I just received some very sad news. Ric Estrada, one of the most prolific comic book and animation artists in the industry, and a man that I consider both a friend and a mentor, has passed away.
I worked with Ric on a never-released direct-to-video series as his assistant director in the early 2000's, but he had previously worked on such classics as Johnny Quest, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Wacky Races, Captain Planet, and a plethora of others.
What I learned later is that he'd also had a profound impact on the comic book industry. Using his AMBIDEXTROUS DRAWING SKILLS, he cranked out literally thousands of pages for war comics such as Sgt. Rock, romance titles, and even brief stints on Batman, Wonder Woman, and the daily Spider-Man comic strip. At DC, Ric co-created the characters of Power Girl and Amethyst, among others. He received an Eisner Inkpot Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2000 San Diego Comic Con.
Ric also had a rich personal history. A native of Cuba, he attended college at the same time as Fidel Castro. He moved to the United States on a sponsorship from Ernest Hemmingway! After traveling around the globe on many amazing adventures, Ric and his family finally settled in Utah for the remainder of his years.
By far the best legacy Ric leaves is his sweet, caring nature, his sincere concern and guidance toward those who needed it, and the lesson that life can be whatever you make of it. Thank you, Ric, for enriching me both personally and professionally. The things you taught me will never be forgotten, and I promise to follow the advice you once gave me: "Learn everything you can and pass it on."
When I go to Free Comic Book Day tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you.
Read more about Ric:
Ric Estrada Movie