Update 45:  16/01/2018  Tribute to Moebius new adds:

Juan Alberto Hernández:

When illustration became art.

© Juan Alberto Hernández


Our tribute to Jean Giraud, creator of the main character of our blog, Lt. Blueberry, is coming to an end.

The tribute is nourished by the contributions of great creators of the world of drawing, comic, animation...who have joined this humble initiative that has already been running for one year. 

This week joins our tribute gallery the impressive work of the illustrator Juan Alberto Hernández, who gives us a magnificent drawing of an old Blueberry, tanned by years, something to which we are not used to see.
A version of an "old Blueberry" very fresh and at the same time different from the one presented to us by Victor de la Fuente in "Los Gringos: Viva Nez Cassée" or Giraud's own sketches (some old Blueberry sketches can be found, go for 'em!!) 

Juan Alberto Hernández Romero (1977), native of Huelva, Spain, has a degree in Hispanic Philology from the University of Seville.

Literature and drawing are his passions, he gradually abandoned the art of writing for the pleasure of drawing, and during this process of change he had time for publishing a book of poetry.

His talent as an illustrator has led him to obtain two prizes in the drawing contest and in the graphic strip contest of the international comic book convenction in Huelva, Spain, in the years 2013 and 2016.
His creative capacity has increased exponentially since 2014, his art was devoted to creating covers and illustrations in numerous books and some magazines,  publishing comics and being part of several collective exhibitions.
This is the interview that Juan Alberto has answered for this website:

- The Blueberry Encyclopaedia (TBE): What has been your greatest artistic influence and how has your way of drawing evolved?

The comic books of The Wild Sword of Conan were possibly the greatest motivation I've ever had to really want to draw, although I started, like so many other comic artists in Spain, copying Ibáñez and Jan, and then the Marvel superheroes. 
Of all the cartoonists of Conan, without any doubt, John Buscema is for me one step forward from the others, especially when he inked his own works. Then, the other author that marked me forever is Bernie Wrightson. And finally, all the Spanish authors who left in the 70s and 80s: José Ortiz, Esteban Maroto, Víctor de la Fuente, Antonio Hernández Palacios, Carlos Giménez, etc.

In the following years I have tried to understand the masterful use of the ink of these authors and I keep on trying, because it is  almost  impossible to reach them. And finally, in the last two years I am doing everything I can to improve my use of color, because I am a huge defender of black and white sometimes this fact becomes a problem.

© J.A. Hernández

- TBE: What are the current graphic artists that you like the most?

The truth is that I'm not really aware of the work of artists nowadays, I dedicate all my efforts to recover the works published by those artists that I have named before. It is such a huge material that I have no "need" to be attentive to the new stuff.

I don't like current cartoonists of superheroes, because they tend to have a too clean drawing. I enjoy much more following the work and evolution of many facebook friends who are not professional cartoonists

And then, we have Pinterest and Instagram, I don't remember the names of the artists, although I follow many.

- TBE: Within your professional career, do you have a "thorn in your back" that you want to take away, like working with a specific artist, or working for an editorial, or in a professional field that you have not explored?

Based on the fact that I am not a professional, but an amateur with some professional works, this year 2017 I've decided to leave the creation of comics for several reasons. 

It is something that hurts because it really is my great passion and I hope that one day I can make a comic book with my own script from the various stories I have saved.

Black days© J.A. Hernández

- TBE: What is your favorite technique when it comes to drawing and coloring?
The brush with pure Indian ink and black and white ink has no rival for me in terms of possibilities and plastic beauty. It is something that drives me crazy.

Color, I usually work in digital since I have huge deficiencies and with the computer I can make as many corrections, tests and modifications as I want.

© J.A. Hernández
- TBE: At what point in your career have you felt more comfortable working and with more creative freedom?
Right now. Since I decided to focus my efforts on illustration, I can't feel more comfortable. Each work allows me to approach it from a different and autonomous point of view in terms of techniques and objectives. I'm enjoying it a lot because I get bored quickly, although I always return to black and white and brush.

- TBE: What do you think about digital comics...is the comic book industry in danger / crisis with the threat of pirated downloads? How can this affect the career of artists?

I'm not against the digital format and I know that it'll be important in the future, but I am an old man and I need to smell and touch the paper, and if it's a little yellowed even better. I've even published some short comics in digital but at the time of reading, it bothers me enough to use a tablet, it is a very different feeling when turning the page with your fingers.

However, I have no doubt that we all have to adapt to the digital sooner or later and that surely, the paper editions will be something more for collectors, something like the current vinyls.

- TBE: What can you tell us about your current job? Do you have any project in mind in the medium and / or short term?

I am working on a project that is a dream for me: a series of illustrations for a book about Conan the barbarian. And I also have another project of a much more personal nature that will mean reaching a personal goal. It will take a while to get out, but it's where I'm going to put all my hopes for a long time.


- TBE: What are your memories / relationships / influences with Jean Giraud and his artworks?

I am more a fan of Moebius than of Giraud, and Moebius in the 80s was God for me. There were more gods, of course, but he was far superior to all those who imitated him more or less, or were influenced by him. His ability to create images of impossible beauty is devastating for anyone who intends to draw ...

It has been a real pleasure counting with you in this tribute and also to be able to know more about you and your work. We'll be following your work, which never stops amazing us. Thank you very much!!


Juan Alberto Hernández Oficial