Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Remembering Ric Estrada

This past weekend was a sad time for the comic book world and for fans of romance. As I am sure many of you know, the incredibly talented Ric Estrada passed away this past Friday, May 1st. He not only led a fascinating personal life, but also made a significant contribution to the romance genre. According to Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics, Estrada had 289 story credits under his belt, just for DC alone. Out of those, 56 were romance stories. This isn't even counting the likelihood of unsigned stories, or ones misattributed. It is almost inevitable that he worked on countless more.

Ric Estrada definitely had a handle on drawing gorgeous and sensual women. This panel from the story "The Wrong Kind of Love," originally featured in DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #5 (1971) (image from the 2000 replica edition) really demonstrates that. There is a certain "realness" to his girls and they tend to come off as effortless beauties.

Besides drawing females with great skill, Estrada also drew incredibly handsome men. This particular guy, Tony from "Not Good Enough for Me!" which appeared in Girls' Love Stories #137 (August 1968) not only has style, but the chiseled face to match. Good looking male characters are essential to any first-rate romance story and in my opinion, just as important as having attractive leading ladies.

Lastly, I picked one of my favorite pages to show the caliber of artist Ric Estrada was. This scene comes from Secret Hearts #148 (December 1970) in the story, "Love Song in Blue." The bridge over the young woman's head is really striking in contrast to the rest of the panels, and the closeup on her face is breathtaking.

I should admit that I happen to be the happy owner of the original page from this story. Perhaps I am a tad biased, but it really is a beautiful example of romance art and showcases Estrada's talent well.

Hopefully all of his family and friends know that the community is keeping them and Ric's legacy in their thoughts. It is always hard when the tight-knit comic book industry loses someone, and Mr. Estrada's passing is no exception.


  1. Very nice tribute! I am trying to get together a post on Estrada myself with some of his war comics work and will link yours.

  2. Thanks Pat! I am looking forward to yours! I don't know too much about Estrada's war comics, so I can't wait!

  3. Really, really enjoyed this tribute. You did a great job - I've always enjoyed his work in romance. I once owned a page that I was certain was by Estrada - but I never could ID from where it came. I sold it a while back to pay for something or another around this house. I miss it and I miss him.

  4. I am glad you enjoyed this, Scott. Mr. Estrada will definitely be missed. I hope that someday you will find another page by him that you can enjoy just as much as the first! Thanks for reading!!!

  5. I study with two of Ric's sons, and a little less than a year ago I helped them sort through boxes of his old work-- storyboards, finished comics pages, covers... It was a truly inspiring experience, and it makes me unspeakably happy to see Ric honored and remembered like this. I feel like he represents a whole generation of talented, excellent artists that don't get the admiration they deserve. You just don't see that kind of style, flair, and class in comics today.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Jake! How cool that you were able to get a peek at his artwork. I can't say it enough, but Estrada's romance stuff is so worthy of attention and accolade. I am a big fan, so I will continue to feature it!