Eduardo Barreto, the artist best known for his work on DC Comics' "New Teen Titans" in the '80s and, more recently, the "Judge Parker" newspaper strip, has passed away. He was 57.
Although details of his death are still unknown, the Uruguayan artist contracted meningitis last year, forcing him to leave "Judge Parker," which he'd drawn since 2006. King Features had expressed hope that Barreto would fully recover and resume his duties, but he was quickly replaced by Mike Manley. Despite his health problems, Barreto returned to the comics this past July, drawing "The Phantom" Sunday strips.
Born in 1954 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Barreto collaborated with legendary Argentine writer Hector German Oesterheld in the 1970s before making the leap in the '80s to the U.S. market, where he was most closely associated with DC Comics, for whom he drew such titles "Superman," "Action Comics," "The Shadow Strikes" and "Martian Manhunter." However, it was his extended run on "The New Teen Titans," succeeding fan-favorite artists George Perez and José Luis García-López, that brought him the most attention. Barreto also collaborated with writer James D. Hudnall on "Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography," the 1989 one-shot considered by many fans to be the artist's best work.
Barreto is survived by a son Diego, an artist on BOOM! Studios' "Irredeemable" who filled in for a week on "Judge Parker," and a daughter Andrea, a colorist.
Updated (1:40 p.m. PT): Oni Press has released statement about Barreto, who collaborated with Ande Parks on the 2009 graphic novel "Union Station": "All of us at Oni Press were saddened to have learned of the passing of our friend and colleague, Eduardo Barreto. It was our absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to collaborate with this great artist. Eduardo fit the classic model of a working illustrator, and he particularly loved the wide variety of comics that he read growing up in Uruguay. He had a pronounced passion for space operas and horse operas alike, and though he made his name drawing iconic characters like Superman and the Teen Titans, his art truly shined when he was let loose to play with heroes whose abilities—and foibles—were far more human. Those who worked with him remember as a true professional, and everyone who met him could instantly call him a friend. Eduardo Barreto leaves behind a tremendous body of work, as well as a legion of fans, all of whom will miss him dearly. We join them in extending our deepest condolences to his family for their loss."