Ric Estrada was a comic book artist I had the pleasure of knowing briefly. He passed away of cancer on Friday.
Ric’s life story was very interesting. He was a Cuban who went to college with Fidel Castro. He left Cuba during the revolution and came to America where he worked at places like Playboy and EC Comics. In the 60s he worked for DC comics and did everything from romance, westerns to war comics. In the early 70s he and his wife moved to Germany where his landlord was a guy named Andreas Baader. He was to find out later Baader became the leader of the Baader-Meinhof Group, a famous terrorist organization.
Ric was a very nice guy. I would talk to him whenever I went to San Diego con and attended the Big 5 dinners which were benefits held to get money for old war comics artists so they could attend the con. People would either pay for the dinner which went to the fund or buy art donated by the artists. And there were lots of fine pieces put up for auction.
Here’s an interview with Ric from 2001. I’m sorry he won’t be around for those dinners anymore. His son is making a documentary about his life.