Juan Gimenez, 'Metabarons' Comic Book Artist, Dies at 76 From Coronavirus Complications

Juan Gime?nez - The Metabarons - Publicity - Split - H 2020
Juan Giménez/Humanoids
The Argentinean illustrator had been hospitalized since March 22, following his return from a trip to Spain.

Argentinean comic book artist Juan Giménez, known for his work on Metal Hurlant and The Metabarons, has died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. He was 76 years old.

Giménez’s early work appeared in Argentinean, Spanish and Italian comic books, although his mainstream breakthrough came with his work for the Metal Hurlant and L’Eternauta anthologies in the 1980s, including his work on the Heavy Metal animated feature, for which he designed the “Harry Canyon” segment. Arguably his career peak arrived in the early 1990s, when he co-created the popular science fiction series The Metabarons with filmmaker and author Alejandro Jodorowsky, which ran through eight graphic novels before concluding in 2003.

"I closely collaborated with Juan Giménez for 10 years and together, we created The Metabarons saga,” Jodorowsky said in a statement. “What facilitated my task as we offered him to work on the complex world of the Metabarons was that he already embodied the immortal No-Name, the last Metabaron. In my unconscious, Juan Giménez cannot die. He will continue on, drawing like the master warrior that he was."

Giménez won a number of awards during his career, including The Yellow Kid Award for Best Foreign Artist at the 1990 Lucca International Comic Fair, as well as the Gaudia award at the Feria Internacional del Comics de Barcelone that same year.

“There are many artists who are adored by their fans, but only a select few are equally revered by their peers,” said Mark Waid, publisher of Humanoids, which issued Metabarons. “Juan Giménez was the latter, able to give us not only epic moments of space opera but subtle and moving moments of humanity. Worldwide, the comics community mourns for him.”

According to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Giménez had been hospitalized since March 22, following his return from a trip to Spain. His death April 2 marks the first known coronavirus-related death of a comic industry professional.