Thursday, December 15, 2011

In Memorium: Joe Simon & Eduardo Barreto

Eduardo Barreto (top; left) and Joe Simon (bottom; right).

As a writer, artist, editor and publisher, Joe Simon either created or co-created many important golden age comic book characters in the 1930s-1940s. He served as the first editor of Timely Comics, the company that would evolve into Marvel Comics. With his partner, artist Jack Kirby, he co-created Captain America, one of comics' most enduring superheroes, and the team also worked extensively on such features at DC Comics as the 1940s Sandman and Sandy the Golden Boy, and co-created the Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos, and Manhunter. Simon & Kirby creations for other publishers included Boys' Ranch, Fighting American, and the Fly. In the late 1940s, the duo created the genre of romance comics, and they were among the earliest pioneers of horror comics. Simon went on to work in advertising and commercial art, also founding the satirical magazine "Sick" in 1960, remaining with it for a decade. He briefly returned to DC Comics in the 1970s. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1999. Mr. Simon passed away on December 14, 2011 at the age of ninety-eight.

Born in Uruguay, artist Eduardo Barreto made his name on DC Comics series like The New Teen Titans, Atari Force, The Shadow Strikes, and on specialty issues such as DC Comics Presents Annual #4 (1985). He drew Elvira, Mistress of the Dark for Claypool Comics; and The Long Haul for OniPress; and for Marvel he drew Marvel Knights. In 2006, Barreto took on artist duties for the syndicated comic strip Judge Parker from Harold Ledoux. Shortly afterward, he was involved in a serious car accident and was in the hospital for a few weeks, which left him unable to draw Judge Parker; others took on the responsibilities. He resumed his work, but in 2010, Barreto contracted meningitis, which finally forced him to stop drawing the strip, although he continued working on other projects such as a recent Captain Action Special and on July 31, 2011, Baretto became the artist for the Sunday comic strip, The Phantom. He passed away today at the age of fifty-seven.

The Catacombs extends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends and fans of these two fine gentlemen.