Enrique Fernandez : From Dorothy of Oz to Skydoll, Sexy Princesses and Nymphs

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Nymph in Nima by Enrique Fernandez (2017) resembles 'monster-girls' usually seen in manga, and has Pokemon

More than a decade ago, back in the 2006, there was a splendid comic art adaptation of Wizard of Oz, drawn by young Spanish artist Enrique Fernandez, featuring chibi characters in a beautifully saturated color settings which earned him high status among new “european manga” artists at the time.

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Dorothy by Enrique Fernandez, 2006
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Dorothy by Skottie Young, 2009

Three years after that, another Wizard of Oz came out, this time made by American young artist Skottie Young for Marvel, with not so chibi characters, but equally expressive in movements and having heroine with similar

facial features as Spanish version - and earned four Eisners awards, American 'Oscar for comics'.
- Skottie Young told me that my books of Oz where on his desk during the version he made of the classic - Fernandez confirmed when we asked him about it.

 The waltz between two “brothers in art” continued.

Girls with Axes
Fernandez carried forward with settings having cute damsel in a center of his fables with L'ile sans Surire (2009) and after creators Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa invited him to collaborate on 'Italian manga' Skydoll: Lacrima Christi (2010), Fernandez designed Aurore (2011) - a little girl who is trying to fight her circumstances with an axe . Probably unaware of it, Skottie Young responded by introducing his version of a chibi girl with an axe, in his megapopular I Hate Fairyland (2015).

 

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Enrique Fernandez 2011
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Skottie Young 2015

CHIBI: In English-speaking anime and manga fandom (otaku), the term has mostly been conflated with the super deformed style of drawing characters with oversized heads, or it can be used to describe child versions of characters.

So let say Marvel's audience was already well introduced to basic style and themes of a comic artist from Barcelona, via Skottie Young's highly praised work. Only time will tell which one will be remembered as a “better one”, as “being first” doesn't hold a promise of greatness:

Just recall how nobody remembers cubists forerunners, but everybody knows Picasso. Maybe you can decide for yourself already, by watching their creative process in videos. 

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Baby Avengers, Young 2012

 Until then – let's see what the audience is missing unless it reaches for newer comics by Enrique Fernandez.  For a start, as an independent author, Fernandez didn't do baby-versions of Marvel superheroes as Young did in 2012, 

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Dwarf from Brigada, Fernandez 2012

but successfully crowdfunded album Brigada, where he features 'baby' dark elves and dwarves. 

Breakup over Lust 
After that, their paths inevitably split apart, as Fernandez creates a piece which takes him where Skottie Young can never persue if he sticks with his current patron - and there's no doubt that he will, after he stated for Newsarama that he is the most spoiled artist in Marvel.   
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Cover art for Tales from the Age of Cobra, 2015

Frenandez Tales From the Age of Cobra (2015), which comes to America in January next year via IDW Publishing, is humorous and sexy action oriental story, with a view on Islamic world contrasting from Marvel's offer on the same bet.
Instead of 'modest' super-heroine created in Marvel, which looks like she is to end up in arranged marriage any day now – the Spanish artist's vision of leading lady  points out on all the pleasures and beauty we used to relate with Islamic civilization before late 'Wahhabi invasion' on the West and Islamic world overall, as his country was a part of that world during it's Golden Age and this is the fingerprint Orient has left on Spanish culture.

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Fernandez perception of harem, 2015
Strong-willed and Barely Dressed 
'Reneissance' version of Fernandez muslim heroine is fully grown up, barely dressed, curvy and strong willed princess Sian, who married to spite her family, and then cheats on her husband regularly, which dramatically differs her from American sister in faith, carefully covered adolescent Kamala Khan, apparently scared if her brother finds out she spends time alone with a male superhero while saving the world. 
As Sian's repulsive prince husband is pedophile as well - Tales From the Age of Cobra could 'offend' some when the piece reaches 'politically correct' America 2018... But it's not likely these people's reading habits include comics, and especially not European comics, so I hope it will stay unnoticed by them.
Before that potentially hot read, comic art fans who prefer English can check Fernandez new crowd-funded album Nima. It comes out later this month, but is available for pre-order on Spacemanproject.
 
Hand-painted Monster-girl
In it, Fernandez goes back to his artistic roots and paints all the panels by hand, in gouache. And not any kind of gouache, but Nicker Poster Color used in Japanese animated movies, a reminder that the model he evolves is manga...
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Nima by Fernandez, 2017.
As if he wanted to assure the reader his paradigm is in no way related to American industry but his admiration is set purely on manga – he added details such as tail to the protagonist, effectively making her one of the 'monster girls' popular in manga fandom. Make no mistake - elaborate Fernandez gave her a pokemon Omokoi, as well. 
 
Erotic Mythical Thriller
In Nima, sexy heroine is a nymph, divine spirit which animates nature and whose amorous freedom sets her apart from restricted and chaste wives and daughters of ordinary folk. Sensual nymph is not ashamed to show her perky breasts and sturdy behind, done in a manner which can be seen as further evolution from charicatural style Fernandez had shared with Skottie Young: drawings in Nima are more minimalist and almost abstract, while the expressive element is the brush which adds the movement in saturated color scheme. 
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Cover art for special edition

It appears that Nima is carefully digitized for print, so the line doesn't lose it's spontaneity neither. Nymph's hesitiation to exercise ruthless 'praying mantis' ways, in which her society treats men after they are done with them, further distinguishes erotic Nima from Young's angry Gertrude who is still slaying anthropomorphic mushrooms and other species in fairy tales she hates so much...

Without questioning Gertrude's charm , Nima is surely appealing to public who has had enough violence in the real world, and is ready to embrace a juicy erotic thriller in mythical lands.