Oct 27th 2012 By: Lauren Davis
Mexican masked wrestler Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta, better known as El Santo, was an icon in the ring, but artist José G. Cruz turned him into a superhero with his Santo comics. On film, El Santo would go on to battle mad scientists, witches, zombies and, most famously, those wicked vampire women. Even when luchadores are wrestling more earthly foes, they appear as costumed supermen brought to life. Artist James Pirat Patradoon
plays with Lucha Libre attire and other brands of masks, mixing it up with superhero accessories, costume makeup, retrofuturistic ray guns, vigilante gangs and the classic superhero suit-up
. When he's not drawing masked men, he's doodling demons and three-headed chimera or animating moments from the pink and purple cyberpunk future that never was.
Patradoon's illustrations poke and prod at macho culture, with irreverent scenes packed with metal imagery, punk aesthetics and plenty of fistfights. More recently, he's stepped back from the black line work to explore psychedelic colors in bizarre futuristic scenes dominated by tentacle-like wires and decapitated androids. You can see animated versions of the images at Patradoon's website