It’s entirely possible that this site would not be here had I not known Raoul Vezina. Raoul was the front counter guy at Albany, New York’s FantaCo in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I distinctly remember one trip there when I was barely a teenager and asked, “what’s good?” And he handed me the Hernandez brothers’ Love and Rockets Number One (The Fantagraphics edition). I was hooked. Many years later when I was the art director at Fantagraphics I handled the production work on the last magazine size issue of the first volume of L&R… #50, and I slipped in a reference to that introduction (with Los Bros approval, of course). Work is underway to make all of Raoul’s publications available here in one form or another. Most probably in the original publications. Right now there is but this modest offering.
To learn more about Raoul, his works and his legacy, I could not possibly do better that to direct you to this series of articles from his fellow former FantaCo worker Roger Green. Re-reading these a couple years after they first appeared, I feel really lucky to have known Raoul and also mourn the tragedy of such a great a talent lost so young… I cannot imagine what works might have come. A talent like Raoul’s is a very rare thing. Very few have displayed that surety and consistency of line. As a cartoonist, Raoul was on a par with Kurtzman or Crumb, but never had the time to draw himself into a more recognized legacy, and the world is a much poorer place for it.
Illustration penciled by Raoul Vezina.
Inked/scanned/cleaned up/colored by Bill Anderson in 2008.