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A Friday Farewell to a Classic Illustrator

This certainly has been a depressing December for comics fans. Jerry Robinson and Joe Simon, both industry giants, leaving us within days of each other. There have already been many words written about both men by comics historians far more erudite than me, and i imagine there are more to come.

It’s not getting nearly as much press as the loss of Joe Simon the same day, naturally… but the death that hit me the hardest was the loss of Eduardo Barreto.

We weren’t friends, or anything like that. Never met the man. Although I’d hoped to see him at a convention or something someday, because I really admired his work and wanted to tell him so. It was meningitis that took him, I guess. He was fifty-seven. That’s just way too young. It seems so random and unfair.

But then, “unfair” was usually the word I thought of when I thought of Barreto’s comics career.

Eduardo Barreto wasn’t an industry giant. He wasn’t a superstar artist. The obituaries I’ve seen popping up here and there the last couple of days tend to list his credits as “many DC books, most notably a long run on the Titans, before taking over the art on Judge Parker for King Features.”

The same two photographs of Mr. Barreto keep popping up. This one is, I think, the better of the two.

Well, okay. That’s accurate enough, as far as it goes. But it really doesn’t capture the heart of the matter.

Because Eduardo Barreto, if there was any justice, would have been a comics star. But he was, more than any other artist I can think of, saddled with the curse of terrible timing.

He often ended up being “the new guy” after a more famous artist left a comic book series. He had to follow Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez on Atari Force. Then he had to follow Garcia-Lopez again– on The New Teen Titans, and that was when we were all still smarting over George Perez being replaced with Garcia-Lopez in the first place. What’s more, Barreto’s inaugural Titans storyline was one of the most unpopular in the title’s history.

I would have said THE most unpopular, but there's Danny Chase.

Ed Barreto even had to follow Mike Mignola’s Victorian Batman Elseworlds Gotham By Gaslight. The Augustyn-Barreto follow-up, Master of the Future, is every bit as good, but no one ever mentions that one.

Still awesome.

His most recent gig was breathing new life into newspaper strips Judge Parker and The Phantom for King Features…. in an era where story strips are dying out.

I remember JUDGE PARKER from when I was a kid, and trust me, this is SO MUCH BETTER looking than that was.

And if there was ever a dull talking-heads strip that needed an artistic makeover, it was tired old Judge Parker, believe me.

Barreto could bring the sexy, too.

Had Mr. Barreto been plying his trade in newspaper comics in the 1940s or even the 50s, he’d have been a superstar.

Instead, he was doing stunning work on Judge Parker in an era when the ‘story strip’ is out of favor with most editors, who generally prefer gag strips these days (usually ones designed with really simple characters and art, since the real estate available on the newspaper comics page has shrunk so much in recent years) and even the newspapers themselves are on life support. First time in years the strip was worth looking at and it’s practically invisible. Bad timing, again.

In comic books, especially at DC, Barreto kept getting put on books that should have been really successful, fan-favorite projects, but for some reason never quite caught on with fans. His two Superman books, The Unauthorized Biography of Lex Luthor and particularly Under A Yellow Sun are both favorites of mine.

The author photo by 'Gammill Barreto' is a nice touch.

His 1992 Martian Manhunter miniseries with Gerard Jones, American Secrets, is probably some of the coolest work anyone’s ever done on that character– a terrific period piece set in the late 50s, long before New Frontier was a gleam in Darwyn Cooke’s eye. It’s absurd that it’s unavailable in a collected edition in an era when DC is putting out pricey hardcovers of stuff like Secret Society of Super-Villains, for Chrissakes.

You have to be kind of an uber-nerd to catch it but I love the quiet homage here to the old 1950s crime paperback covers, with the title character done almost as a logo and then the painting of a hot girl in the lower corner. Pure GOLD MEDAL-era Robert McGinnis and Barreto absolutely nailed it.

And then there was the wonderful Mike Danger series that he worked on with Max Allan Collins for Big Entertainment’s short-lived “Tekno-Comix” imprint in the 1990s.

Probably wouldn't set you back too much in back issues, and definitely worth tracking down.

I adored this book, the story of a hardboiled forties-era private eye flung into a science-fiction future, but it never quite found an audience — though I’m pretty sure this was at least moderately successful, since it outlasted everything else Tekno put out.

But the biggest injustice, as far as I’m concerned, is Ed Barreto’s criminally overlooked work on The Shadow.

Like most of his other work at DC, Barreto stepped in after a much more famous artist had worked on the initial effort. In this particular case, it was the Shadow ongoing that DC launched with Andy Helfer scripting over art from first Bill Sienkewicz and then Kyle Baker. This was the follow-up to the successful four-issue miniseries from Howard Chaykin.

Chaykin's edgy, modern Shadow...

This was definitely not the traditional, 1930s-era Shadow. The idea was to do something modern and edgy and cool.

... led to Sienkiewicz's edgier, MORE modern Shadow...

However, the book kept pushing the boundaries, and eventually became out-and-out parody.

...and then finally Baker's EVEN EDGIER, EVEN MORE modern-- wups, okay, that's too far.

The modern Shadow title was canceled abruptly in mid-story, either because of low sales or because Conde Nast had finally seen what DC was doing with their Shadow license (accounts differ.) This is the version of the Shadow that DC fans tend to talk about.

But the point is, DC tried again shortly after with The Shadow Strikes!, a much more traditional take on the character, and fan response was largely “meh.” With some justification– after all, following the licensing kerfuffle over Helfer and Baker’s gleefully irreverent version, DC was careful to make it obvious that this would be a very respectful, back-to-basics take on the man in black. This was your father’s Oldsmobile. And fans largely dismissed it as such.

But you know, you get the right talent on something like that, and by God, you’ll discover that old car’s still got a lot of miles left on it. Gerard Jones turned in tightly-written, smart, pulpy scripts with a lot of actual 1930s history sneaked in around the edges… but what sold it to me was the art. Eduardo Barreto was the artist on The Shadow Strikes! and the work he did there is absolutely my favorite version of that character anyone’s ever done in comics. I saw Steve Hickman’s painted cover on #1, picked it up, and Barreto owned me.

It was traditional, sure. But it's a fine old tradition and Ed Barreto did it proud.

Yes, I’m the heretic who liked Barreto’s Shadow more than Mike Kaluta’s. Kaluta did great stuff but his version is a little too mannered and pretty for me for it to be the definitive version that it is for so many other folks. I like Eduardo Barreto’s version better. Barreto’s Shadow is similar to Kaluta’s but it’s grittier, it’s more kinetic– it just feels pulpier to me.

This style just FEELS right. I wish he had been able to paint them like Hickman did #1, that's my only caveat.

His covers were always good but it’s the moody interior pages where you can really see a master’s hand.

This was before coloring in Photoshop became the norm, as well, which meant that the actual art had to carry much more of the load when it came to lighting a scene and setting an emotional tone. Barreto did it beautifully and always in service to the story, there’s no artistic stuntwork going on.

The people all look real, and differentiated. Julius Schwartz often said that there are lots of kids out there who can draw a good Superman, but it’s the guy who can draw all the other people and cars and buildings in Metropolis that you hire. Barreto is absolutely that guy, he could do it all. His period pieces– The Shadow Strikes and all the other stuff, Victorian, 1950s beatnik cool, whatever– were always extensively researched and impeccably drawn.

I know. I’m geeking. But it’s such a rare treat in modern comics to see real illustrators. Guys who can light a scene, draw natural-looking things like regular cars and buildings and even folds in clothing, pose people naturally and still convey emotion… and who do all of that without calling undue attention to the skill involved and taking you out of the story.

Believe me, it takes a hell of a lot of skill. Don’t take my word for it– look around the internet and you’ll see that most of the obits for Ed Barreto are from professionals who worked with him or who were just fans, and they all are saying the same thing over and over again… how good he was and how unfair it is that he was never a fan favorite.

I’d been bitching for years about the unfairness and bad timing that plagued Ed Barreto throughout his comics career. And today, traditional illustrators are so far out of fashion, compared to guys drawing manga-style or whatever… hell, superhero comics is a place where a good swipe artist can land a regular title.

Good stuff lasts, though. Good is always in style. You can always tell the genuinely good artists because they’re the guys other artists get excited about. Eduardo Barreto was definitely an artist’s favorite even if he never was a star to the fans.

But he was a star to this fan. Considering that even in death Ed Barreto’s still being overshadowed by more famous comics people, I thought that at least here, in this week’s column, I could talk about how much I liked his work and run a bunch of it so people could see why. It just seemed… fair.

Rest in peace, Mr. Barreto. You’ll be missed.

See you next week.

41 Comments

This is yet another fine piece, in a long line of them, Greg. Wonderful tribute and now I’ve got to add a bunch of this stuff to my want list (like that Mike Danger, completely forgot about that!). Thanks for doing this fine tribute.

I remember going through back issues in the early 90′s, looking for Martian Manhunter books and finding those. The art alone was so good I was disappointed Barreto wasn’t tapped for the run Ostrander did a few years later.

Wonderful tribute, Greg. Seriously, 57 is way, way too young (I mean, it was sad about Robinson and Simon, but the two of them did live rather long, with generally fulfilling careers…)
Personally, I haven’t read many books that had Barreto’s art except for a few Elseworlds titles (and I’m willing to say “Master of the Future” is perhaps even a little better than “Gotham by Gaslight”), but what I have seen I really like. That Martian Manhunter series has been on my want-list for some time now, and now I’m seriously thinking of tracking down those Shadow titles you mentioned here. And you’re right about those Judge Parkers – if newspaper story strips had looked like that back when I was a kid, I would have been an avid reader…

By the way, sort of OT, but I’m wondering why CSBG does not have any tributes to either Barreto (besides this one) and Joe Simon, like it did for Robinson last week. Seems like a really glaring omission. I am missing something? (And yes, I saw the obits on the CBR main page and the posts in the forum…)

Thank you very much for this homage. 57 is very young to pass away. With all the skills this artist had in his head and in his hand. What wonderful drawings he has done.

And he was only recognized by his peers and some true comic book readers as a true A-list artist.

That is why I do not like at all this kind of list: because your name is not on it, you do not have the chance to show what you can do. You are staying as “the second couteau”, despite all your skills. It is really a shame…

R.I.P Barreto

2011 is really a sad, very sad year…

Excellent piece.

I only vaguely know Barreto from his Teen Titans work way back when but it always impressed me and made me buy the title when I didn’t buy any other DC. Looking at the artwork on show above, I’m one of the idiots who didn’t appreciate him fully. It’s really lovely stuff. When you compare it to the cack we get nowadays (check out Hulk’s right thigh on the double-splash of The Incredible Hulk #2), it just makes it all the sadder he wasn’t appreciated and handed bigger gigs.

A sad story and a sad loss. My best wishes to his family.

By the way, sort of OT, but I’m wondering why CSBG does not have any tributes to either Barreto (besides this one) and Joe Simon, like it did for Robinson last week. Seems like a really glaring omission. I am missing something? (And yes, I saw the obits on the CBR main page and the posts in the forum…)

Well, CSBG does have a tribute to Ed Barreto, because I wrote one. Doesn’t this count?

I can’t speak for the others, but I didn’t write about Joe Simon because lots of other people already have and I wanted to write this instead, and I didn’t write about Jerry Robinson because we already had the other one up. I assume my colleagues, if they gave it any thought at all, probably thought something like, “Oh, it’s already on the main page, and I don’t have anything to say.”

CSBG is really not terribly organized. Brian invited us, and once in a blue moon he’ll forward an e-mail about an interview opportunity or suggest something, but mostly we just write what we please. I read what everyone else is doing, to make sure I’m not inadvertently trampling over something someone else wanted to do, but it’s been long enough that everyone kind of knows who’s interested in what.

Case in point: a couple of years ago, there was a thing where a woman was trying to figure out an art question about an old paperback cover and she emailed all of us here. I asked the others if they minded if I wrote it up and everyone just snorted and said, “Duh. When we got the email we all just said ‘oh, that’s Hatcher’s, I’m not even going to bother about it.’ “

ONE OF THE BEST.
Crazy, just last night I was thinking about dream collaborations I want to see from Eduardo Barreto in the near future.

I don’t know what I could say to memorialize him. I’m an artist who loved him as a kid, as a fan and later as a pro. Definitely one of the greats, maybe underrecognized, but that doesn’t diminish his talent and skill. God bless.

Greg, re: “Well, CSBG does have a tribute to Ed Barreto, because I wrote one. Doesn’t this count?” Of course it does, as noted by the “(besides this one)” right after Barreto’s name in the above block quote from my first comment. I wasn’t really calling anyone out – certainly not you – I just found it odd, because usually when a major comics personality passes away (like, e.g. Robinson or McDuffie – man, this has been a really bad year in that sense), Brian C. posts a standard obit-type piece (and again, Brian, if you’re reading this, don’t take it as some kind of criticism…)

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

December 17, 2011 at 2:38 am

@Greg Hatcher

“Eduardo Barreto was the artist on The Shadow Strikes! and the work he did there is absolutely my favorite version of that character anyone’s ever done in comics. I saw that painted cover on #1 and Barreto owned me. I wish he had been able to paint more of them like he did #1, that’s my only caveat.”

It seems that the cover for “The Shadow Strikes” #1 wasn’t drawn by Barreto, though. The artist is Stephen F. Hickman. You can even see his signature.

Well, Greg, thanks for saving me the trouble. I’ve been swamped with getting art done before the holiday and a convention this Sunday, and really don’t have the time to do a retrospective of my own, though Barreto more than deserves one. He’s one of those “Oh yeah, HIM TOO!” type of artists – always solid storytelling and (to my recollection) dependable on deadlines, but far too often overshadowed by more ‘visually dynamic’ / ‘unique’ artists.

Barreto also had a good run on the Claremont written ALIENS / PREDATOR: DEADLIEST OF THE SPECIES series for Dark Horse in the early 90s, just after Claremont left X-Men, picking up after Butch Guice left early on in the series, for those of you who like those particular franchises.

I agree with you but I go a little further in saying that Barreto’s timing was more wrong than you give credit: It wasn’t just that he came onto Titans after Garcia Lopez, it’s that he came on at a time when Marv Wolfman’s writing was going off the boil (and it was becoming ever clearer how much Perez added to the plotting and characterization); ditto for Atari Force, but with Mike Baron trying to make something worked that happened mostly by fluke in the first place. I think the Gotham by Gaslight sequel is a pale shadow of the original, also in terms of the writing. And the reason the Helfer/Baker Shadow is so well loved is precisely because it wasn’t the Shadow purists wanted and was a brilliant, satirically smart comic in its own right. (I recently bought all the issues and I love them, but then I only ever followed the character in comics). In that light Barreto’s timing was utterly terrible. Hell, his Elliot Maggin Superwoman story in DC Comics Presents was the lesser of the two Maggin did. He just couldn’t get any respect.

But you’re absolutely right, his work was gorgeous. I even felt as a teenager in the ’80s that Barreto was the next big thing. To this day I think DC could and should have put him on a Superman book in ’83. He did a gorgeous version of the Man of Steel, but by that point DC was caretaking until the Byrne relaunch in ’85.

Once again, you have me wanting to get The Shadow Strikes though. It’s a hard series to find as a collector, though, cheaply, but I may have to go to eBay and take a look.

Nice writeup and some great artwork.

I’m the OTHER guy for whom Barreto is the definitive Shadow artist. As a matter of fact, I rate The Shadow Strikes! as one of the best series ever. An exciting, fun read thanks to both story and art.

Great piece, Greg.

I actually wrote a respective on Barreto for my Super Powered Fiction website as well. I think he was a criminally under-rated talent for his entire career. I actually forgot all about that Mike Danger run you mentioned, another great book that I loved.

My fondest memories of his work are actually more recent than that though. I absolutely loved his and Chuck Dixon’s work on Marvel Knights back in 2000 or so. It was a great, great title that probably never would have even happened if it wasn’t for Quesada being the world’s slowest artist (at least at the time).

I was shocked when Barreto left Judge Parker, I was overjoyed when his art reappeared only recently on the Phantom-sundays. And now … only a few weeks later he is dead. My first reaction was: “Nein, das kann nicht sein!” (No, that’s impossible.) And I still can’t believe it.

This is the first tribute to Barreto I’ve seen that mentioned “American Secrets.” I adore that miniseries, but I forgot that he had drawn it. Tremendous work.

“Master of the Future, is every bit as good, but no one ever mentions that one.”

Oh please. Stop propping yourself up while praising someone else. So many people are guilty of it in the comics realm.

Nice work, Greg. I agree with Graeme, though, that Barreto was often paired with writers whose work wasn’t up to snuff. “Master of the Future,” for instance, was a fairly dull story that looked great. It’s a shame, but there it is.

Edo: I know I never do retrospectives, especially for older pros, mainly because I don’t know enough about them. I don’t know how much research Greg did for this piece, but doesn’t it seem like he had all this knowledge in his brain and he just had to type it up? That’s why I let him handle it! Plus, I usually don’t read comics news sites too closely, so I often don’t hear about these events until Brian or someone here writes them up first. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s why I, personally, don’t often do any kind of tribute. Greg does them much better anyway.

Excellent piece. Of the works mentioned here, the one I am most familiar with is, oddly enough, those Mike Danger books, which were a lot of fun.

His work on Superman: Speeding Bullets should be acknowledged.

After all, where else would you find an amalgamation of Lex Luthor and the Joker?

Great tribute, Greg. This has been a tragic year for comics, so many giants from different periods passed away… these past few weeks especially have been heartbreaking for comics lovers. 2011 can’t end soon enough.

Eduardo Barreto was a terribly underrated craftsman. I echo your feelings about the mediocrity that has taken over modern comics art, too many successful hacks and swipers. So many people who can’t stage dramatic scenes to save their lives, who draw every character with the same faces and bodies, who sacrifice storytelling for the sake of splash pages that they can sell later for collectors. Of course there have always been bad artists, I’m not going for nostalgic “it was better way back when” here, but when I look at Barreto’s career and how little he was appreciated it just seems so unfair.

Rest in peace, mr. Barreto.

Wonderful tribute to Mr. Barreto, Greg. He was one of the silent giants of comics that did superior work with every project he was attributed to. All those you mentioned are wonderful works, but you forgot to mention the underrated UNION STATION (written by Ande Parks) from Oni. A great piece of historical graphic novel storytelling only Eduardo Barreto was the perfect person to tell.

He will be missed…

I agree with Graeme, though, that Barreto was often paired with writers whose work wasn’t up to snuff. “Master of the Future,” for instance, was a fairly dull story that looked great. It’s a shame, but there it is.

I don’t actually disagree, but I feel the same way about Gotham By Gaslight. It was the art and the novelty of the idea that sold that book; the execution in the script doesn’t quite live up to it. But certainly, the larger point stands. It’s why it chafed me so that Barreto never got his props… he always got stuck with the second-tier projects. For example, I think if you flipped the artists on the Victorian Batman stuff so that Barreto was the first guy to do it on Gotham by Gaslight and Mignola had done Master of the Future, Barreto probably would have been considerably better-known among fans and the stories themselves wouldn’t have suffered at all. The guy just never seemed to be in the right place at the right time for the fan community to notice him.

I don’t know how much research Greg did for this piece, but doesn’t it seem like he had all this knowledge in his brain and he just had to type it up?

Pretty much, yeah.

It seems that the cover for “The Shadow Strikes” #1 wasn’t drawn by Barreto, though. The artist is Stephen F. Hickman. You can even see his signature.

….which is how things like this happen. You can picture the spit-take I did seeing that comment. I’d always assumed it was Barreto. I’ll be damned.

Apologies to Mr. Hickman if he saw that, this is what comes of not taking the extra two seconds to check it. Every time I skip that step it ends badly. Fixed now.

Nick brought up Marvel Knights, and I remember buying that book even after the story lost my interest because it looked so good. American Secrets and Lex Luthor are well worth tracking down, as Barreto was so adept at crafting believable settings and characters. His art will be missed.

nice tribute to ed greg. for i agree he had bad timing by following a real popular artist like perez and thus making his work not well like by fans. a pity for he was such a gem.

Everything that you said about Barreto is right on. Perfect.

But, as an aside, the Helfer/Baker Shadow was brilliant. BRILLIANT.

Faster Than A Speeding Mullet!

December 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I must bring up my love for his work on the Elseworlds Superman: Speeding Bullets book!
Loved that one and pore over the artwork to this day!
At the time I first heard that one was being done, back in the day, I remember thinking how perfect Barreto was as an artist to depict an amalgamation of Superman and Batman…if Clark Kent had landed outside of Gotham and were found by Thomas and Martha Wayne. Outstanding title!
Mr. Barreto will be missed.

Excellent tribute to a vastly underrated & underappreciated artist, Greg. The Shadow Strikes is an amazing comic that STILL holds up. One small correction, though: The original pages from the DC Shadow/Doc Savage crossover that you posted above were penciled by Rod Whigham and inked by Mr. Barreto.

The original pages from the DC Shadow/Doc Savage crossover that you posted above were penciled by Rod Whigham and inked by Mr. Barreto.

I wondered about that; the guy listed them on the auction page as Barreto’s but the faces looked a little off. I knew there was some sort of stunt where they traded art chores back and forth on that crossover, and I think at least one of the issues was Barreto inked by Whigham.

The hell of it is, my actual comics are in a box that is at the bottom of a stack of other boxes and it would have taken forever to get AT them, so I didn’t pull them out to check these things for myself. Because I wanted to get the damn thing posted. The moral is that you should always take the time to check, kids.

I found some of the New Teen Titans comic books Barreto worked on, and yes, he is a VERY underrated artist. His most recent work I believe was the Superman Retro-Active 70′s one-shot…which reminds me of how I still need to get the rest of those. Just think, if he got a big break, he wouldn’t have gotten meningitis.

Looking over this, I’m seeing a surprising number of books he drew that I didn’t realize it.
I’ve got 2 issues of that Martin Manhunter prestige book (a great format for it), and just having found the rest of it.
Gerard Jones attracted me, shame I didn’t realize the artist I was looking at.

And, because I always have to say it: I loved that modern Shadow series, every overdone thing about it.
Hated tho it was, I think its look and content predicted a lot of the post-2000s comics we get now.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

December 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Great piece Greg.

I’d always assumed Barreto must have been older, as the work of his I saw was always really good, yet had little buzz about it.

Under a Yellow Sun is a personal fave as well. I had it as a youngster as an X-Mas gift from my mother (Totally random, as I wasn’t a Superman fan at the time), and I got it again off of eBay last year – and it actually held up quite well.
Not quite as epic of morally ambiguous as it felt to me at eleven or twelve, but quite a lot of fun.

For any who don’t know it, it’s based around Clark trying to write his second novel, and it’s scenes from the novel intercut with an adventure/investigation in Metropolis, and Clark is venting all his frustrations/desires in the book.
Not at all in a deep way, more an action adventure way – ie. Clark can’t just punch who he likes, or break the law, but his hero can.

When I read that Barreto had passed away, the first thing I thought about was the excellent Martian Manhunter: American Secrets miniseries that he illustrated. That’s for writing up such a detailed retrospective & analysis of Barrato’s career & work, Greg. There was a lot about him that I was unfamiliar with before now. As you said, he should have received more recognition when he was still with us.

Greg,

Terrifc write up about Eduardo. HUGE fan of his. I was just in communication with him when he took over the Phantom Sunday strip duties. He said he was getting better. His work looked as good as ever and I know he was taking on commissions.

This was a great tribute to him. He was vastly underrated. His work in all sorts of comics, whether they be books or strips.

RIP, Eduardo, mi Amigo.

Excellent article, Greg. I came to Mr. Barreto’s work quite late, through his work on Michael Chabon’s Escapist anthologies and then on the Escapists offshoot.. I became a big admirer of his work and your article provides me with more to track down. It is indeed a sad loss.

I love Barreto and am a huge fan, but the reason he never got bigger is clear. It’s very hard after the 60s to become a big name just from DC books. Most artists who became big names just from working at DC did so in the 60s or earlier when DC was the biggest and sometimes only game in town. This is especially true in the 80s and 90s when Barretto was coming up.

A person could become a big name just from Marvel work in the 80s and 90s, but not strictly from DC work.

Most artists who became big names just from working at DC did so in the 60s or earlier when DC was the biggest and sometimes only game in town. This is especially true in the 80s and 90s when Barretto was coming up.

A person could become a big name just from Marvel work in the 80s and 90s, but not strictly from DC work.

I don’t buy this. That lets out Brian Bolland, Norm Breyfogle, Mike Grell, John Totleben, Ron Randall, Tom Mandrake, Dave McKean, and those names are just off the top of my head– all of whom had well-received OTHER work, yeah, but it was the DC stuff that got them the following, and all of them arguably had bigger fan bases than Ed Barreto. If Barreto had been tapped for WATCHMEN or, hell, ANY DC Alan Moore project, that would have easily put him over the top.

I didn’t say it was impossible, just that in the 80s and 90s it was very hard, much harder than the boost one would get from doing Marvel work. One tends to have to be much, much more talented to become a big name strictly from DC comics during that time period, like on the level of a Brian Bolland. A Rob Liefeld would never have become as huge just staying at DC.

Also, many of those names had significant UK comics careers on things like 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, which I think makes a big difference. Those have very strong cult followings all their own.

[...] There were a lot of nice write-ups about Eduardo in the wake of his passing, but here’s a nice representative one. [...]

I can’t think up examples per se, but I tend to agree more with Greg than with T on this one. I’m wondering what names T is thinking of for Marvel superstars, because I suspect that, bar McFarlane, it was mostly/all guys working on X-related books. Which is a different matter than just Marvel books.

But T is smarter than I am, so he’s probably got better examples….

I just noticed looking again, in the ad for New Teen Titans they misspelled Barreto’s last name. Not a good sign.

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