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Inker. Finisher. Penciller. Whatever the job, EMIR RIBEIRO brings to his work a professional attitude and a powerful line that, in its own way, bears an imprint as recognizable as was joltin' Joe Sinnott's in Marvels's '60 and early '70s heyday.

Hailing from the beach town of Joao Pessoa, Brazil, and after more than a decade of on-and-off comics work in Brazil, Emir Ribeiro began working in American Comics in 1993 -- inking "The Protectors" for Malibu Comics. He followed this with pencils and inks on "Quantum Leap" only a few months later. Within a year, he has  working as primary inker in the now-long-defunct Deodato Studios, embellishing a slew of titles ranging from The Avengers to Glory.

When the Studio closed, Emir continued his dynamic brush and pen work under his own name on such titles as Turok and Thor, before moving on ink issues of Mike Deodato's Lady Death and Jade Warriors. Next came pencils on a well-received series of Marvel Sketchagraph cards, where he re-created entire characters origin stories in a series of cards. These led to his more recent Star Trek sketch cards scheduled for an early 2002 release. He's currently inking issues of Purgatori over newcomer Fabiano Neves.

The oldest of nine brothers, Emir is married with two sons, named Emir II and Deivid; he's also the only comic artist in the family. "Although most of my comics works in South America was complete pencils and inks, I'm been primarily an inker or finisher for American comics", say Emir. "Of course, I have multiple styles: A moody style; a slicker science-fiction style; a style that incorporates likenesses; and, of course, my super-hero style."

Emir was first inspired to draw comics after seeing the Marvel cartoons on TV, though he rates "movies of terror" as his favorite sort of film, he says, "I love comics, and I'd be thrilled to do complete jobs on horror and mystery tales. On super-hero titles, I seem to may best work over thumbnails, or breakdowns, of strong storytellers."

He credits his flexibility and longevity to life experience. "I've already gotten in a bank, on a newspaper, and even as a math teacher! But I enjoy artwork more than any other job on the planet".

"Editors seem to like the finished look I can bring to a newer penciller: I strive to bring out a depth and polish to a talent who may not be 100% confident, or bold enough, in his pencil linework. I think the finished work gets better every day." {From Spotlight}

Hi, I’m Brian Standwick, and I love super-hero comics.  I read DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and many others.  But, a natural thing is happening with our favorite heroes...  they are getting worn with the passing of time.  Besides that, the editors are not choosing wisely their production teams. The drawings are weird, and the plots seem to lack novelty or interesting things to show.  It seems that the golden age of all publishing companies is gone. That's why I started to search for alternatives in other countries, although I don't speak or read any foreign language.  By reading Borderline Comics Magazine -- www.borderlinemagazine.co.uk -- I discovered that Brazil is one of thee countries that publishes more super-hero stories, but they're mostly only translations of the USA heroes.  Yet in that country, there are also  Brazilian heroes, and they are very different from ours.

I knew that artist Mike Deodato Jr. also created Jade Warriors and other characters while living in Brazil (published by Image Comics), and one of his inkers is Emir Ribeiro, who created  the greatest Brazilian heroine.  Yes!  The preference of Brazilian readers is not for a male super-hero, like Superman is for us Americans. The most-read comic Super-Hero book in Brazil is Velta, a beautiful blonde as tall as the Hulk, but without his physical strength. Her power is to fire bio-energy rays. She doesn't have a standardized uniform and changes clothes all the time.  She has very long hair, that almost reaches the floor, and what is more attractive in her body is her butt.  I knew also that there are other heroes from Ribeiro Studios, and they were -- almost all -- created in the '70s.  It seems that only one of these Brazilian heroes wears a mask, and is The Man in Black, that is not related with Tommy Lee Jones or Will Smith, he was created way before the movie!  There's also a robot redhead -- Nova The Gymnoid, she is kind of a Female Punisher, that kills the bad guys without any sign of remorse. There is also a gallery of villains that do not use masks or costumes, most of them. This means that, since the seventies, in Brazil, the heroes already had the tendency of the TV series of our days, like Smallville, Birds of Prey and The Flash, that show the heroes without mask and in civilian clothes.

To know more, I wrote an e-mail to Emir Ribeiro, and I received a response in English, with some links and sites in Portuguese. I couldn't read a word but, by Emir's description of his heroes, I could notice that there is already an universe as complex and fascinating as those from Marvel and DC, and they are created by only one man. Emir told me that Brazilian comics are very different from those on the USA, and the artists are not well paid, so he cannot pay a team of artists the way they deserve, then he does everything by himself, plot, story, pencils and inks, lettering included. I think that this is amazing, because he controls all the steps of the entire process.

Another curious thing is that there isn't only one publishing company releasing Emir's heroes; besides his own "Velta Ediçoes", others called "Metal Pesado", "Escala," and "Opera Graphica" also publish Velta, Nova, The Man in Black, and a group called "Fubrap", similar to The Avengers. It may seem strange that Brazilian editors can publish heroes from the same studio, without being rivals in the market. The villains are also very different. I received the comic book "25 years of Velta," with all the stories translated into English, in separated sheets of paper, so I could understand the text. The villain is the most different that I ever seen, and is called Doroti. She's an extra-terrestrial she-male being with unlimited mental powers, but Velta still manages to win the fight . I asked Emir to authorize the right to publish images, drawings and also an interview that was conducted by his American agent David Campiti for the Spotlight, published by Glass House Graphics.  In the middle of the interview, I asked him some new questions, to satisfy my own curiosity and also from the readers of this website. 



   Brazil also has super-heroines, and their best is Velta, a blonde of seven feet height and enormous hair. At the moment she is having some success with two releases: an edition in color in small format, and a luxurious magazine that seems more like a book.

  Velta was created in 1973, by Emir Ribeiro, who was born and lives in the same city as Mike Deodato Jr. -- Joao Pessoa, state of Paraiba, Brazil.  In addition, Ribeiro has been partner and assistant to Deodato on many works for the US comic market, such as Wonder Woman, Turok, Hulk, Avengers, and  Glory, among others.

  Velta has a body full of bio-energy, and she emits her energy in the form of lightning rays. The heroine got her a powers after having served as a "guinea pig" for an unscrupulous extra-terrestrial scientist. The true name of Velta is Katia Lins, an ordinary adolescent, who lives with her father Joel in the city of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Without Joel Lins' knowledge, Katia became Velta and started to act as a private detective, associated with ex-cop Gilberto Gomes, solving police cases, both supernatural and extra-terrestrial.

  In the edition in small format, done by the Brazilian publisher "Escala," the origin of Velta was re-presented, along with three more short stories, where the Brazilian heroine combats common criminals. Even so, in the deluxe edition published by the "Opera Graphica", in black and white with a painted cover, Velta faces a terrible people-devouring monster in a county called "Itauaçu da Serra". In this paradisiac area exist landscapes, canyons, forests and a lot of caves, where the devourer hides and takes its victims to serve as his food. To bring an end to the beast, the Itauaçu mayor hires the services of Velta.

  The adventure "The Devourer" is having an enormous success among the Brazilian public, and it is the subject of quite a bit of commentary among Brazilian Internet users.

SPOTLIGHT – Emir Ribeiro has inked and/or penciled some of the top comic-book titles over the past  ten years, but his fine work may be one of the industry's best-kept secrets. He's worked on a plethora of projects, from Avengers and Glory to Spider-Man and Hulk vs. Hercules, but occasionally has his name appeared in the credits. Why ? Well, editors may remember the two-year stretch in which hiring the Deodato Studio was in vogue. Although a strong penciller in his own right, Emir Ribeiro was the Studio's primary inker, helping to maintain the consistency of style that's been Mike Deodato Jr.'s own hallmark since the days when Emir helped to teach Deodato how to ink. The Studio is now history; its other members, pencillers Ed Benes, Mozart Couto, and Carlos Mota – along with Emir’s fellow inker René Micheletti – have gone on their own projects. Emir Ribeiro has focused on pitching in to help Deodato with inking assists on such projects as “Jade Warriors” and Lady Death. 

 “I was disappointed a number of times when editors who promised to credit me decided to credit Deodato over my – and Deodato’s – objections,” says Emir. “Or they simply credited the Studio and left names off altogether.”


SPOTLIGHT: Let's start at the beginning…

EMIR: Sure! That's as good a place as any. Start at the beginning, go till we reach the end, then stop. We don't wanna wear out our welcome.

SPOTLIGHT (Laughter):

EMIR: I started working as a writer, artist and inker for the School newspaper in 1972.In 1978 I started publishing my own project as an “underground comic.” By the time 1985 rolled around, I began to draw sex comic books – adult material – for companies in Sao Paulo. I finally broke into the American market en 1993, inking a little project called The Protectors from Malibu Comics.

SPOTLIGHT: Didn’t you soon switch over to work on full-collor titles at Innovation ?

EMIR: Yep. Unfortunately, I ended up penciling and inking issues of Quantum Leap that never appeared in print when they closed in '94; we offered then to Acclaim Comics when they picked up The Quantum Leap license, but I don’t even think they cracked open the package! It was actually one hell of a story – a three-parter that finally concluded the saga and sent Sam Beckett home. Someone should publish it to give the whole story closure.

SPOTLIGHT: What was next in your resume ?

EMIR: I was also in the running to pencil and ink The X-Files and another Dark Shadows series, but at the last minute Dark Shadows didn’t happen from the small company that planned it – and the editors on X-Files at Topps decided to go with a style that was less married to the likenesses. I began doing penciling and inking work for Continuity Comics but, within days of starting that, their money stopped flowing so I stopped working. My timing doer accepting assignments has been a bit less than perfect.

SPOTLIGHT: What about Glory ?

EMIR: I did a lot of work on glory for a year or so, mainly inks and finishes, though I did pencil and ink some pin-ups and such. For some reason, Extreme occasionally removed my name and replaced it with Deodato’s name, which didn’t sit well with Deodato or with me. It was… strange working with them.

SPOTLIGHT: But we digress…

Starting out…

EMIR: I was born in April 7th of 1959 in Paraiba, Brazil. I still live here.

SPOTLIGHT: What was your art training ? Did you go to art school ?

EMIR: I have always gone to public school, and I’ve never gone to any art school. I learned by myself – by practicing every single day before going to work.

SPOTLIGHT: You’ve mentioned a few titles you’ve worked on. Any others come to mind ?

EMIR: Oh, certainly. I’ve published plenty of works in the U.S.A. but mostly you cannot find my name on those – which were Hulk vs Hercules, Avengers: The Crossing and the regular Avengers. Those that you can find my name on include The Protectors, Man of War, Mr. T and The T-Force, Turok, Glory, Justice League Task Force, Risk, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, Avengelyne/Prophet, Hellina, and others that I cannot remember now.

SPOTLIGHT: What about your family ? Do you come from a household full of artists ?

EMIR: I’m the oldest of 9 brothers. I’m married, and I have 2 sons – and I’m also the only comic book artist in my family.

SPOTLIGHT: have you even been to the United States ?

EMIR: Nope. I’ve never been to the U.S.A.

SPOTLIGHT: Are any American conventions on your schedule ?

EMIR: If it were going to depend on my current finances I’d never get to go, but if I get enough regular work and steadier comics income, or if a company invites and brings me, I1d be happy to do’em!

Style and Inspirations

SPOTLIGHT: So how did you settle on your current look to your art ?

EMIR: When I started, even though it may seem hard to believe, I never followed any style. I always wanted to have my own style, and that was bad in the beginning – because certain editors here in Brazil want you to follow someone else’s style. But when I started working for American companies, I could use my own styles, and I think those styles get better every day.

SPOTLIGHT: You have multiple styles, right ?

EMIR: Of course. I have a moody style; a style science-fictiony style; a style that incorporates likeness; and, of course, a super-hero style. Even when I’m not penciling the work myself, I can fine-tune rough pencils, or I can work from breakdowns or layouts. Versatility is the key to a good career, I think.

SPOTLIGHT: Do you have any favorite things you like to draw ?

EMIR: I always enjoyed working with heroes, but I’ve worked with different kinds of characters before. I like to draw dark, moody scenes, and I love to draw women. 

SPOTLIGHT: Can you walk us through what a typical day in your life is like ?

EMIR: Well, If I’m working on a book, I usually get up at 8:00 and go till 12:00. After lunch, I take a quick nap and then go back to work until night. I have another part-time job in Paraiba, because you never know whether you are going to have work or not.

SPOTLIGHT: What inspired your obvious love for comics ?

EMIR: I was eight when I first got the bug – after watching Marvel’s cartoons on TV. Right after that, the comic books came out here, and I started buying and collecting. In fact, I still buy and collect! That’s what I followed to start drawing, first I tried to draw some characters that I’d seen, and then I started creating my owns characters.

SPOTLIGHT: How about telling us a few of your favorite things ?

EMIR: Favorites ? I have a lot, but I’ll mention those who I think are more important. Artist: Jack Kirby. Inker: Scott Williams. Writer: Frank Miller. Movies: Terror. Food: Lasagna. Book: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Music: Any kind.

SPOTLIGHT: What are your hobbies ? What do you do in your free time ?

EMIR:   My hobby: I collect comics books. Free time: I don’t have free time!

SPOTLIGHT: Ever been in a gang ?

EMIR: A gang ? No way – just get them away from me! (Laughter)


The Work Ethic & More

SPOTLIGHT: During your years as Mike Deodato’s assistant, aside from Extreme Studios deleting your name from certain work you did, do you have any regrets ?

EMIR: I don’t Know if I have actually been “Deodato’s assistant”, but I’ve been very happy to help out – it’s been a great thing. But still don’t understand why they cut me off from Glory and put someone else from Extreme’s own Studio to do the job.

SPOTLIGHT: Maybe they worked cheaper.

EMIR: Yeah. You get what do you pay for, too. (Laughter.)

SPOTLIGHT: So why do you use an agent ?

EMIR: Because the agent always knows how to deal with the editors. Without the agents, we would not have work. If it’s ever tough for them, it’d be even tougher for me to do it on my own.

SPOTLIGHT: And about “Sketchagraph” Cards ?

EMIR: These things are basically autographed conventions sketches actually drawn on blank trading cards, which Fleer uses as “chase cards,” one per box for collectors. I did hundreds of them a few years back  (…) I think I did 100 of just Thor-related characters, never duplicating a pose! Fleer doing a ton of “Silver Age” Marvel cards, as “chase cards” for a whole ‘nother set. It’s sure a change of pace form the usual thing. I get to draw all the classic Kirby, Ditko, Romita, Ayers characters!

* See Supergirl Sketch-cards.

SPOTLIGHT: That’s definitely high on the coolness level. Anything else ?

EMIR: Let’s see… I helped Deodato with inking Jade Warriors – maybe he’ll call it Deathkiss, I don’t know – that’s a creator-owned project. (…) I was pinch-hit on inking some Lady Death and Purgatori.

SPOTLIGHT: What’s your dream project ?

EMIR: My dream is publish some books with my own characters. Working on my own project, I can do wathever I want. When you are working on someone’s else project, you have to follow directions. That can be a great thing, working with great people, but I’d also like the opportunity to do a project that from me, writing and penciling and inking, that’s straight from my heart.

SPOTLIGHT: Do you have any final words for your fans or your editors ?

EMIR: Yes. Please keep buying my work. I’m a professional, and I won’t disappoint you.

BRIAN: I'll continue the interview from now on, because I want to know some things more. Emir, did any USA editor wanted to publish Velta?

EMIR: Yes. For what I know, two editors got interested in publishing Velta. I remember the name of one: Steve Schanes, former publisher of Pacific Comics, who went on to Blackthorne Publishing and A-List Comics.  Then the market changed, and he couldn't do it, anymore.

BRIAN: Didn't the negotiations succeed?

EMIR: The negotiations were going well with Steve, but he left his publisher function before we reached an agreement. The editors to whom my agent David Campiti offered the histories of Velta wanted me to make modifications in her body. Unhappily, that would not be possible , because Velta is already a very well-known character in Brazil and I could not change her body, because it would be a disrespect to her fans.

BRIAN: Which were the changes that the editors wanted to make in Velta?

EMIR: Some of them wanted me to make her butt smaller and the thighs very thin. They also wanted me to draw larger boobs and smaller and less pointy nipples.

BRIAN: I understand that the standard of feminine beauty in Brazil is very different from the U.S.A.

EMIR: Yes. Most men like women with smaller breasts and wide hips, with big ass. For that reason, Velta has a body that most Brazilian guys love.

BRIAN: Do readers have to be assisted in their preferences, right?

EMIR: Sure. Besides, I think the editors make a mistake when they want to standardize the way of drawing the parts of the human body. In the real world, hundreds of women don't have the same design and format of eyes, noses, mouths and boobs. Each person has his own shape, different from another people. There are boobs of all shapes: pear, banana, fallen "jaca", sheer balloon, etc. If I were to make a standard of all the body parts, like the editors wanted, that would make my drawings boring and repetitive.

The readers would complain, saying that the artists draw women with the same faces and bodies, only changing their eyes colors and hair. This doesn't happen in the real world.

BRIAN : And why didn't you make a version of Velta specially for the USA?

EMIR: Usually , Brazilian editors copy and translate the american comics; probably, if Velta were to be published in the USA in a big-boobs-small-ass version, someday it would be translated and published in Brazil. This would cause a great confusion among brazilian readers.  Many would ask: "Which one is the real Velta ? The Brazilian or the American one?”

BRIAN:  I think that Nova, the Gymnoid, would have better acceptance by the American editors.

EMIR: Maybe, in anatomic terms, probably. But I never tried to sell Nova to them.

BRIAN: It's really a pity that I always have to ask my friend Jake to translate the Velta comics for me. It would be much easier if someone published her books in English.

EMIR: Well, if they do it without trying to change her body, it would be OK. But, till now, unfortunately everybody wanted me to change something.

BRIAN: Velta's long hair resembles that of the Playmate from the seventies, Debra Jo Fondren...

EMIR: I know what you're talkin' about.  First time I saw a photo of Debra Jo was in 1978, and Velta was created five years before. Every comic character has one or more sources of inspiration, that can be real people or other characters. The comic character that inspired Velta's physical appearance was "Pravda,"  created by the belgian artists Guy Peellaert and Pascal Thomas. If you want to know more about, you can copy from other texts I wrote about.

BRIAN: Well, I sure wanna know...


BRIAN: Did you ever thought of offering Velta to Hollywood? I think that it would be an enormous challenge for the special effects guys to create a huge girl, beautiful and very human, interacting with other ordinary people, much smaller than she is.  It's very easy to make digital monsters, men in uniform leaping over the buildings. I want to know what would they do with Velta.

EMIR: Yeah Brian, it would be a big challenge to the special effects department. I also would like to see the results of something like that.

BRIAN: And what actress do you think could play Velta's role in a movie?

EMIR: Dunno. I did not watch many movies recently, and I could not point any of the new actresses. But a friend of mine, thinking about this possibility, suggested the name of Victoria Pratt (Mutant X).

BRIAN: Oh, yeah. Victoria is very sexy and would be an excellent choice.  I agree with your friend.

EMIR: But I doubt that Hollywood producers would want to make a movie about Velta. They have lots of projects going on, and with many known characters that would give them much more money than Velta.

BRIAN: It's a pity...

EMIR: And I agree.

BRIAN: I found very strange the fact that Brazil has different publishing companies that release the same characters, without rivalry.

EMIR: Brazilian comics are very different from those in the USA. Although a comic character can be very successful, it does not sell as many books as in the USA. Unfortunately, Brazilian people don't have a tradition of reading, be it comics or regular books, and the government does not make any effort to support the habit of reading, except for some municipal or state governments.

BRIAN: I feel that you are disappointed with your country's government.

EMIR: Very disappointed. I only read news about increasing taxes, cut in the budgets, and other ways of taking people's money.

BRIAN: Uh, this is bad.

EMIR: Yeah. Being short of money, people can't buy books or comics, besides not being used to read.

BRIAN: Wouldn't you like to live in the USA?

EMIR: I would live in any country that did not have so much violence, where people respected others, and where the government did not take so much time thinking how to create taxes.

BRIAN: Let's get back to your characters. Some of them are not heroes, isn't it? Some of them kill the bad guys.

EMIR: I would prefer not to call them heroes. They don't follow the same honor code, they have qualities and defects, and each one has his own sense of justice, just like real people. Velta does not kill, Nova does. The Man in Black cripples and hurts people a lot, and Itabira kills the enemy and can even eat him at dinner, because most of the indians, at the time of Portuguese colonization, were cannibals.

BRIAN: I did not read any Itabira stories yet. Is he an Amazon indian?

EMIR: No, he's from Paraiba, in the XVIII century, and he's the chief of the Tabajara tribe.

BRIAN: Is there any character of yours with a connection to the Amazon forest?

EMIR: The Rubber Girl gets her power through a serum extracted from a "seringueira" tree from the Amazon, but she lives in Rio de Janeiro.

BRIAN: How can a fan get a piece of original art or recreated pages from you?

EMIR: In the USA, he has only to contact my agent David Campiti or his partner Graeme Barrows, at the following addresses:
[email protected]

[email protected] 

109 North 18th Street Wheeling, WV 26003 USA
(304) 277-5557/phone
(304) 277-5558/fax

In Brazil:
[email protected]

Postal Address:

Caixa Postal 10001
Acf. Jaguaribe
Cep: 58015-350 / Joao Pessoa, PB / Brazil

This page had been built originally by the fan/friend Brian Theodore Standwick, in the addresses
http://heroines.freewebpage.org    and    http://velta.topcities.com. But, it was big the amount of images downloads, and the pages surpassed the accesses limits.  I didn't want to lose the good work of Brian, I copied the whole page previously and  I (with help, of course)  re-placed it here.    {Emir Ribeiro}

Hosted by www.Geocities.ws