Ric Estrada

February 26, 1928 in Havana, Cuba

May 1, 2009 in Provo, Utah, USA

Illustrator for comic strips, political cartoons, and advertisement. Pencilier, writer and inkler for various comic companies including DC comics. Storyboard Artist, Character Designer and Layout Artist in different studios. Instructor at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. Bio Summary:
Ric Estrada was born in Cuba in 1928. His childhood was overwhelmed by the Machado revolution. Through his uncle, Ric met writer Ernest Hemingway who aided him to enter the USA. Once in New York, Ric did a few freelance jobs. He then went on to work for companies like EC comics and DC doing mostly war and romance comics. Afterwards Ric went all over Europe traveling and illustrating. An incident in Germany transformed him and he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ric returned to the states where he remarried for the third time. He continued to produce comics, became an instructor at the Joe Kubert School in New Jersey and even did some comic illustrations for some time in Mexico. He settled in Thousand Oaks, California with his family of ten where he worked for many animation studios including Marvel Studios and Hanna-Barbara for more than a decade. In 1980, Ric drew a comic book adaptation of the Book Of Ether for the LDS Church. His last years were spent in Provo Utah where he ultimately died of prostate cancer in 2009.

Ric Estrada was born in Havana Cuba. Ric had a tumultuous childhood due to family issues, the revolution in Cuba and other external conflicts. There was one instance when two policemen came into his apartment and shortly, an angry mob surrounded the home shooting at them. His uncle, Sergio Cabo was a prominent figure in Cuba who owned the second largest newspaper. At the age of nineteen, his uncle paid to have Ric move to New York with his friend Ernest Hemingway. Ric married three times, had a child with his first wife and had eight with his last wife.

At the age of four his passion for drawing was seen when he drew Morro Castle in Havana with the American flag on top. Ric was a self-taught artist who first years of his life would practice drawing by copying comics he admired such as Prince Valiant, Tarzan, and The Shadow. Ric did the Landon School of Cartooning mail correspondence courses at age twelve that he took very seriously. He later then attended the University of Havana where he studied Philosophy for a year. Once Ric was in the USA he went to the New York Art Students League for about two years and took writing courses at New York University. He was mentored by respected artists at a studio for about a year before he went on to do freelance work.

Career Outline:
In 1941 Ric had his first publication credit at the age of thirteen for drawing the cover for a Cuban magazine, Bohemia. Once in New York, Ric did freelance work and in the early 1950s-60s did comic work for Better Publications, St. John, Ziff-Davis, EC and DC. He then traveled all over Europe as a journalist and artist until 1969. He then worked for Warren Publications, Madison Avenue Ad Agency, numerous other publications, and taught at the Joe Kubert School. After teaching he left to Mexico in 1981 where he was hired to illustrate the history of the country in comic form. Ric and his family moved to California after a few months where he worked in pre-production for Marvel studios, Hanna-Barbara, Sony, TriStar and other animation studios. He retired by writing novels and illustrating childrenís books.

Comments on Style:
Ric has said in his own words that his designs were very direct, simple and flat. He also said he had different styles according to its genre. His wife, Loretta Estrada, has said Ricís drawings had movement and energy. Larry Loc, a close friend and student of Ric's, has commented on his practice saying while teaching he drew with one hand and inked with the other.

Growing up he was heavily influenced by classical adventure stories, American movies, comic strips, and classical music. Having been raised in Cuba, Ric has said the horrors of terrorism and war had affected him greatly which can be seen in his artwork of the war comics he drew.

People have described Ric as a gracious, kind, giving, and gregarious extroverted person. He was passionate about art and loved his family.

At the age of nineteen he left Cuba to go to New York with the help of Ernest Hemingway who bought him his first drink. He later over came alcoholism with the help of his religion. He was a camera man on "Old Man and the Sea" because Ernest Hemingway wanted him there during filming.


1997-2001 Men in Black: The Series (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1999-2000 Godzilla: The Series (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1999 Dilbert (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1996-1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (TV Series) (models, storyboard)
1995-1996 Street Fighter: The Animated Series (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1995 Jonny Quest Versus the Cyber Insects (TV Movie) (designer - as Ricardo Estrada)
1993-1994 Captain Planet and the Planeteers (TV Series) (designer)
1993 Droopy: Master Detective (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1991-1993 The Pirates of Dark Water (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1992 Queen Esther (Video short) (storyboard artist)
1991 The Miracles of Jesus (Video short) (storyboard artist)
1990 Video Power (TV Series) (storyboard designer)
1990 Tiny Toon Adventures (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1990 Tom & Jerry Kids Show (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1990 Jetsons: The Movie (pre-production designer)
1990 Timeless Tales from Hallmark (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1989 Paddington Bear (TV Series) (design unit head)
1987 Garbage Pail Kids (TV Series) (storyboard designer)
1987 The Little Troll Prince (TV Movie) (story director)
1987 Bionic Six (TV Series) (storyboard artist)
1986-1987 Jonny Quest (TV Series) (story director)
1986 Wildfire (TV Series) (story director)
1986 Pound Puppies (TV Series) (story director)
1986 The Smurfs (TV Series) (story director)
1986 GoBots: War of the Rock Lords (storyboard artist)
1986 Daniel and the Lion's Den (Video short) (storyboard director)
1986 David and Goliath (Video short) (story director)
1986 Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (Video short) (story director)
1986 Moses (Video short) (story director)
1986 Noah's Ark (Video short) (storyboard director)
1986 Samson and Delilah (Video short) (storyboard director)
1985 Galtar and the Golden Lance (TV Series) (story director)
1984 Challenge of the GoBots (TV Series) (story director)
1992 Queen Esther (Video short) (character designer)
1991 Timeless Tales from Hallmark (TV Series) (character designer)
1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda (TV Series) (layout artist)
1987 The Nativity (Video short) (character designer, layout artist)
1986 Daniel and the Lion's Den (Video short) (character designer)
1986 David and Goliath (Video short) (character designer)
1986 Joshua and the Battle of Jericho (Video short) (character designer)
1986 Moses (Video short) (character designer)
1986 Noah's Ark (Video short) (character designer)
1986 Samson and Delilah (Video short) (character designer)
1985 Galtar and the Golden Lance (TV Series) (layout artist)
1985 Star Fairies (TV Movie) (layout artist)
1984 Challenge of the GoBots (TV Series) (character designer, layout artist)
1983 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (TV Series) (layout artist)
2013 Batman: Arkham Origins (Video Game) (character: Lady Shiva - uncredited)
2003 The Princess and the Pea Chronicles (TV Movie)
2003 The Princess and the Pea Chronicles (TV Movie) Director
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (TV Series) (models)
1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda (TV Series) (titles - 1990)


Related Links:

Bibliographic References:
Interview with friend of artist Larry Loc
Phone interview with wife of artist Loretta Estrada


Contributors To This Listing:
Loretta Estrada
Larry Loc
Lidia Garcia

Animators Hall of Fame