Long-time Steve Roper and Mike Nomad artist Fran Matera has passed away at age 88. An ex-Marine, Matera specialized in realistic adventure comics in a long career that also included a run on Kerry Drake. Matera drew Roper from 1984 until it ended in 2004.
A devotee of Milton Caniff, the creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, Mr. Matera whipped up characters and the shadows behind them in a way that brought adventure scenes to life.
“He drew really well,” said Jim Amash, associate editor of the genre magazine Alter Ego and a veteran artist on several comic strips, including Brenda Starr and The Amazing Spider-Man. “His work was never flat, it was always three-dimensional. And that’s really tough to do.”
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.