I saw a couple of unnamed Vampirella drawings on eBay in 2006, and was impressed by the similarity to the work of José Gonzalez. Nearly three years later I was contacted by a friend of the artist and then by Rafael himself.
It seems that in the 1970's and 1980's Rafael was working for Fleetway Publishing in the UK, working on magazines such as Blue Jeans and Valentine. José Gonzalez had also worked for Fleetway on the same magazines and Rafael considers himself very lucky to have met him. Rafael and José became long time friends, and the drawings I originally saw on eBay were done "in the style of" José.
Rafael informed me that "I was very young when I started to draw comics, having been inspired by Joaquin Blázquez (the Mummy, Warren and reputed creator of E.T.). My first comic was published in 1964 and was a western/cowboy, and this was followed by the life of Attila.
"My first work for Fleetway was a 64 page comic book of romance and war stories. I later draw for Bastei in Germany, in the series Gespenter and Brooom.
"Through the agency Selecciones Illustradas I drew the last issue of Paranormal (#7) for IPC King. For the agency Bardom Art I drew the character Danger Mind, and did comedy and histories of horses for Semic Press in Sweden.
"The main characters/art that inspired me are Flash Gordon by Raymond and Vampirella by Jose Gonzalez. I have a lot of affection for the art of Frank Frazzeta.
"All my artistic life has developed in the city of Barcelona, though at present I live on the beautiful Island of Arosa in Galicia."
Rafael was upset to hear of José's death in 2009, and created some artwork in memory of José, two of which were made exclusively for me (Mucho gracias, Rafael). Unfortunately, the scan/photograph of one of the "In Memoriam" pieces is blurred, but I am hoping to get a better copy at a later date.
I am also hoping to get more and better/larger scans of Rafael's art eventually.
One of the scans that Rafael sent me of Vampirella has her in a state of undress. It is a stunning piece of art, but I cannot show it here as this is a family friendly site. If you are interested in seeing it contact me.