Miguel Ángel Cáceres
by Sherif Awad
-I live in a small town in the south of Spain with my partner and my two children.
I have always had a passion for drawing. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved drawing, especially comics. From a very young age, I was publishing my comics in fanzines. Not only did I collaborate in fanzines, but I became a fanzine publisher.
My first professional publication was in the magazine “Zona 84”, an emblematic comic book magazine during the 80s in Spain. Since then, my comics and illustrations have been published by many Spanish publishers: Planeta deAgostini, Proyectos Editoriales Crom, Megamultimedia, Oxford University Press…
I started working for publishing houses and studies from other countries a few years later.
-My life has always been marked by my fondness for comics, fantastic literature as well as horror and science fiction films. I also enjoy music, especially metal.
During my childhood I was a fan of Francisco Ibáñez, a key comic author in Spain. I started learning how to draw comics by reading his work, and later on learned from other comics such as Capitán Trueno, Jabato… With time, I discovered Marvel and DC comics, and I was influenced by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, etc. My favorite character was Conan The Barbarian and I fell in love with Barry Windsor Smith’s graphics. I consider many pages from Conan drawn by Jhon Buscema, Tony De Zuñiga and Alfredo Alcalá to be masterpieces.
There are a number of other comic authors and illustrators that I admire who have been great influences in the process of forging my personal style: P. Craig Russell, Bernie Whrigthson, Richard Corben, Simon Bisley, Moebius, Juan Jiménez, Miguel Antxo Prado, Carlos Giménez, Jordi Bernet…
–In my case, my university education was focused on an artistic formation. I graduated university with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. During those years in the faculty, I studied many artistic disciplines: drawing, painting, illustration, sculpture, photography, engraving… My background as an illustrator and comic author was also determined by the influences of the authors I admire. I believe it is essential to read many comics from different genres and styles to learn from them.
–I have produced comics and illustrations of different styles and themes (realistic, humorous, children books…), but what I like most is to draw stories of heroic fantasy, science fiction and horror. I would like to cite some of my comics:
Within the genre of Heroic Fantasy, I created the character BRAM THE YACOI together with the writer Jose Miguel Pallarés for the Planeta Deagostini publishing house. Its comics began to be published in the Spanish version of the magazine Savage Sword of Conan. Bram is a barbarian who lives in a universe that mixes toughness and savagery with typical poetic elements of the fantasies of Jorge Luis Borges.
In this same genre, I have drawn VARUK, written by Scott Reeves for Counteractive Comics.
In the science fiction genre, I have drawn NAUHKA (with scripts also by José Miguel Pallarés) for the Megamultimedia publishing house. And one of my most personal creations is the psycho cyborg SIMEÓN ÓRDAGO, published for several years in the magazine KILLER TOONS. Simeon Ordago’s comics mix science fiction, gore and black humor.
I have also made historical comics: I drew the graphic novels “Freedom within the Heart” and “Ireland and the Sultan” that adapt the screenplays of Mark Mahon (Maron Studios Pictures, Los Angeles). “Freedom within the Heart”, set in the 10th century, tells the story of Irish national hero Brian Boru’s struggle against Viking invaders. “Freedom within the Heart” won the awards “2016 ILLUSTRATION AWARD” and “2016 SILVER AWARD” in the Graphic Novel/Comic category at the READERS’ FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOKS AWARDS.
The latest graphic novel I have made with the writer Manuel Amaro and the magnificent artist Dr. Zonum is titled ANATOMY OF CHAOS. This book compiles a series of comics that combine terror and science fiction (zombies, alien invasions, monster circuses, time travel…) and won the IGNOTUS AWARD for best comic published in 2018.
In the field of illustration, I have made illustrations for books, magazines and album covers that have been published in several countries: Spain, Ireland, U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Finland…
-Currently, publishing comics in the comic industry in Spain is not easy for local authors. Spanish publishing houses publish a lot of American and Japanese comics, leaving little room for national production. Another problem is that many titles are published, but the print runs are small, which causes authors to charge low prices. This makes most authors work directly for other countries or have to supplement their income by working on other activities such as graphic design or teaching.
As for the preferences of the readers of my country, I can say that they have very varied preferences because comics of many genres and styles are published in Spain. Nonetheless, the most sold genres are manga and American superhero comics.
–I am very pleased with the awards I have won in the field of comics, especially the Ignotus award for the best comic of 2018. I am also proud to have been publisher of the comic magazine KILLER TOONS, in which I have published my comics of the character SIMEÓN ÓRDAGO for several years. But what gratifies me most is being able to dedicate myself to what I’m most passionate about in life: comics and illustrations. Comics are magical. From basic materials (brush, ink and paper) you can create worlds, give life to characters, and narrate the most incredible stories. I am very happy to be able to dedicate myself to this wonderful activity.
–My advice to rising artists and newcomers: patience, much perseverance and hard work. Patience, because it is not easy to start in the world of illustration and comic. That is why constancy is very important, not to give up, to keep fighting, even if it is difficult. A lot of work and a lot of practice are necessary to improve every day.
–I’m currently working on a new graphic novel with the same team I worked with in ANATOMY OF CHAOS. In this new project, we are narrating the history of Hell, beginning eons before its creation, going back to the origins of angels and making a new and original version of the fall of Lucifer from a perspective different from everything that has been told so far about this classic story. There will be lots of fantasy and horror as well as graphic experimentation. It’s going to be something really spectacular.
You can know my current and future projects visiting my web site: www.miguelangelcaceres.com