Forest of spears in the Sumerian haze

Nippur de Lagash is one of the most popular characters in Argentinian comic book history. He is a warrior from Sumer and his adventures are set in the 23rd century BC, in the regions of Mesopotamia, Levant and Ancient Egypt. Nippur was born from the mind of the incredibly talented Robin Wood and first came to life by the pencil of the great Lucho Olivera. The first episode appeared in 1967 and the last one was published in 1998.

It must have been back in the late 70’s or early 80’s when I first met Nippur… and he blew my mind. My dad was an avid D’Artagnan and Nippur Magnum collector and those magazines, containing the saga from the wanderer warrior from Sumer, always ended up on my little desk. That world, his world, was so different, so magical… I would devour every single story I could lay my eyes on. Enjoying not only the tales but savouring every single vignette illustrated by the likes of Olivera, Zaffino and Mulko.

Fast forwarding to 2015, the year is just starting and I want to push myself to commit to do more illustrations, more sketches and more writing. My daily job as a graphic designer and my long commuting hours normally leave me with little time for anything else. But I need to push through. I couldn’t find a better way to do it than by going back to the beginning, to seek inspiration from the heroes of my childhood – and I’m happy to say that they are very much alive. In fact I still have a compendium of Nippur’s stories (Nippur de Lagash, Tomo III, “El Regreso”); one of the few possessions I took with me when I moved to the UK over a decade ago.

So, I’m starting the year with a very simple sketch of Nippur, the shading is ball-point pen, the background Indian ink and the cloak watercolour pencils 🙂


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Manuel Mesones is a Peruvian graphic designer and illustrator. Running away from the sun, he moved to Yorkshire, England, over a decade ago. His weapon of choice is a ballpoint pen but he is also very keen on digital illustration.

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