Addio a Ric Estrada

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Il sempre informato Mark Evanier riporta con amarezza la scomparsa del cartoonist Ric Estrada, avvenuta lo scorso primo maggio a Provo, UT.

L’artista cubano, classe 1928, aveva partecipato saltuariamente al mythos legionario, illustrando i primi 11 episodi dello spin-off “Karate Kid” (1976-77) e svariati altri delle serie regolari propriamente dedicate alla Legione: nello specifico, le sue matite hanno illustrato i nn. 232 e 234 di “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes” e il #261 di “Legion of Super-Heroes” (vol.II), tutti sceneggiati dal veterano Gerry Conway (grazie al Legion Omnicom per la lista).
Ecco come Evanier definisce il rapporto di Estrada con quelli ed altri lavori a fumetti da questi realizzati negli anni Settanta:

Most of his comic book work was done in the sixties and seventies for DC, primarily on romance and war comics. But there was a period where (against his preference, he said), he was assigned to super-hero titles, primarily as a “rough penciller.” Ric didn’t like super-heroes and didn’t feel he had the flair for them, and he also didn’t like producing anything less than finished artwork. […]

He did not feel capable of producing the kind of tight pencil art that most other artists did for such assignments so, on mutual agreement with his editors, he did something looser. He was paid less than if he’d done complete pencil art and his understanding was that the other artists who finished the work would be paid extra. Years later, Ric was extremely upset to learn that several of those artists weren’t paid the higher rates, and that they resented Ric for not doing his portion of the work. A sensitive man, he apologized to at least one of the “finishers,” who accepted Ric’s explanation and declined an offer of money right out of Ric’s own pocket.

Despite the grief it caused him and his own dissatisfaction with the work, it was often quite wonderful…though not as grand as when Ric was allowed to be Ric.

My deepest condolences to Estrada’s family and friends.

Immagine da Karate Kid #1 (1976), disegni di Ric Estrada e Joe Staton

Immagine da Karate Kid #1 (1976), disegni di Ric Estrada e Joe Staton

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