Vicente B. Ballestar, born in Barcelona in 1929, is a Spanish illustrator known worldwide for his genre-defining dark pulp and supernatural realist illustrations. Throughout his long career, he has been beloved by aficionados of the genre worldwide, especially for his cover illustrations for Geisterjäger, John Sinclair (Ghosthunter, John Sinclair). From the beginning of the series in the 70s to his retirement in 2007, Ballestar created almost one thousand striking scenes in his preferred medium watercolour, giving the adventures of John Sinclair their unmistakable graphic character and certainly greatly contributing to its cult status. In the horror detective fiction series, published weekly since 1973, Scotland Yard chief inspector John Sinclair is the eponymous protagonist of the German pulp fiction written by Helmut Rellergerd under the pen name Jason Dark.
In his unique style, characterised by a masterful command of light and dark and dynamic linework, exploring the many nuances of shadows and extreme emotions in the figures’ facial expressions and postures in eerie settings, danger always lurking nearby, the master watercolourist Ballestar captured the uncanny universe of the series. His dramatic illustrations made the hero and his battles with demonic and undead opponents come to life, leap off the pages and populate the readers’ imagination.
For over thirty years, Ballestar has also painted the background scenes of Spanish bullfighting posters. His vi-vid scenes have become synonymous with the breathless tense energy, physical rigour and captivating danger of the arenas.
Ballestar has collaborated widely with international publishers such as Bastei (Germany), Robert Hale (England), Clevalend (Austria), Semic (France and Sweden), Winthers (Denmark) and more. As a writer, he has published several titles on drawing and painting techniques.