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Biography of Luis Royo

 

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Luis Royo was born in 1954 in Olalla, Teruel (Spain). He studied technical delineation, painting, decoration and interior design in the Industrial Mastery School and the Applied Arts School in Zaragoza. He also worked on several interior design studies between 1970 and 1979.

From 1972 to 1976 he took part in a series of collective painting exhibitions on a national level. In 1977 he created large-format paintings using mixed techniques, which were exhibited in several cities.

From 1978 on, he started drawing comics for different fanzines, and in 1980 his works were exhibited in the Angoulême Fair.

Between 1981 and 1982, his comics were published in the 1984, Comix International and Rambla magazines, and also, occasionally, in El Víbora and Heavy Metal.

1983 marks the beginning of his career as an illustrator together with NORMA Editorial. His works leave the country, and are often published worldwide. He works in the USA, England, Sweden, etc., making commissioned covers for books from Tor Books, Berkley Books, Avon, Warner Books, Bantam Books, etc. He also creates covers for American magazines, such as Heavy Metal and National Lampoon, and also European ones, such as Cimoc, Comic Art, Ere Comprimée, Total Metal and others; he also makes a few video and video games sleeves for different countries.

In 1985, while keeping his work as an illustrator both in the States and Europe, the Colección Rambla publishes a comic drawn by him. In 1986, Ikusager Ediciones S.A. publishes DESFASE, an experimental comic album.

From 1990 on, he increases the amount of free works, combining them with his commissioned works.

In 1992, NORMA Editorial publishes in Spain the book WOMEN, a selection of the illustrations he has drawn in the last eight years. Soleil Productions makes the French edition, and Edition Comic Forum the German one. He also gets a small exhibition showing his originals.

In 1993, Comic Images publishes a trading card collection called FROM FANTASY TO REALITY which includes some illustrations made by Royo.

In 1994, NORMA Editorial publishes a new art-book, MALEFIC, in Spain, which is again published by Soleil in France, Hazard in Italy and Konemann in other countries. WOMEN is also reprinted, and Penthouse USA devotes a whole article to this book.

From 1995 on, his commissioned works for book covers from American companies such as Tor, Berkley or Avon are extended to others, including Ballantine, Nal, Daw, Doubleday, Harper Paperbacks, Zebra, Fasa Corporation, Pocket Books for the Star Trek series, works for Penthouse Comix, Marvel’s Fleer Ultra X-Men, etc. These same illustrations and others of his own creation are used as book and magazine covers both in Europe and Eastern countries. His illustrations are starting to appear now in different format: calendars, posters, t-shirts, CD covers, mouse pads, etc., as well as trading card collections, such as THE ART OF HEAVY METAL. His third exclusive trading card collection, THE BEST OF ROYO, is also published this year.

In 1996, one of his drawings is used as the Penthouse cover in its American and German editions, which also include an inside article focusing on him. Another article devoted to his illustrations appear in the Italian Stampa weekly magazine, and also in the American and German Airbrush-Action and Penthouse Comix. He wins the Silver Award SPECTRUM III: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, and publishes his third art book with NORMA Editorial: SECRETS. NBM prints it for American-speaking countries. In collaboration with Heavy Metal, NORMA Editorial also prints his portfolio WARM WINDS.

In 1997, Heavy Metal, the magazine that usually publishes his works in covers and calendars, dedicates its Gallery to him, and charges him to make the cover for the magazine’s twentieth anniversary, as well as a series of illustrations focused on the F.A.K.K.2 character (Julie Strain), created by Kevin Eastman. Comic Images launches two trading card collections, ROYO SECRET DESIRES (Royo’s fourth series) and ARTISTS CHOICE (together with other authors). WOMEN and MALEFIC are published in the U.S., and the latter is reprinted by NORMA Editorial.

In 1998 he creates his following art-book, III MILLENNIUM. In this case, he gives his personal view on this end of century. The so-called BLACK TAROT is also published, as well as the 1999 calendar for Heavy Metal and his fifth trading card collection, also called III MILLENNIUM.

In 1999, and again presented in the Barcelona Comic Fair, his new art-book, DREAMS, is published. It collects all the commissioned illustrations created by Royo for the last ten years. Also in 1999, Inteleg launches a vinyl sculpture based on the cover of MALEFIC, whose production is supervised by Royo himself.

Later this year, a new art-book, PROHIBITED BOOK, is published. This is a book with a completely different mood to the rest of his works; it is more erotic and explicit than never. The tome, published in a deluxe format smaller than usual, includes many illustrations gifted with an enormous sensuality never seen before by Royo’s fans.

A new picture book, DREAMS, appears in 1999 and it is shown again in the Salón del Cómic de Barcelona. It gathers those pictures that were ordered to the artist for the last ten years. That year, Inteleg put a little vinyl figure on sale which was based on the MALEFIC cover (supervised by Luis Royo too).

At the end of this year, there appears PROHIBITED BOOK, with a mood very different from the rest of his previous work. Never before, Royo had been more explicit and erotic than he was here. The book, published in hardcover with dustjacket and smaller than usual, comprises pictures full of eroticism and sensuality that his fans has never seen before.

The experience that he started in this book urged Luis Royo to explore more deeply the world of sensations and, therefore, he engaged on the creation of PROHIBITED BOOK II, a work that complemented the previous one and proposed a new type of sexuality, merely mental, that does not take place in a sheer physical act. As the first part, it was published in hardcover with dustjacket and, from then on, the artist will use this format.

In EVOLUTION, the artist falls back on the album of big size, and it appears a few months before the second part of PROHIBITED BOOK. This new volume, as it was made in DREAMS, mingles original works with the compilation of some works made for international publishing houses so important as Tor Books, Ballantine Books, Eura o Marvel Comics. Again, female beauty spreads all over his work.

Before the first year of the millennium is finished, two new publications are ready to come up. On the one hand, a pack of poker cards made by Fournier that gathers the best women images of Royo's whole gallery. On the other hand, CONCEPTIONS, a recent work that was born as a journey book through the process of creation. It combines both his first roughs and the finished ones, so it is an essential album to understand the way this great artist gives visible form to his ideas in the paper or cloth.