Thursday, March 21, 2024

Ramona Fradon 1926-2024

Back in January, Ramona Fradon announced her retirement, after a long career of drawing comics. A few weeks later, on February 24 this year, she passed away at the age of 97. Here are Mark Evanier announcing her death, her obituary in The New York Times (not many comic book artists get one of those!), and two stories about Ramona from Evanier. Perhaps her greatest contribution to comics was co-creating Metamorpho, but here she will always be known for her stellar work on Aquaman. And thanks to my being a fan of The Wizard of Oz, we have an original Ramona Fradon drawing of Aquaman in our house. Back when the annual Oz-Story anthology was a thing, I noticed one of the comic stories one year was illustrated by Fradon. Since I know the people behind Oz-Story, I wrote to them and asked for her contact information. I was able to reach her and commissioned an original Aquaman for Laura, and presented it to her at Christmas. I don't think she has ever been more surprised or delighted at anything I have ever given her. It was completely unexpected, and it still holds a place of honor in our bedroom. If I remember correctly, Laura then got to meet Ramona in person at San Diego in 2001, and got another little free sketch from her, and got to gush in person.