Lo stillicidio di colleghi che se ne vanno prosegue inesorabile in questi primi mesi del 2012.
Per più di una ragione abbiamo evitato di riportare le scomparse eccellenti delle ultime settimane. Facciamo una nuova eccezione con Fran Matera, cartoonist la cui origine italiana non è certo misteriosa, attivo sia nel campo dei comic books che delle strisce per i giornali.
Francis Anthony (Fran) Matera, Sr.: December 9*, 1924 – March 15, 2012.
Matera ha trascorso la sua vita disegnando fumetti.
Così inizia la sua scheda biografica nell’enciclopedia on line della libreria olandese Lambiek:
Fran Matera studied at the Chicago Institute of Arts. However, he quit after one year for joining the Marines. During his service, Matera drew political cartoons. In 1947, he returned to civilian life.
Throughout his career, he has done a large amount of work for both comic books and newspaper strips. He started out drawing Milton Caniff‘s ‘Dickie Dare’ comic.
In modo estensivo (con una scheda davvero degna di nota), prosegue descrivendo la carriera di Matera il Comics Reporter:
Other major gigs were doing art for Little Annie Rooney (he ghosted in the early 1950s), a two-year stint on a feature called Mr. Holiday with the writer Chad Kelly, one year in the late 1950s on a Nero Wolfe effort, additional and somewhat brief ghost-artist efforts on Rex Morgan, MD, Judge Parker and Apartment 3-G.
Matera was part of two of the more prominent late-period efforts to revive the adventure strip: an Indiana Jones-related effort and the Legend Of Bruce Lee strip from the early 1980s. He also worked on an abortive strip project featuring Dolly Parton.
In comic books, Matera was one of the many artists who did hundreds of pages of work including covers for the Charlton line, a comic book company noted for their ability to supply as much work as a productive artist might be able to do, to the point they could fit it around other projects.
He worked on the Catholic comics magazine Treasure Chest from its inception, mostly for its Chuck White serial (from its launch through 1971) but also for the initial material presented to educators. He also did comic book pages for the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Hulk character and for various Tarzan comics when the Edgar Rice Burroughs property was at Marvel.
Wikipedia elenca come segue i suoi fumetti:
Little Annie Rooney
Rex Morgan, M.D.
The Legend of Bruce Lee
Sopra e sotto, le due vignette di una striscia di Steve Roper and Mike Nomad del 1986. © King Features Syndicate.
Testi e disegni di Fran Matera e John Saunders.
A seguire, un model sheet di Dolly Parton.
Un congruo numero di tavole originali di Steve Roper e di Bruce Lee si trova qua: