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.”