Maria Barrera, full name María Barrera i Castells, is a Catalan artist. She was a member of a group of female artists who drew romantic comic series for 1950s Spanish girls’ comics. Publications included Sissi, Jana and Pulgarcito. She also illustrated several books in the collections Historias (“Genoveva de Bravante”, “Alicia en el País de las Maravillas”, “Sissi emperatriz”, “Aquellas Mujercitas”) and Joyas Literarias Juveniles (“Hombrecitos”, 1975). During the 1970s-1990s Barrera became involved in agency art through the Bruguera agency Creaciones Editoriales. Publications in which her artwork appeared included Tammy, Jinty, Misty and the Dutch Tina. Source: Lambiek Comiclopedia.
Barrera only drew two Gypsy Rose stories for Jinty, “The Gemini Girl” and “Hide-and-Seek with a Ghost!”. She never drew a serial for Jinty. However, the Gemini Girl story is noteworthy in that the last two images of Gypsy Rose on the last page of the story appeared again and again as paste-ups on a lot of the old Strange Stories that were recycled as Gypsy Roses.
Barrera was a more frequent artist in Misty, where she drew many of Misty’s complete stories such as “Cry Baby” and “Danse Macabre”, and one serial, “The Body Snatchers”. She did not start in Tammy until the first issue of the Tammy & Jinty merger, with “The Shadow of Sherry Brown”. This one was about a jealous, spiteful ghost that will go to just about any lengths (including near murder) to protect what used to belong to her when she was alive. Barrera did have a flair for supernatural stories, and could also draw ballet stories.
When Tammy started credits, Barrera was credited as Barrera Gesali for some reason. Her best known story during this period was “Slave of the Clock”, about an unenthusiastic ballerina who is hypnotised into ballet dancing whenever she hears the ticking of a clock. Other stories included “Lonely Ballerina” and “Dear Diary – I Hate You!” The latter was her last Tammy story and was uncredited because Tammy had stopped running them.
Tammy stories drawn by Maria Barrera:
- The Shadow of Sherry Brown
- Slave of the Clock
- The Message of a Flower (complete story)
- Lonely Ballerina
- Dear Diary – I Hate You!
Edited to add: there is a thread on the Comics UK Forum where Ruth B attributes the following stories to Maria Barrera.
No. 1 Cover and Nightmare story
10. The Love and the Laughter
35. The Bitter Tale of Sweet Lucy
42. Voices in the Wind
47. Who’s a Pretty Boy Then?
52. Danse Macabre
57. Lead Kindly Light
59. Two Left Feet
61. The White Bird
64. At the End of the Rainbow
68. Cry Baby!
73. The Nightwatchman
77. The Monster of the Lavender Lagoon
84. Nightmare, Nightmare, Nightmare
92. Cover/The Body Snatchers
and then from number 93 to 101 the story of the Body Snatcher continues and she did the cover of number 97 as well.