in age but mostly in spirit. He would have remained eternally young in mind.

He rose right after the fall of Franco in Spain to create the subversive magazine El Vibora which brought a lot of US underground to Spain and Europe but also brought up many great Spanish artists such as Max, Mariscal, Marti, Pons… His publishing became a beacon of the new freedom in his country and one that shined well beyond his country.

I did business with him quite a bit over his other magazine that just had pure fun being naughty and nasty: Kiss magazine featuring really good erotic comics which we’ve been publishing a lot of over here. From Noe to Gambedotti (you need to be 18 to go to these links), these books are not sausage factory sex but have a great sense of humor, good storytelling and characterization. You might remember that there was for a while a US edition of Kiss (called French Kiss). I didn’t hold it against him. There was plenty of good stuff to go around!

One of the great figures of a very lively comics scene in Spain has left us…

Right now, he’d just want us to continue the party, the thumbing of our nose at the system, having fun disobeying as a statement.

That’s why I admired him and liked him very much.

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