Eduardo Barretto, talented Uruguayan artist, has been around the comics periphery since my early days in the medium during the late 1970′s. First inking for Marvel and later, after I moved to Israel, he went to DC and gained recognition for his run on Teen Titans. When I returned to comics in the early 1990′s, he’d established a strong presence as a Batman artist, one of the characters I drew most then. He produced a few more well remembered projects like Speeding Bullets and Under a Yellow Sun before expanding towards other publishers including Archie,  IDW, Boom!, Crossgen, Dark Horse and others before returning to Marvel on Marvel Knights.

In 2006 he landed at King Features Syndicate and drew the Judge Parker strip.  His tenure there was disrupted once after a serious injury from a car accident and again while contracting meningitis in 2010, which left him unable to continue drawing. He returned to draw the Phantom strip for King Features last July, but the illness took its toll on the consumate professional creator a few days ago, on 15 December, at age 57.  We never met nor had any internet encounters but Eduardo’s been like a close colleague, perhaps if only by virtue of the recognizable feel for humanity that his work exuded, and the personal respect that fellow creators who knew him expressed for him. Godspeed Eduardo, your untimely departure is big loss for us all and for the medium you helped make better. Heartfelt condolences to grieving family and friends.

Eduardo Barreto in Portraits of the Creator’s Sketchbook and the biographical portrait on Wikipedia.