Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Dax the Damned The Paradise Tree

Dax the Damned
'The Paradise Tree'
by Esteban Maroto
from Eerie Issue 59 (August 1974)

'Dax the Damned' was the English-language adaptation of Esteban Maroto's strip Manly el Guerrero ('Manly the Warrior'), that originally was published in the early 70s in the comics section of the Spanish paper Pueblo.

The first episode of 'Dax' apeared in Eerie 39 (April 1972). Additional episodes ran until issue 52 (November 1973).

Never one to spoil a chance to repackage previously published material and foist it on the buying public, James Warren took all the Dax episodes and made them the content of Eerie issue 59, which billed itself as a 'Super Special Summer Giant !' 

Unfortunately, Eerie writer Budd Lewis couldn't help meddling with the speech balloons in these reprinted stories, making extensive changes to Maroto's original wording.

Maroto's exceptional draftsmanship was unlike anything yet seen in American comic art at the time. In 'Dax', he would craft myriad tiny details (like using a small piece of Zip-A-Tone to cast a shadow over one half of a female character's face) to give each page a highly ornate styling.

As for Maroto's plotting, he instilled the Dax adventures with a downbeat, existential tenor that contrasted sharply with the more ebullient atmosphere of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian comics.

Maroto also seems to have modeled the female leads of his 'Dax' strips on the beautiful Spanish actress Soledad Miranda (1943 - 1970), who looked really good in a metal bikini:

Posted below is the episode titled 'The Paradise Tree', scanned at 300 pdi from the original Eerie issue 59.

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