André Lima Araújo is making it look easy to break into comics. After only doing a handful of comics, he’s currently lined up to draw the new series Avengers A.I. with Sam Humphries. But Araújo’s impressive skills betray a much longer history than his the eight comics he’s done in America.
This Portuguese artist got his start in the European comics scene, doing short stories for the long-running Spanish anthology series Zona. Virtually unknown in America, the Zona series is a remarkable display of talent but only accessible to those speaking Spanish. In its long history it’s published everyone from American artists like Howard Chaykin to Juan Gimenez and now Araújo. Araújo’s work was published in Zona Nippon, Zona Monstra and two of the Zona Desenha volumes, and while the Portuguese artist could have certainly gone on to do more, his eyes were focused on the American comics scene.
In 2011 Araújo submitted samples to Marvel Comics which resulted in doing some test pages based on already-published scripts from Ultimate Spider-Man and Astonishing X-Men, and while talks between him and Marvel’s talent office were on-going he ended up making his American debut elsewhere. In late 2011 Bluewater launched a three-part miniseries titled The Legend of Isis: The First Flight of Horus, which Araújo penciled. The series unfortunately suffered from some poor coloring and lettering, but in 2012 Araújo got his real chance to shine when he was tapped to draw FF #22, one of Jonathan Hickman’s final issues of that series. Now inking his own work, the talent Araújo had began to shine through. In February he did a fill-in issue of X-Treme X-Men with issue #7.1, but I really stood up and took notice in March when he did Fantastic Four #5AU paired with the excellent color artist Jose Villarrubia. His work here shows him at his finest; displaying a nod to Europe’s Moebius but also manga-ka’s like Kia Asamiya, but blending those (and other influences) together into something unique — especially in American superhero comics.
Besides all this busy work-for-hire assignments in the past 18 months, there’s another side to Araújo that pushed him over the top for me: his prodigious creator-owned passion. Over on his blog, Araújo has shown off a string of enticing creator-owned ideas from a apocalyptic robot war in Man Plus to a tale of a drifter in Nomad. Araújo’s even had his hand at anthropomorphic stories with the short Crux Et Gladius, which shows a variety of humanistic animals engaged in medieval combat. More, please!
So far none of his work from the upcoming Avengers A.I.has been revealed yet, but between that major new assignment for Araújo and his menagerie of creator-owned ambitions I have high hopes for him. Here’s a sample of some of his previous work, so look at it and tell us what you think of his changes in comics today.