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R.I.P. Rich Buckler

posted May 20, 2017, 6:18 PM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated May 22, 2017, 3:35 AM ]

Marvel Comics
John writes: said Rich Buckler died of cancer.  I saw Buckler and his wife at SpringCon (Minneapolis) years ago, nice guy.  I happened to be in Paris just prior and mentioned I saw his gallery exhibition while there, which knocked him out.

Vu writes:

The first time I saw Rich Buckler, he was at Fallcon 2003 (04 October 2003). I rarely take photos with artists, celebrities, or musicians - but I had to get one with Rich because I knew that Buckler was the guy that gave George Perez his first professional break.  R.I.P. 

George Perez, in an interview in Wizard #35, talked about how he accidentally got into the business:

I got in with [Factor Unknown], but meanwhile Sal Quartuccio [now head of Sal Q Productions] had shown my stuff to [artist] Rich Buckler. Rich need an assistant and called me up with an offer. I was working as a bank teller at the time.

My first published pro work was on Rich's first issue of Deathlok, Astonishing Tales #25. He gave me a two-page cartoon sequence at the end showing how he and Doug Moench came up with Deathlok from discarded ideas in a trash pail. My art being what it was at the time, I penciled everything except the Deathlok figure.

By being Rich's assistant, people at Marvel got to know me. And people like [editor] Jim Salicrup and [writers] David Kraft and Bill Mantlo saw my work, liked it, and got me my first work under my own name.George Tuska needed a break on the Man-Wolf feature in Creatures on the Loose and Dave Kraft liked working with me, so he asked me to stay. Around the same time, I was given a fill-in on the Sons of the Tiger feature in Deadly Hans of Kung Fu #6, but Bill Mantlo asked for me to stay on as well.

Thanks to them, I was given regular work fairly quickly. That was around 1974, only two years out of high school. Within six months after that, Rich Buckler fell behind. Since I was Rich's assistant, they asked me to pencil what was supposed to be a Fantastic Four annual and turn into two issues of the regular book [#164-#165].

George Perez and Rich Buckler was last seen together in ALBUQUERQUE COMIC CON 2014.