Thursday, January 5, 2012

RIP Vicar (Victor Arriagada Rios)

Along with Daniel Branca, Freddy Milton, Daan Jippes, and Volker Reiche, Vicar was one of the Disney Duck artists who brought (non-reprinted) quality back to American Disney comics, thanks to Gladstone Comics' extensive use of his work during the line's first (1986-1990) incarnation. His myriad efforts remained a mainstay of all American Disney lines up through and including Boom! (cf. the stories drawn by him that were dialogued by Joe Torcivia).

The best way that I can describe Vicar's style is that it was the Duck-comics' equivalent of "comfort food." He didn't wow me with a splashy early effort, as Don Rosa did with "The Son of the Sun", or Kari Korhonen did with "Sons of the Moon". His work never possessed the slickness of Branca or Cesar Ferioli, or the cuteness and cleverness of Massimo Fecchi. The most memorable Vicar stories were generally memorable because of the extra ounces of oomph that his co-creators gave them (hi, Joe!). But he was steady and reliable, and his stuff was always high-quality. Indeed, it's thanks to him and his fellow Gladstone "creationists" that I came to expect high-quality original work in American Disney comics as a matter of course. Those with longer memories (hi again, Joe!) can attest to the fact that there was a time when the hope of once again seeing anything close to Vicar-level quality in American Disney comics seemed like a true pipe dream.


Joe Torcivia said...


Thanks for the kind words on my Vicar tribute.

I’ll be linking to yours, Ryan Wynns’ and Comic Book Rehab’s posts as well. It’s nice to see so many of us come out for this deserving artist!

As for Vicar not making that early splash, I wonder how differently you (and many others) would have felt if we’d gone directly from Bob Gregory and Kay Wright in one issue of Gold Key’s DONALD DUCK to Vicar in the next.

I think he would have been hailed as “The Second Coming of Barks”!

Some people STILL remember the one “Harry Gladstone” story in ‘70s era DONALD DUCK. Imagine what an impression Vicar would have made – at that time, and in that way!

Things simply may have worked against him in the general public’s perception because:

He was “around for quite a while” by the time Gladstone brought his work to the USA. So, there was little of a “Wow Factor” vs. the scenario I described above.

It also arrived in the company of Branca, Jippes, Milton, Reiche, and others ALL AT THE SAME TIME – and at a time when we (as a whole) were still not fully accustomed to differing creator credits in the books.

The stories he illustrated were largely by uninspired, pre-Byron Erickson Era Gutenberghus writers, that didn’t give him the “breakout” story or stories he needed to separate from the pack.

Your thoughts on this?


Chris Barat said...


I think you've nailed it pretty well. If Vicar had been the ONLY new creator introduced to us in the early Gladstone issues, then surely his impact would have seemed much greater.