José Quintero’s cover art for Heavy Metal #275 (also available in Spanish, in limited quantities, as Metal Pesado #1) is drawing rave reviews. The beautiful woman, warriorlike, serpent gadgetry perched on her shoulders (with USB and iPhone chargers dangling), roses in her palms, human skull at her waist—yet perhaps what sells it more than anything is that gaze, those eyes that have seen more than you’ll ever know, staring right through you:
“Light and shadow, fire and water, sea and land, heaven and earth, life and death,” writes Francisco Lugo Kampe in the current issue of Heavy Metal. “These are the classic dialectic dualities covered in a variety of graphic productions, but in Quintero’s work, any tension gets blurred by the undertones of pop nationalism and contemporary mythologies rich with the use of symbols both local and universal.”
Quintero has a number of favorite themes, one being the politics of his country, Mexico. A figure of a tortured minotaur and certain mainstream superheroes also show up in his work often. His “Caronte Suite” may be his biggest project. In it, a cartoony little girl—in silhouette not too different from Dora the Explorer—is on an endless journey over land and water with that old bony ferryman of the river Styx—Charon.