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In memory of Alvaro (1962 - 2012)
Al Rio was the official comic book artist for Amazon Archives since 2004. When I first discovered Al's art, particularly his Wonder Woman pen and inks, I instantly fell in love with his creative style and the approach he took when depicting the character. For me, Al captured the essence of Diana and portrayed her as powerful, noble, courageous, fierce and compassionate, all with the stroke of a pen. He invoked the same responses in me that I felt when I first saw the comic book art of Ross Andru, Rich Buckler, Garcia Lopez and Jose Delbo back during the 1970's. I knew right away that I had to commission Al to do some exclusive pieces for Amazon Archives, as I felt his artwork fitted so well with how I wanted to depict Diana - with an affectionate nod to her pre Crisis incarnation with which I grew up with.
Myself, Al and his agent Terry Maltos collaborated over a period of of almost eight years and Al never needed much direction as to the composition of a particular piece- he just "got it" right away. I always felt a rush when new artwork arrived in the mail or via my in-box and he never disappointed.
Whether you were a fan of his work or not, nobody can deny his art always created an impact - and became a talking point. Some of the commissions he did specifically for this web site have since become firm favourites across the web - with the most well known work being "Wonder Woman through The Ages", which can be found cropping up on news sites, blogs and Facebook pages everywhere and - alongside the much talked about "Wonder Woman #137 Reimagined Cover" - became a well used discussion piece regarding Diana's controversial costume change during the "Odyssey" storyline and into the subsequent "New 52" relaunch.
I, along with the comic book world, were of course stunned by his tragic passing. Al had so much more to give us and the world has cruelly been denied the chance to see what other masterpieces he had in store for us.
Nobody drew Diana quite like Al Rio in my opinion. I will miss him very much but the one small consolation I hold onto is that he left us an amazing body of work behind - and every single piece of it contains a slither of his soul. He endures...as this gallery lays testament to.
So, I hope you enjoy these amazing Wonder Woman art pieces as much as I do and remember with fondness the incredible talent that was Alvaro Rio.
To view a particular piece of artwork click on the link beneath each thumbnail image. For certain pieces a full coloured version is also presented.