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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

In Memoriam: Josè Maria Jorge

downthetubes is sorry to report the passing of stalwart Commando artist Josè Maria Jorge, who died yesterday.

Jorge had been drawing for DC Thomson's Commando for 42 years, beginning with Number 384 - 'Flying Fury' published in February 1969. His last complete book was No 4329 “Divided Aces”, which came out in September to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Set around Edinburgh, it attracted plenty of attention in the Scottish press as you can see here.

"The Commando office has been deeply saddened by the news from Argentina that we have lost a friend and valued member of the team with the untimely death of Josè Maria Jorge," notes Commando editor Calum Laird in a post on the title's official web site.

"Best known for his excellent aircraft work, Josè Maria could turn his hand to an theme and had been working with Commando for 42 years. During that time many authors and editors were delighted as he realised their ideas on paper. Readers too loved his style, remarking on its accuracy and detail."

In addition to his Commando work, Jose was an accomplished artist, evidenced by the art on his official website. He specialized in action scenes: car racing, equestrian events, combat aviation and more.

Art by Jose Maria Jorge
It should come as no surprise that two of his stories -- 'Aces Wild' (No. 489) and 'The Ship Busters' (No. 657) -- were among stories that formed a collection title The Best 12 Commando Stories Ever, selected by former editor George Low.

"I can vividly remember Jorge’s unique artwork," adds Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor of Commando, recalling reading the comic as a youngster. "The dynamic action and attention to detail. Sheer class. It’s no surprise that his artwork maintained this superb standard right up to his final published story last month.

"Unfortunately I never met the man himself but did, however, receive a friendly email every so often saying that some pages were winging their way from Argentina. And those pages…when the package finally arrived it was like the excitement of opening a longed-for Christmas present."

Jose's art for the cover of Commando issue 3177, Fatal Contact, showing
an American Sabre jet's encounter with two flying saucers

Unlettered art for a Commando comic drawn
by Jose Maria Jorge. This is a photostat
sent to a fan by then editor Ian Forbes,
story unknown.
"Not only was he a fantastic artist whose work influenced my own, but I got to meet him and his family on my visits to Buenos Aires in the last few years," comments Colin Watson the Assistant Sports Editor of the Edinburgh Evening News. "He became a firm friend whose sincere brand of hospitality was hard to match."

downthetubes extend its sympathies to Jose's family and friends. he will be much missed.

Read the official Commando team statement on the title's official web site

Jose Maria Jorge Official web site (in Spanish)

Jose Maria Jorge Commando Checklist

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