Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Cuban Connection

Friday Comic Book Day.

I am still selling my comics on eBay. In the course of preparing those pages, I come across stuff I forgot I had. One of those is a find I did years ago, a story in Prize's Justice Traps the Guilty I believe to be by Ric Estrada. Estrada is a respected artis who today is mostly remembered for his work vaguely Tothlike at the DC war titles in the sixties. BUt he was around before that, even doing a story for Harvey Kurtzman at EC about Cuban fighters. In the late fifties he went to Germany for two years, as I recently found out because he was a Mormon and was doing his regular duty to go from door to door there. Before that very little of his career was known, until I found that he had drawn more than half of the two first issues of Mad magazine imitator Frantic. You will find some of those pages in my book Behaving Madly (linked on the right) and I will add one I didn't use to this post. Even then I knew about the Justice Traps the Guilty story, but I couldn't find it in any of my books anymore. So there I was scanning for a set of British JTTG reprints, when it turned up in black and white. I immediately made photos and for this blog I went to the Digital Comics Museum and got the proper scanned version in color as well, from Justice Traps the Guilty #77. It shows the slightly flowery style Estrada used in some of his other comic book work a couple of years before that (which you will find if you follow the Estrada link below).

As a sidenote, Mort Meskin lovers will see that some of the panels are fully redone, probably because of some comic code requesed rewrite. Maybe Estrada had already left for Germany and wasn't available. The Frantic pieces are unsigned, while most of Estrada's work for Frantic was, which is the mean reason I did not used this in the book. But it looks lovely, doesn't it?


The Seditionist said...

Estrada's comics art left me cold. I knew him from his late superhero work and that clearly wasn't the right genre for him. The war work, too, left me cold.
But in the late 70s, he illustrated an article or something about the filming of the first Superman movie in NYC and the drawings were beautiful.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I'd love to see that. His work for Frantic is sloppy, but shows an extraodrinairy flair for cartooning.