Friday, February 19, 2010

Eduardo Barreto 'gravely ill'

Here's a depressing headline from The Washington Post:

BREAKING: 'Judge Parker' artist Eduardo Barreto is 'gravely ill'; new artist sought

Beginning next week, readers will notice a sig
nificantly different look to the comic strip "Judge Parker." That is because Eduardo Barreto, the feature's artist since 2006, is gravely ill.

"Eduardo is not coming back," Woody Wilson, the longtime writer of "Judge Parker" and "Rex Morgan M.D." tells Comic Riffs. "He's gravely ill. He has told us he will not be able to [draw the comic for] the foreseeable future."

The first time I remember seeing Barreto's work was on The New Titans, not long after George Perez left the re-launched direct sales title. And I hated him. They couldn't have found an artist more different from Perez — who'd worked on The New Teen Titans for 7 or 8 years straight — had they done so on purpose.

But here's the strange thing: by the time Barreto left the book, I was sorry to see him go. With enough time he won me over and I've been a fan ever since. (I had the same response/resolution when Tom Grummett took over the pencils for Titans.)

While I'm still not sure Barreto was the appropriate artist for a book like the Teen Titans/New Titans, he found a comfortable home in The Shadow Strikes, DC's "conventional" take on the pulp hero. He and Gerard Jones re-wrote many of the classic pulp novels and streamlined them into a comicbook narrative. Barreto's style is pure pulp fiction. It's no surprise to me that he's found so much work in the subsequent years drawing crime-related comics.

Here's hoping he makes a full recovery.

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