Juan said it was a natural process to start drawing and capture everything that was memorized in his retina.
While he was studying in Río Cuarto, Argentina, he met Victor Hugo Arias, professional cartoonist who was working at that time in Misterix Magazine, and for the English Editorial Fleetway. Juan spent every afternoon at the house of this cartoonist, who became a teacher for him. He improved his techniques and learned methods to improve his strokes.
His first opportunity as a cartoonist arose at 16 years old when Arias’s friend Hector Alfonso, also cartoonist and publisher, proposed Juan to publish one of his comics.
His first comic book called “El último disparo” was published in 1960 in the Magazine “Asalto” where Hector Alfonso was working on.
“The story was elementary, an excuse to draw Matilda tanks fighting in the desert”
He managed to publish about 8 more comics in that magazine, before Argentina fell into an economic and political crisis where the comic ended up suffering, and the publisher disappeared. He thus returned to mechanical technician studies.
All magazines and the most important cartoonist went abroad to Europe, Arias among them.
In the early 60s, Juan’s father was transferred to an area of Brazil where there was not much civilization, and where Juan was drawing just for pleasure and for himself.
Gimenez graduated around that time. He began working in advertising, which was the closest he could be to drawing and where he could also have financial independence. He worked in advertising for 15 years. During that period of time, he stopped drawing comic books.
Nevertheless he did have the opportunity in his work to make movies in animation and live. Everything he learned from cinema in advertising, he used unconsciously later in his work as a cartoonist. Things like how to put images together correctly so that the sequences filmed made sense with each other. Everything he learned from cinema in advertising, he used unconsciously later in his work as a cartoonist.
He returned to the Comic world in the mid-1970s with short stories for the magazine Skorpio (1974-1996), some of them collected on the album The Strange Trial of Roy Ely.
Juan recognized it was hard for him to start all over again, but on the other side he was fresh and motivated surrounded by the new trends and the new generation of cartoonists.
In this new stage he was influenced by new cartoonists, Moebius among others.
“Moebius gave me a brain shock. That variety of techniques, daring with any subject, color, black and white. In addition to that fantastic inner world that he has.”