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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eduardo Barreto, Uruguayan comic book artist, died he was 57.

Luis Eduardo Barreto Ferreyra was an artist from Uruguay who worked in the comic book and comic strip industries,[2] including several years of prominent work for DC Comics  died he was 57 .

(1954 – December 15, 2011)

Early life

Luis Eduardo Barreto Ferreyra was born in 1954 in Montevideo, Uruguay. From the Sayago neighborhood, his childhood and youth house was in Calaguala street; and he grew up reading comics and being an avid supporter of his favorite soccer team, Nacional. Two of his children, Diego and Andrea, also work in comics, Diego as an artist, and Andrea as a colorist; both occasionally collaborated with Eduardo.
In interviews, Eduardo reminisced about the time when, at age seven, he was reading a comic and decided he would grow up to be a professional comic strip artist.


In Uruguay and Argentina

A self-taught artist, Barreto pointed out Russ Manning, Harold Foster and Warren Tufts as his three main artistic influences. When he was 15 years old, his portfolio under his arm, he went to each and every newspaper in Montevideo looking for a job. With a Richard Lionheart biographical comic (inspired by Foster's Prince Valiant, one of his favorite comics) as his strongest work (and which he had intended to sell outside of Uruguay) he finally found a job at newspaper El Día. The editor for the newspaper's children's magazine ("El Día de los Niños") liked Eduardo's art, but he asked him to do something more Hispanic. Thus, an adaptation of the Spanish epic poem Cantar de Mio Cid (The Lay of the Cid), was soon published in the magazine, scripted and drawn by Eduardo, aged 16.
In 1974 he created a science fiction and space opera strip inspired in The Morning of the Magicians, a book by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. He created the strip intending to sell it to a syndicate, as his first love in comics were strips, and called it "El Poderoso Halcón" (The Mighty Hawk). In Uruguay, however, his only client was the newspaper magazine he was already working, in which he published two pages featuring the character on Sundays.
A year later Barreto sold the strip to United Press, and the syndicate distributed his strips to some sixteen or seventeen newspapers in Latin America. There was even talk of translating it into English, but it never happened, due to international paper and oil crisis in the mid-seventies. At age 21, Eduardo was publishing a strip all across Latin America.
Working outside Uruguay was a logical consequence of the career he had been forging for himself, a logical consequence of wanting to make a living in comics. Since making a full living from comics in Uruguay was impossible, he traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to leave some samples in publisher Editorial Columba (house of comic anthology magazines El Tony and Dartagnan). He returned to Montevideo, and supplemented his comic work for El Día with artwork for advertising agencies.
After getting married and moving, he returned to Buenos Aires on vacation, and visited Columba again. The publisher's chief art editor, Antonio Presa, asked him why he hadn't answered the letter in which they offered him a position working in the strip "Kabul de Bengala". Eduardo never had received the letter, as it had been sent to his former address.
Starting in 1975, he worked for about three years for the Argentinian publisher, first living in the country for a year, working in the Nippur IV studio. In the morning he worked in the Kabul art (scripted by H. G. Oesterheld), and in the afternoon he worked at the Nippur studio, as an assistant to Ricardo Villagrán; or rather a ghost artist. Among others, he worked on "Mark" (doing full pencils starting with issue seven). After that year he moved back to Uruguay, working there and traveling once a month to Argentina. By then he was working on several Nippur studio characters, but on his own, and signing his own name. Eventually, tired of Ray Collins' (Eugenio Zapietro) scripts, he signed his Kabul art with aliases, such as "S. Gneis" or "Kopy"; using the latter when he had to copy another artists' styles.

American work

After three years working in Argentina, his editor advised him to try his luck in the United States. He had reached a certain ceiling in the regional market. In 1979 he went to New York City, and his first American work was inking for Marvel Comics was issue #88 of Marvel Team-Up, featuring Spider-Man and Invisible Girl, with script by Chris Claremont and pencils by Sal Buscema. The same afternoon he received that assignment, he also received a Hawkman origin assignment for World's Finest Comics #261 from DC Comics, and a horror story from Western Publishing. After a few months he returned to Uruguay, but he would go back to the United States in 1983. He would live there for about three years, working first on the Archie Comics superhero imprint Red Circle, particularly in The Shield. Three or four months later, he started to work on Superman for DC, and on other things for Marvel and Western as well.[citation needed]


It was for DC that he did most of his American work, and in fact, the non-comic consuming Uruguay audience knew him as the "Uruguayan Batman artist", something that was only a partial look at his work. In addition to being the most well-known Uruguayan artist in international comics, he was also the only Uruguayan to draw a regular American series continuously, and not as fill-in, guest artist. First he drew six issues of Atari Force that were published between January and August 1984, and then a very long period in volume two of New Teen Titans, drawing issues 13 to 49 between October 1984 and November 1988, except for two issues. During those years, he worked for other comic publishers, as well as drawing for other media, such as a He-Man story book in 1985.
During the 80s, in addition to his Titans work, he drew stories, covers, and pin-ups featuring a wide variety of DC characters: Superman, Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Arrow, Flash, Elongated Man, and in licensed comics published by DC, such as Star Trek. In 1989 he illustrated the prestige format graphic novel Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography, written by James D. Hudnall, in which Superman is practically absent, instead featuring Clark Kent in his investigative journalist role.
Between 1989 and 1990 he had another long stint in a regular series, doing 24 issues of The Shadow Strikes with writer Gerard Jones. Also with Jones he would make Martian Manhunter: American Secrets (1992), a miniseries set in the 1950s.

1990s - 2000s

In the 1990s Barreto worked with several companies and characters, such as Dark Horse, for whom he drew Indiana Jones, Aliens/Predators, and Star Wars, adapting the A New Hope special edition movie.
For DC, during the 90s he would do Superman and Batman comics, such as Speeding Bullets, Justice League Quarterly, Sgt. Rock, and others. He inked the first appearance of Agent Liberty[3] in Superman #60 (Oct. 1991). One of his works that decade was Superman: Under A Yellow Sun, which focused more on Clark Kent's career as a novelist. For Tekno Comics he drew Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger, about a hard-boiled detective who finds himself in a futurist world.
In the 2000s decade he continued to work for various publishers, such as Claypool Comics, fro whom he illustrated Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. For Oni Press he drew western story The Long Haul, and the gangster graphic novel Union Station. For Marvel he drew his first regular series in a long time (and eventually, his last), fifteen issues of Marvel Knights between July 2000 and September 2001, scripted by Chuck Dixon. He would also work for IDW on COBB and Doomed, and for Moonstone Books' Captain Action (the latter two written by Beau Smith). In 2005, for Dark Horse, he drew novelist Michael Chabon's first extended comic book story, in The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist #7, and later contributed to the The Escapists series written by Brian K. Vaughan. He worked in DC's Birds of Prey in 2004 and 2006. In 2006 he drew for Boom! Studios' Planetary Brigade, and the following year he did a short story for Marvel's Civil War: Front Line.
In May 2006 he returned to newspaper strips, taking over the art duties in Judge Parker from Harold LeDoux. Shortly afterwards, Barreto suffered a serious car accident, and while he was in the hospital, Judge Parker's art was undertaken by artists such as Graham Nolan, John Heebing, and Eduardo's son Diego, who had been working as an artist for a few years already, mainly in advertising but doing some work for American comic publishers.[4]

Return to Uruguayan work

After his jump to the American scene, Barreto did very little work for the Uruguayan market. Among the things he worked on in his country we can find comic stories for the book (2000) and Freeway magazine; and the cover for Jaime Roos's album "Hermano Te Estoy Hablando" (2009). He taught comic book classes in ORT university, and was part of the jury in one of the comic contests for Montevideo Comics, a local convention. In 2004 he illustrated a science fiction prose novel, Guide To A Universe, by writer Natalia Mardero; and in 2005 Memories Of A Flu, a children's novel by writer Helen Velando. Among other works scripted by himself, around 2009 he was working on a new adaptation of the book Ismael, by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Acevedo Díaz, and a historical graphic novel set in Colonia del Sacramento, during viceroy's Pedro de Cevallos time. However, these works were never finished, perhaps due to the health issues he would undergo, or was already suffering from.

Final years

Barreto eventually returned to Judge Parker, and continued working on that and occasional stories with other characters, such as Superman and Captain Action. In 2010 he was stricken with meningitis, and was forced to abandon the Judge Parker daily strip in March 2010, which was taken over by Mike Manley.[5] Sometime later, apparently recovered from meningitis, he set to work on other projects. In April 2011 it was announced that Eduardo and his son Diego would work on Irredeemable, and in July 2011 he took over the art for The Phantom's Sunday strips. His last published work was in September 2011, the 1970s Superman DC Retroactive issue, finished from his hospital bed, and with some pages drawn by fellow Uruguayan Christian Duce.[citation needed]
He died on December 15, 2011, due to undisclosed health issues.[6]

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