- Purita Campos. "I look like a 'currante', I have drawn 3,000 pages"
The Barcelona cartoonist Purita Campos, author of the successful series 'Esther and her world' , created in the early seventies around a teenager "a little crazy," as it was said then, has died at 82 .
The veteran illustrator, Gold Medal for Work in 2009 and Grand Prix of the Barcelona Comic Show 2013, was undoubtedly one of the references of the cartoons in Spain.
She was for decades one of the few female names in a sector covered by men thanks to a character created in 1971 by the scriptwriter Phillip Douglas , who Campos continued to draw - fruit of the pull of nostalgia of his former readers - turning to Esther Lucas , already in her second time, in a mature woman, with her own domestic problems.
'Esther and her world', that microcosm formed, among others, by her friend Rita and the undecided Juanito , managed to sell millions of copies, both in Spain, and in the versions that were made of the character in other countries throughout Europe (Patty's World in the English original).
The magazine Lily (of the Bruguera publishing house) where the story was published between 1974 and 1986, distributed nearly 400,000 copies weekly in the Spanish market, the artist herself proudly remembered when talking about that success.
"He sold more than Mortadelo; those of Bruguera were lined up, but I never collected the royalties, " he explained in an interview with EFE, when he was already in his seventies, to his surprise, the recognitions began to arrive.
The young Purification Campos (1937), who loved fashion, had worked as a figurine, after soaking up the photographs of the Vogue and the Harper's Bazaar that her mother, a dressmaker, took home.
From the hand of Manuel Vázquez (author of Anacleto) he arrived at the mythical Bruguera publishing house , where his style immediately liked the editor-in-chief Víctor Mora although he was not free, the cartoonist recalled, having to listen to comments of the type: "How good you do it to be a woman! " .
He learned to adapt his drawings to what the cartoons demanded and to carry out commissions for magazines with romantic stories, a work full of "sneaky scripts" that had not just been filled and for which he was about to leave the 'comics'.
It was then, when from the United Kingdom , came the proposal to illustrate the series of 'Esther, the story of a young woman', but from a different point of view than the market was used to.
Miniskirts, problems of friends and boys, parties, the difficult family relationship with his sister and his mother, a young widow. In short, something more modern, but always in a sweet tone and for all audiences.
The cartoonist gave her the profile that the character demanded, and captivated the readers of the Anglo-Saxon market , but especially those of a black and white society such as the Spain of the last Franco regime.
However, at the end of the eighties the series - in general, the comics in which they were selling - declined, and Campos, who had made the comic compatible with the making of clothes that the Barcelona 'gauche divine' wore, had to set up a academy of painting , before the 'boom of the revival' forced him to take again, already with the change of the millennium, the pencils and the markers for the new Esther matures, next to the scriptwriter Carlos Portela .
Campos never believed that his life as a cartoonist would be as long-lived, nor that freckled Esther would mark his life path as he did. Nor did he ever care that his work was considered things of girls, because in addition there were many "hidden" readers who, as they told him in their letters, recognized him "that helped them understand girls."
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