His long-time collaborator Beau Smith remembers Eduardo Barreto, who passed away a few weeks ago — a remembrance accompanied by some stunning art.
I knew something was wrong.
I hadn’t heard from my good friend and artist Eduardo Barreto in a few weeks. The last time I had heard from him he told me that he had been feeling weak and that his regular medications/treatments weren’t working anymore. He spoke of trying some experimental treatments. That was the last time I would hear from my good amigo from South America.
A few weeks later I got an email from Graham Nolan, a long time friend of mine and mutual friend of Eduardo. Graham had contacted Eduardo to tell him how excited he was to see that Eduardo was drawing The Phantom. The reply that Graham got back wasn’t from Eduardo, but from his wife. She told Graham that Eduardo had passed away.
Eduardo and I had been close friends for over 20 years. We were the same age and even though we grew up thousands of miles apart and were from different countries, he was always like my brother. I mean that. Eduardo was like family to me, the kind you get lucky enough to choose.
I had always admired Eduardo’s artwork and storytelling. My admiration began in the late 1970s when I saw his work and had to find more that he had done and was going to do. Eduardo’s talent was rare in the fact that he had all the traditional story telling power of the legendary masters that had come before, like Alex Raymond, Joe Kubert, Hal Foster and Wally Wood, yet his art always continued to grow, adapt and progress. He took the teachings of the past into the future.
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Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.