I was looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest and one of them caught my attention: a cool retro illustration of a woman in a spacesuit. One hour later, I had 20 tabs opened, a lot of unanswered questions and a ton of interest information.
This is the cover art for a book by Lou Carrigan called “Uma Espia Em Orbita 2”. The portuguese title translates to “A Spy In Orbit 2”. However, this seems to be the second volume of “Operación Estrellas” (Mission Stars), which is in Spanish. So, was this book originally written in spanish or portuguese? I’m still not 100% sure, as this book series seemed to be very popular in Brazil, but it was written by a Spanish author.
Lou Carrigan was the pen name of Antonio Vera Ramirez (born in Spain in 1934). He wrote, among other things, a series of novels about the adventures of journalist Brigitte “Baby” Montfort, born in France in 1942, who was later smuggled to the US where she was adopted by American parents. She won a Pulitzer Prize, and was a CIA agent, trained in the use of multiple lethal weapons and an expert martial artist. She was also proficient in multiple languages. She was, unfortunately, just a work of fiction. It looks like she was way cooler and lethal than James Bond.
Lou Carrigan started writing the adventures of this amazing spy in 1965, and stopped in 1992, once the collection reached its 500th issue. The series became pretty popular in Brazil, and apparently still is to this day. If you’re interested to know more about the history of this series and the extraordinary fictional life of Brigitte “Baby” Montfort, the author talks about it on his blog (yes, he has a wordpress blog); it is in spanish, but you can use google translate if you’re really interested.
It seems that José Luiz Benicio (also known simply as Benicio) was responsible for many if not all of the covers of the books of The Adventures of Brigitte “Baby” Montfort. Therefore, it’s quite likely that he was the artist responsible for the cool Spacegirl and the other illustrations featured in this post. You can also go see a gallery of covers for the series of books Brigitte in Action published by Bruguera.
I couldn’t find any books by Lou Carrigan translated to english, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever read about the fantastic adventures of “Baby”, unless you can read in spanish. It’s not the same, but this could be your consolation prize: It’s A Man’s World: Men’s Adventure Magazines, The Postwar Pulps, a book filled with interviews, essays, and color reproductions of illustration of several vintage magazines.