Meléndez, Francisco

Tagged: Art | Author

(1941-    ) Spanish illustrator and author, perhaps best known for two Steampunk-inflected fables of Invention, each featuring an obsessed tinkerer. El verdadero inventor del Buque Submarino (1989 chap; trans William Dyckes and adapted Robert Morton as The Mermaid and the Major: The True Story of the Invention of the Submarine 1991), which seems to be set in the eighteenth century, describes the obsession of its protagonist, Major Michelangelo Monday, with a mermaid, and his construction of a working submarine in order to live with her; his other inventions include some advanced Weapons and a Robot butler. The protagonist of Leopold: La Conquista del Aire (1991 chap; trans Robert Morton as Leopold's Dream 1993), whose obsession is flight, initially creates some overelaborate Airships, but finally builds a successful airplane, which he flies off into the sky, one month before Kitty Hawk; but never returns. Each tale is heavily illustrated by the author, in a crisply detailed but phantasmagoric style which may have been consciously influenced by the work of English artists like W Heath Robinson and Rowland Emett (1906-1990). In 1996 Meléndez gave up his professional career, and has since lived in a monastery, doing educational work with children. [JC]

Francisco Meléndez

born Zaragoza, Spain: 1941

died

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