Most comic book fans dream of meeting the artists who draw their favorite comics, but not many get to honor them for their contributions to the industry. The FIU Comics Club, which has about 20 active and more than 80 online members, can now claim just that.
Comic book fans and curious onlookers recently descended upon the Wolfe University Center to meet one of the world’s most prolific comic book artists, Jose Delbo – the original artist of Wonder Woman.
Daniela Ottati, the club’s treasurer, created a video highlighting Delbo’s career that also included drawing such comics as Superman, Batman, The Transformers and Thundercats.
The club members’ knowledge surprised Delbo. They were able to find pieces that he forgot existed, and he jokingly implied they might have some less than flattering pictures of him. Comics Club president Irvin Lira regaled the audience with a nearly endless stream of Delbo’s accomplishments before he presented him with a star-shaped award to show the club’s appreciation for Delbo’s more than 60-year career.
Delbo was gracious in his acceptance and kept the crowd laughing.
“As you notice from my accent, I’m from Boston, Massachusetts,” Delbo jested through his strong Argentinian accent.
He loves to make fun of himself. He refers to his drawings as nothing more than “little pictures,” openly admits that he may have drawn Wonder Woman’s breasts too large at times and uses his age as constant comedic fodder.
“One of the advantages of being old,” he warned, “is I can’t hear,” Luckily there was a microphone on hand when the Q-and-A began.
Delbo, 80 and a Boca Raton transplant, has been drawing since he was 16 years old and says a lot has changed since he started in the industry. “Photoshop is changing the art. Everything is looking like a photo.”
On at least one attendee’s mind: Why hasn’t Hollywood made a Wonder Woman movie?
“From what I’ve seen, women do not embrace Wonder Woman,” Delbo said. He is glad Wonder Woman will be appearing in the soon-to-be-released “Superman Vs. Batman” movie, but he finds it unfortunate she is viewed as a sex symbol more than a heroine.
His appearance at FIU, a first for Delbo, was cemented during a July 2013 Comics Club trip to South Florida’s comic book convention Supercon. Comics Club advisor Fernando Ottati told Delbo about the club and invited him to come speak to the students.
“Yes. Why not?” Delbo remembered his response. Neither could have expected the response to his visit. More than 70 students and staff packed themselves in the small WUC conference room.
Said Daniela Ottati, “We all knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with a legend from the comics world.”