Sampayo, Carlos 1943–

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Sampayo, Carlos 1943–

PERSONAL: Born September 17, 1943, in Argentina; immigrated to Spain.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

CAREER: Comic-book writer. Creator, with José Muñoz, of Joe's Bar and Alack Sinner comic-book series.


Karate within Your Grasp, translation by Alice L. Hobson, Sterling Publishing Co. (New York, NY), 1976.

(With illustrator, José Muñoz) Joe's Bar, Catalan Communications, 1988.

(With illustrator, José Muñoz) Billie Holiday, Fantagraphics Books (Seattle, WA), 1993.

Also collaborator, with José Muñoz, on numerous other comic books in Spanish.

SIDELIGHTS: Argentine writer and expatriate Carlos Sampayo is best known for his collaborations with José Muñoz, an illustrator he met in Spain after he fled from the military junta in his home country. Their Alack Sinner comic-book series is a film noir-style saga featuring a hard-boiled detective, while the Joe's Bar series is set in New York City. Much of their work, which is written for an adult audience, is collected in Spanish-language volumes, some of which have been translated. A number of their works are published as French-language translations, including Billie Holiday, which profiles the great American jazz singer (1915–1959), who also became a European celebrity with her 1950s tour.

Joe's Bar, a collection, called "gritty and dark" by Library Journal contributor Keith R.A. DeCandido, features characters who tend to be losers and criminals. There is a has-been boxer, an illegal alien, a paranoid female photographer, and a teenager who ends his father's life with a mercy killing. All of the characters, who are portrayed by Muñoz as grotesques, at one time or another end up in the sleazy Manhattan bar of the title.

New Statesman contributor Roz Kaveney called the creators' portrayal of America in Joe's Bar the "America of cheap coffee and roach-filled rooms." Booklist reviewer Ray Olson wrote that Muñoz's "claustrophobic closeups and disorienting angles of vision are the ideal complement for Sampayo's bleak urban naturalism."



Booklist, February 15, 1988, Ray Olson, review of Joe's Bar, p. 962.

Library Journal, March 15, 1990, Keith R.A. DeCandido, review of Joe's Bar, p. 55.

New Statesman, December 1987, Roz Kaveney, review of Joe's Bar, pp. 41-42.