Ramona, Enrique, and Leroy.

§ February 26th, 2024 § Filed under obituary, publishing § 7 Comments

Legendary comics artist Ramona Fradon passed away this week at the age of 97, having only retired from her popular commissions practice a month or two ago. If you’ve seen any of those commissions, you know her illustrative skill hadn’t lost a step. (The official gallery of art appears to have been taken down, but Google up some of her art…you won’t be disappointed.)

Above is a great shot from Super Friends #28 from 1980, a comic I picked up ages ago as it’s nominally a Swamp Thing appearance. As you can probably infer from the dialogue (by E. Nelson Bridwell), those characters aren’t the real, but rather folks in costumes magically transformed into the beings they were dressed as. But, eh, close enough for horseshoes. It’s a fun story, featuring the various superhero stars of the TV cartoon fighting weird creatures, some of whom likely wouldn’t make it past the network’s Standards and Practices. (“Who’s this?” “Oh, that’s the Demon, he–” [giant DENIED stamp pounded on the script])

She was a great talent, and you can read Mark Evanier’s obituary (and follow-up post) to get an idea of the breadth of her work and the regard in which she was held by her peers.

So long, Ramona.

• • •

Should also note the passing of Enrique Badia Romero, artist of Modesty Blaise and Axa. Sorry I don’t have as much to say about his art, other than that it was expertly crafted and beautiful linework, but this overview should tell you all about him and present nice samples of his ability.

I mean, a long time ago I was selling some Axa books on eBay and they got bounced off for being “too adult” for the general listings. Meanwhile, plenty of Faust and Leather and Lace to be found there. Romero was just too sexy for eBay, I guess!

So long, Enrique.

• • •

So I posted links to my post on the EC Comics revival at Oni Comics on both Bluesky and Xwitter a few days back, It’s pretty unusual for me to use Xwitter now, but I still check in from time to time to say “hello” and of course shill for myself. But this time there was a nice payoff as the literal President and Publisher of Oni Press responded to my tweet:

So there you go, straight from the horse’s mouth, we’re getting the original Leroy-style mechanical lettering in the new EC books. Maybe this may sound odd to anyone not familiar with the original ECs, but that lettering will go a long way to selling this revival to me.

Now he also mentions that other comments I’ve made presaged some of their other plans for the books, and if you read the original post there’s not a whole lot I said that would sort of fit into that category. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing semi-consistent creative teams on some of these books. I don’t know, we’ll see, and I’m looking forward to finding out.

7 Responses to “Ramona, Enrique, and Leroy.”

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Mike Sterling

    Thanks for the links to Mark Evanier’s obituary and follow-up post about Ramona Fradon. Very cool anecdotes and great that both Jack Kirby and Al Williamson thought highly of her work. Also cool that she co-created the original Aqualad and Metamorpho. I believe Howard Chaykin did a long interview with her a few decades back that was published in a Ramona Fradon book–probably by TwoMorrows.

  • Dan Jack says:

    That is sad to hear about Ramona Fradon passing. She is a true long-standing legend of comics.

    That panel reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode, ‘Masks’ where the twist ending is similar. Wonder if it is an inspiration or just a rip-off of the above story!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “but that lettering will go a long way to selling this revival to me”

    Rarely is lettering iconic… but that style was!

  • Oliver says:

    Romero made Modesty Blaise look a touch too glamorous for my taste, but he did succeed in guaranteeing the strip’s future when he stepped up at short notice after Modesty’s original artist, Jim Holdaway, suddenly passed away.

  • Thom H. says:

    Ramona Fradon is one of those comic creators who I just assumed would be around forever. She was such a mainstay of the field. I’m sorry to hear she’s passed, but I’m glad she had work until the very end.

  • Snark Shark says: