Richard Friend and the “middle son”



Richard Friend, legendary inker formed at Wildstorm Studios under Scott Williams tutorship recently posted on Facebook about #Inktober:

“Inking; the highly misunderstood and ‘middle son’ of comics…”

He posted that sentence with no intention of starting a controversy, but still resonated on my head. He wrote that on early October on a post which allows inkers like me to share our art and be promoted – or at least, be seen – to lots of other eyes of his followers.

At the same time I was posting three of my latest inking pieces on Rich’s Facebook post I was featured in a recent gallery exhibition here in Chile on the Spanish Circle Cultural Center in Santiago. Under the moniker “Viñetas del Fin Del Mundo” which can be translated as “Panels from the End Of The World” (being Chile as the “End of the World” part), the curator, longtime acquaintance Carlos Reyes with a helping hand of Felipe Benavides (whom I have previously worked with on several related comic ideas), and Cristian Gonzalez (the mastermind under Fic Santiago), put together a 60+ piece exhibition with big sized prints of one page of every comic published in chile from the 2012-2016 period.

This expo covers what has been a very succesful tenure, a huge increase both in quantity and quality of what’s published in comics in Chile. Local production has started to switch to something else and the visibility of artists such as Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key; Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland), Nelson Dániel (The Cape, D&D, Judge Dredd, etc…), Gonzalo Martínez (Mocha Dick) had gained increasingly interest on their work and that resonates in the medium which is in contant growth.

We are also scheduling almost every weekend with a comicbook related show or book fair, which makes presence more steadily. Still, as always, there’s lots of things ahead to improve and jump into the next level.

Speaking with some friends at “Viñetas …” last exhibit day (the reason why I couldn’t be around on the show will be explained in a next post), I recall – in my humble opinion – a reaching point of the state of the art of how comics are being promoted in my country. We are living in a crucial point where things should switch to another level, from friends with the usual amiability taking care of things to whatever comes next.

Most of the events are made with love, passion for comics and friendship. They are surely a beacon of integrity where styles and artists gather together on weekends of prints, comics and sketches. That festivity feeling is reachable almost immediately once you talk to the people. Comics magic always gathers people around, both readers and artists. All ages, pros and fans, and some wicked professor interested in the teachings of comics here and there. And that’s awesome.

I can’t stress enough about Carlos, Felipe and Cristian efforts on promoting comics. You can see they LOVE with a capital “L” comics. Carlos is an awarded publisher and scriptwriter, podcast host, comics historian and breathes comics since he was in the craddle. Cristian is the warmest person I have ever known, produced five successful  FIC events, the most valuable comic event in Chile and a great producer. Felipe is a scriptwriter, college teacher and promoter, and an ugly troll and but we all love him.

Despite all the facts against that, these kind of events are usually made with effort and no money whatsoever. It’s good ol’ sacrifice-for-love kind of a thing.

Which it takes me back to Richard Friend.

“Inking; the highly misunderstood and ‘middle son’ of comics…”






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Born in Barcelona, 1977, now I live in Chile. I'm currently working as a inker or letterer for several American, New Zealand or UK publishers like Beyond Reality Media, Alterna Comics, Advent Comics, Insane Comics, IDW Publishing, Ariete Producciones and Dogitia among others.

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