Ricky Garduno, RIP

Ricky Garduno

Sad reports coming in that Ricky Garduno, a young storyboard artist for numerous TV shows, has passed away at age 35. The cause of death is still unconfirmed. Some people online are speculating it was suicide, but it also may have been an accidental death. His credits included El Tigre, The Buzz on Maggie, Family Guy, The Drinky Crow Show and Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island! He also created the online comic 1930 Nitemare Theatre, which ran on Dumm Comics for a number of years. He participated in this roundtable discussion about Dumm Comics that we published in 2008.

UPDATE #1: Some lovely tributes about Ricky are being posted online:
Gabe Swarr
Jorge Gutierrez
Dave Thomas (plus a complete El Tigre board by Ricky)
Memorial comic by Peggy
Niko Anesti
Zach Bellissimo
Nico Colaleo

An example of 1930 Nitemare Theatre from 2009. Click for larger version:

1930 Nitemare Theatre

UPDATE #2: Family Guy posted this tribute title card (below) on the 2/12/12 episode, “Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (Season 10, episode 13).


  • http://tumblrtoons.tumblr.com/ Jeaux Janovsky

    Very sorry to hear. Your work was a complete inspiration. You will be missed. RIP Ricky.

  • http://www.TVsKyle.net TV’s Kyle

    Amid, thanks for this post honoring Ricky. I’m a little uncomfortable about the suicide mention as that’s completely unconfirmed at this point. It comes off as a touch disrespectful. Also, I’d be happy to offer you a more flattering photo for you to use.

    • amid

      The photo I’m using is the profile pic he used on Tumblr so I would think he’d be comfortable with the choice. Feel free to post other photos in the comments here or email them to me. I’ve also updated the unconfirmed nature of his death and made it more clear that the causes are speculation at this point.

      • http://www.TVsKyle.net TV’s Kyle

        Thanks, Amid.
        This is closer to how I’d prefer to remember my friend:
        ricky

      • amid

        Cute! Thanks for sharing this memory.

      • Foxglove

        I’ll always remember Ricky as the rockstar of Dummcomics.

        Also, even though I didn’t know him, that is a really great picture in my opinion.

  • Ryan

    Gutting news this, really unexpected. 1930 Nitemare Theatre is one of my all-time favourite web-comics…

    RIP to him.

  • Jorge Garrido

    What a goddamn waste. Fuck.

  • http://katie-w.deviantart.com/ Patchwerk

    This is extraordinarily sad and a bit shocking. I’ve enjoyed Ricky’s work for Dumm Comics ever since that site started. R.I.P. Wish you didn’t have to go.

  • Dean Schaeffer

    I’m gonna miss his sarcastic humor, his love of cats and his art. Faith No More rules Ricky! And KIMBO LIVES!!!

  • http://www.jonkinyon.com J. F. Kinyon

    One of his last webcomics, posted 6 days ago, was about suicide. No bueno. http://rickygarduno.tumblr.com/

  • http://ryuuseipro.blogspot.com/ John Paul Cassidy

    I was very shocked and saddened to read this news! He was a very good friend on Facebook, as well as a talented animator and cartoonist. He went too soon. :(

    May he rest in peace.

  • http://incohent-thought.blogspot.com vincent

    Could not say it better than Jorge.

  • http://juan-bauty.blogspot.com Juan Bauty

    Very sad sad news :-( so young!…. rest in peace.

  • http://www.mukpuddy.blogspot.com mukpuddy

    This is really shitty news… Ricky’s stuff always put a smile on my face, even when it was dark as hell! My thoughts go out to his friends and family… RIP dude!

  • T. Mystery

    I have my condolences for Ricky Garduno. Also I give condolences to Sibylle Medina. I am aware Ricky and Sibylle broke up, but I imagine that it’s hard on her.

  • LindsayS

    Ricky was an incredibly sweet and inspiring person. Every conversation I had with him just made me want to spend more time with him. I’m still in shock right now. Ricky, the world will miss you.

    Amid, here is another option for a better photo you could be using: http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/316139_10150250888132364_612382363_7306866_3463587_n.jpg

    Ricky was in a tragically dark place at the end of his life, but I will always remember how energetic and fun he was the few times I was lucky enough hang out with him.

    • amid

      Thanks, Lindsay. I’ve updated the post with this image.

  • Fungasm

    Something I drew up. He was a good inspiration to me, just from me viewing his comics alone.

    http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/341/0/3/1930_nightmare_theatre_by_fungasm-d4igqbt.png

  • Bud

    How very, VERY sad. RIP, Ricky.

  • http://www.rubberhousestudio.com Ivan Dixon

    I’m very saddened by this news. Ricky gave me a chance to do a guest comic on Dumm a few years back and it meant so much to me as a young, wannabe cartoonist.

    The guy obviously touched a lot of people all over the world and he will be missed.

  • http://www.milkmoneycartoons.com Ohjeepers

    Awful news about an amazing talent…

  • http://woweh.com Kelly

    I read this at work while doing OT, and teared up. I admired and respected the hell out of that guy. He was a true inspiration, and the world has lost a phenomenal artist and human being today. :(

  • Anthony D.

    I am fully heart broken over this. I loved his comic and I’m very sad to hear he’s gone. I’d like to pay my respects for him with my own ending for 1930′s Nightmare Theatre:

    In the end, Kimbo married Vepulsa and they had half human and half dog-thing children and if anyone made fun of them, Kimbo would kick their butts.

    RIP Ricky. No words can describe how much I will miss you. :(

  • http://youtube.com/tavoman Tavoman

    I’m terribly upset about the news, me and my brother befriended Ricky on facebook and since we share some cultural background we got along nicely…

    Ricky was kind enough to check some of my work and give me some really nice words of encouragement. As brief as our contact was I always treasured it and can’t help to think that I should have said hello more often.

    he always was really nice to me… I’m really going to miss him

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    I know I don’t come here often anymore, especially to comment, but thank you, Amid, for posting on Ricky. I hardly knew him and I’ve been hit really hard by this news. His work to me was jaw-droppingly absurd, hilarious, inspiring, and absolutely fascinating all at the same time, and I wholeheartedly appreciated his openness and personal digging in his comics and dialogue. Nightmare Theater was one of my favorite online comics. The world lost a great artist.

  • Katerie

    I loved his work on Dumm Comics. This is horrible news. I knew he had said he was going through tough times at the moment. He will be missed but his talent will live on. RIP

  • James

    Very sad to hear this. He seemed to be going through a rough patch when he said he was going to stop his Nightmare Theater comic. It’s very tragic it had to end this way.

  • Dzonis

    now THESE news, from all “celebrities” death news that has died, THIS guy i now only from his “1930 Nitemare Theatre” comics, gave me sad feeling. Really liked his comic work. Smart stuff.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Farewell Ricky. My biggest shame is that I work at the same studio and never experienced the pleasure of getting to know you. But if I had, my life would have been that much better for having known you.

    Blessings to you, your friends, and your family.

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

    Sad.

  • Baron Lego

    This is very unfortunate- I really loved his web comic stuff and judging by the other posts here, he seemed to be a great guy. Condolences to his friends and family.

  • http://www.maketeanotwar.co.uk/ Gagaman

    This is tragic news, I can barely even believe it. Such an amazing talent at such a young age, he had his whole life ahead of him. I didn’t know him personally but really enjoyed his work, especially the comic.

  • Old Man Father Time

    Grrrrr why does the cause of death need to be UNconfirmed?! Was he alone when it happened?!?

    So sad.

  • CS Fossett

    I didn’t know Ricky personally, but his recent struggles resonated, even at an electronic distance, because I’ve watched a good friend travel the throes of depression. I’d like to know what happened, but in a way that doesn’t matter. I mostly wish I had known him so I could have done more than compliment his work… because that will be sorely missed.

  • Richard

    Did he perform the “Muppet-style sight-seeing” cutaway?

  • http://miuniversoloco09.blogspot.com/ Salomon Fenix

    Amid, thanks for talking about the death of the brilliant Ricky Garduno. He was a good artist and could have done more but was very depressed. I did not know about his passing, but my condolences to his family and friends.

  • http://www.ratfist.com Doug TenNapel

    Ricky did some of the earliest work on Catscratch. He was a great artist. I’ll miss him.

  • http://baron-von-jello.deviantart.com/ Dennis Cornetta

    Such a tragedy…

    My thoughts and prayers are with you bud <3.

  • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

    Rest in Peace. Ricky. There was still so much potential and great work to do. :(

  • Tim

    Ricky was a colleague and a friend. He deserved better than this.

  • http://arschblog.blogspot.com Steffi-Alien

    OMG!!! This is truly shocking and saddening!:(
    I followed his comics at Dumm comics every week and when he finished there it appeared that he went through a really hard time in his life. Was hoping he will return and do more work, but that he is dead now really shocks me!!!:(
    Rest in Peace, Ricky!;_;

  • Elyse

    So sad, I can’t believe it. There is another nice tribute and photos of ricky here: http://teensleuth.com/blog/

  • http://jasonbierut.blogspot.com Jason

    I can’t believe it either. Last I saw Ricky he seemed so happy at Disney. He told me “I saw a squirrel eat a nut! (on the Disney lot). I thought they only did that in cartoons.”

    Ricky, you will be missed.

  • Matt

    Just a brief note to say I am very sorry to hear about Ricky. Though I worked with him, I never really knew him and that is a damn shame. But we did talk from time to time and our conversations were insightful, intelligent, fun and cool. Never just typical day to day quips about an X-Men comic or a bad movie, they always had substance. I remember getting his board to prep and dreaded when I saw they were 200+ pages more than any other board we would ever get, but once you started to go through them, my god they were great and you totally understood why they were monster boards. I don’t know his work outside of El Tigre, but be assured I will now. I won’t ever know Ricky personally, but I do very much want to know him as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and for his friends.

  • hitface

    A friend is making a cover of Wicked Little Town for him( he loved Hedwig and the angry inch) and said friend is hoping for some tribute art to be used for a video to go with the song.
    if anybody here would like to contribute, or could at least give a signal boost, it would be appreciated. you can send art to [email protected]

    to be honest, i have very very mixed feelings about him as a person (personal drama best not brought up in public) but it is very sad that people have lost someone they cared for and that is the main reason im helping my friend with the tribute he wants to do.

  • joe

    Oh fuck. I wasn’t expecting that. :(

    Ricky was quite a talent. I’ve been reading his web comic weekly for about 2 years now, and every strip he made was well drawn, clever, and extremely inappropriate but hilarious. I never got the meet the guy, but from what my friends have said he was a very nice man who always put a smile on people’s faces.

    Rest in Peace Rick.

  • julian Chaney

    Im very Sad .Will miss you Ricky .

  • http://steve-hogan.com Steve Hogan

    Really sad stuff. His webcomic may have been very dark, but somehow it made my Mondays easier laughing at the awful stuff that happened to Kimbo. When he seemed to beat himself up for the demise of the strip, I wish now I’d told him that I was thankful that he shared what he did.

  • Brandon Kruse

    Ricky was someone who literally had more great ideas than any one format could handle. I remember one pitch session where Ricky showed up with twice as many ideas as anyone else *and he’d illustrated them*! And they were all home runs! He was amazing. I still swipe from him. I could go on and on. I just regret that the last time I spoke with him was over the phone and not in person. Rest in peace Ricky, you’ll be missed.

  • Scott Kreamer

    “Genius” is a word that is thrown around far too often in this business, but one that is absolutely justified when it is applied to Ricky Garduno. A true artist in every sense of the word. I had the pleasure of working with Ricky on “El Tigre” and he never once failed to elevate my writing into places that it never would’ve reached otherwise. Very often there is a great divide between artist and writer, but I enjoyed many wonderful collaborations with Ricky. I would run ideas by him and we would bounce ideas off of one another, but most of all, he challenged me to be a better writer. I will always remember his smile, his laugh, his twisted drawings and his passion.

    We had you for far too short of a time, Ricky. You rest now. Be at peace.

  • http://egypt.urnash.com/ Margaret Trauth

    I’ve been kinda wanting to reconnect with the animation industry lately.

    Doing it over the death of one of my closest friends back in the beginning of my time in LA is about the worst goddamn way possible to do this. What the fuck.

    Better luck next time, Ricky.

    (oh and thanks for the link to my tribute. hi, amid. long time no see. n.n)

  • http://www.wingedelfgirl.com Lauren Sparks

    Oh, Ricky, I’m so sorry. I never really knew what to make of you, and I never met you, but I always found your work intriguing and it breaks my heart that you’re gone. Thank you so much for providing a perfect counterpoint perspective to my own, stretching my mind and inspiring my art. I hope that wherever you are is a better place. I love you <3

  • April Kramer

    I went to school with Ricky and he was always true to me, made me laugh and even let me color some of his cartoon slides. I lost touch with him but found him again on facebook ans he was still genuine. He laughed at my jokes (which is a huge compliment from him) and actually complimented me on being a good mom. I hate that he’s gone.

  • http://mike239.com MikePerez

    I never knew Ricky, but what I have learned of his story here and on his Tumblr has struck a chord with me. To use the cliche, “There but for the grace of God, goes me”. Almost one year ago I was hospitalized because of my depression, and that period was full of more thoughts of suicide than I care to admit. At least on a superficial level, I think I may know what he was going though. It was horrible for me, but I was lucky that I am doing much better today. I really wish I could say the same for Ricky. I have read a couple of his comics, and he was as great as you all think of him. It truly breaks my heart that the animation and cartooning community has lost such a great talent. All we can do is hope that he finds his peace where ever he is now. RIP Ricky.

  • http://supah.com amy beth

    i’ll always miss you ricky. it’s very easy for me to believe you’re still there, so i might do that for a while because it is so painful to face full-frontal-reality. i am honored to have been considered your friend. nothing or no one who is loved is ever lost. love never dies. i know you’re loved by many. not for your talent, but because you were you. love you ricky <3.

  • http://www.jwbalsleycomix.com jwbalsley

    It’s still just a bloody shame, he was easily one of the best modern cartoonists out there. I never knew him in person but I could tell he would be very interesting to know and I wish I did. RIP Ricky! You will be long missed!

  • NJB

    Ricky Garduno tribute site:

    http://www.rickygardunoslife.com/

  • http://www.cartoonbrew.com Daffy Duck

    Just a par-boiled minute Ricky Garduno gone and dead! Yesh now that’s just sad?

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Just found out today. I’m deeply sorry.

    I visited Dumm Comics on a weekly basis. I’ve always respected Ricky as an artist and as a person with a voice and something to say about the hypocrisies of our society. A couple of times I linked his work at my own blog at The Daily Grail.

    Descanse en Paz.

  • Lee Gracie

    Ricky was a great friend of mine. We use to joke around alot. Now that he is passed away, I will never forget those happy times we had. I will miss you and I love Ricky my friend.

    P.S I’m not gay lol.

  • Hayleigh

    I never knew Ricky, but i loved his peculiar webcomic style and stories. They were addictive and sometimes drawn too well!! I’m sad there won’t be any more.

    Also, it seems he was admired and loved by everyone he met. It is so lovely to read what an awesome guy he was.

  • Amma

    I clicked on his name first without reading the rest of the article. Saw the pic of himself on his Tumblr and my first thought honest to god was, “suicide.” Then I scrolled down a little only to see that comic about suicide…

    I remember hearing that he was going through a difficult time in his life – a time of soul searching which is something we all go through. I’m not saying any of this to be a speculative douche bag or anything. I know how much it hurts to lose someone you really love.

    It’s always sad and tragic when such a creative, gentle soul has gone before their time. My heart goes out to his friends and loved ones. May he rest in perpetual peace & his work live on.

  • Rick

    Seth MacFarlane just did a nice acknowledgement to Ricky at the the end of tonight’s episode (02/12/12) of Family Guy.