Guardian artist Louis Dunn salutes Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez, the iconic underground artist who died of cancer at his Bernal Heights home on Nov. 28 with his daughter and wife at his bedside. He was 72.
Spain, as he was known and as he signed his work, did 12 or so front page graphics for the Guardian, each one a gem. Editor Tim Redmond wrote in Spain's obituary that working with Spain was a pleasure and that he "was just a wonderful guy who happened to be one of the most talented artists of his generation."
He ran his "Flashman" comic strip in the early Guardian and then in the 1980s his comic strip "Factwino V. Armageddon Man," which also became a Mime Troupe play.
Tim wrote that when he went to see his wife Susan Stern, to get some pieces of art to run with his Guardian obit, Susan showed Tim the amazing unfinished mural he was doing
on the wall of his studio. "He worked on it every day," she said. "It was as if he had to draw or die."
His publisher, Ron Turner at Last Gasp Comics, sent out an email to the Last Gasp community the morning of his death. "Spain was a wonderful father, husband, and friend," Ron said.
"His art challenged and enlightened and entertained us for over five decades. His passing coincided with the penumbra eclipse of the moon, like Spain's shadow from the outer
edge of the art world's face." Spain was a regular at the famous Last Gasp Christmas party, coming up next week, and I like to think that it will be something of a memorial service
for him. More formal services are pending and I'll keep you posted. B3