We at Bully Pulpit Games are saddened to learn of the passing of Eisner Award-winning comic artist and illustrator Richard Sala. He was only 61.

When Jason and Steve asked me to recommend illustrators for Ghost Court, I knew immediately that I was looking for someone who could give us a Richard Sala vibe. I’d been a fan of Richard’s dark-but-quirky graphic novels for years, and for some reason I thought there might be a tiny possibility he’d be interested in illustrating our dark-but-quirky little game. We reached out. He said yes. I spent the next several months in blissful disbelief as I got to work with illustrations by one of my favorite artists.

An early sketch of the Ghost Court cover by Richard Sala

Richard’s comics really hit a sweet spot for more than one of us at BPG. His eccentric stories invoked Giallo slasher films, a touch of EC Comics, and Mario Bava-inspired melodramatic action. His sensitive inkwork and subtle watercolor palette was more at home in an underground weekly paper than a mainstream comic, and it transcended the obvious visual influences: German Expressionism, Edward Gorey, 1950s pinup art. Despite the sinister plotlines and gruesome scenes, Richard wrote and drew his comics with a clear love for his stories and characters. He was a master at expressing the full spectrum of emotion — and more than a little attitude — with a few simple lines. There is a sweetness and sassiness to his work, and an innocence despite the dreadful subject matter.

Richard Sala was prolific, and I looked forward weekly to a new page or two from whatever web serial he was feverishly drawing. He’d just started a new one, “Carlotta Havoc Versus Everyone”, a few weeks ago. I’m going to miss Richard’s weird stories and beautiful art, his clever and inexplicably barefoot heroines, and his villains who all look a bit like Lon Chaney, but I’m thankful for the huge legacy he left us, and I’m grateful that I was able to work with him for a short time.

— Brennen Reece, BPG Art Director

RIP Richard Sala
Tagged on: