Richard Sala, Creator of Invisible Hands and Evil Eye, Dies Aged 61

Last night, American comic book publisher Fantagraphics Books announced the death of comic book creator, Richard Sala. A graphic novelist with work spanning decades, they posted to social media, "it is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend, the cartoonist Richard Sala, has passed away at the age of 61. We are still processing, and will say more soon, but our hearts are with his close friends and family who are grieving this insurmountable loss."

Born in Oakland, California in 1959, Richard Sala spent his childhood in West Chicago, Illinois and his teenage years in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has stated that his love of reading and his interest in comic books and horror films helped him deal with real-life fears. Gaining a Master of Fine Arts Degree, he published his first comic book, Night Drive, in 1984. This saw him contacted by Art Spiegelman, Monte Beauchamp and Colossal Pictures. This saw Sala's work appear in Spiegelman's RAW and Beauchamp's BLAB!, while Colossal Pictures hired Sala to animate one of the stories from Night Drive called Invisible Hands, which then debuted on the first season of Liquid Television Show alongside Beavis and Butthead and Æon Flux.

Richard Sala, Creator of Invisible Hands and Evil Eye, Dies Aged 61.
Richard Sala, Creator of Invisible Hands and Evil Eye, Dies Aged 61. Art from Amazon.

Richard Sala continued to create comic books that often combined elements of mystery, horror and whimsy, including the likes of  The Chuckling Whatsit and Mad Night features the detective, Judy Drood, was initially published by Fantagraphics Books in his Evil Eye anthology comics. Sala also worked on projects with Lemony Snicket, Dracula with Steve Niles  and illustrated Doctor Sax and The Great World Snake, a vampiric script written in the 1960s by Jack Kerouac. In 2014, Sala began writing and drawing a supervillain webcomic entitled Super-Enigmatix and in 2016, Sala began a second webcomic, The Bloody Cardinal, also about a mystery-shrouded super-criminal. Here is a selected bibliography of his work. His Phantoms In The Attic,  a special limited-edition collection of his drawings, watercolour paintings, and short comics, was his most recent work, published last year.

  • Richard Sala, Creator of Invisible Hands and Evil Eye, Dies Aged 61.
    Richard Sala, Creator of Invisible Hands and Evil Eye, Dies Aged 61. Photo by ScoopDoyle, CreativeCommons.

    Phantoms In The Attic (2019)

  • The Bloody Cardinal (2017)
  • Violenzia and Other Deadly Amusements (2015)
  • In A Glass Grotesquely (2014)
  • Violenzia (2013)
  • Delphine (2012)
  • The Hidden (2011)
  • Cat Burglar Black (2009)
  • Delphine (serialized as a four issue mini-series, 2006–2009)
  • The Grave Robber's Daughter (2006)
  • Dracula (2005) (Volume 3 of IDW's Little Book of Horror Series, in collaboration with Steve Niles)
  • Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires (2005)
  • Mad Night (2005)
  • Maniac Killer Strikes Again! Delirious, Mysterious Stories (2003)
  • Peculia (2002)
  • The Chuckling Whatsit (1997)
  • The Ghastly Ones and Other Fiendish Frolics (1995)
  • Black Cat Crossing (1993)
  • Hypnotic Tales (1992)

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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