Hulk loses colors: Hermes Tadeu murdered in Brazil

In the Sunday afternoon of December 21st, "Incredible Hulk" colorist Hermes Tadeu, aged 25, was shot to death at the Boqueirão beach in Praia Grande (a city in the Southeast of São Paulo, Brazil). He was out for a walk with his girlfriend Leandra Wilson, 20, when a young man tried to steal his video camera. According to the police report, Hermes reacted and was shot in the chest. Leandra was left in shock, yet physically unharmed, unharmed by the man, who ran away in a bicycle.

Rodrigo dos Santos Moreira, the 18 year-old suspect, was arrested moments later by two officers called by Osmar Campos, 54, another tourist who got his cell phone stolen by Moreira soon after he shot the illustrator. Hermes was taken alive to the Santa Casa Hospital of Praia Grande but died in the emergency room due to wounds he suffered.

Moreira was recognized by a third person robbed by him and linked to the death of Hermes by the officer who attended the crime scene at the beach. Moreira is detained in the city's Central Police Station and awaits trial. Hermes lived in Sorocaba (São Paulo), where he would return a day later with his parents and girlfriend. His death deeply shocked them and also the "Hulk" team whom he had been working with so far.

David Campiti, Tadeu's agent of Glasshouse Graphics, had this to say about the tragedy.

"Despite his young age, Hermes Tadeu had been our finest colorist, an excellent painter and line artist in his own right. He'd toiled at various Brazilian comics, painted music magazine projects, and so on, and was working for smaller U.S. companies, pushing for his big break. He got it: The covers and finally the interiors every month for 'The Hulk'. He was finishing the final page of his first full issue -- #70 -- when he was murdered. Hermes did the covers for 'Hulk' #60, #62 through #66, and #68, #70, and #71, plus covers for 'Venom', for 'Wolverine/Punisher', the upcoming promo for Hulk and a Hulk poster. I met Hermes only once, though I'd been representing his work for several years and chatted with him almost daily online. He was a careful, painstaking talent who wanted to please and to impress. The concept that Hermes could be murdered by a stranger for no real reason -- a simple theft! -- is horrifying, mind-boggling and tragic beyond any words. As a person and as a talent, we will miss him."

Campiti has established the Hermes Tadeu Fund to assist his family; contributions can be sent via PayPal to HermesTadeuFund@aol.com. Cards can be sent to his family in care of Glass House Graphics, 109 N. 18th Street, Wheeling, WV 26003.

"Hulk" artist Mike Deodato Jr., who took his family to spend the Holydays with Campiti when the sad news arrived, also shared his feelings about Hermes.

"Hermes was one of the most talented colorists I've ever met. I had already worked with him on 'Jade Warrior' and other small projects so I knew of his ability. It took me a while to convince Axel Alonso ('Hulk' editor) that Hermes could provide colors for the covers, but soon he was certain that Hermes could be the regular colorist for the series. His first and, unfortunately, last interior work was for 'Hulk' #70. And it's a masterpiece. An actual testament of his talent and ability. He most certainly had a bright future in Comics. His career had barely started. It's too sad when such talented people are taken from our conviviality for reasons so stupid."

Hermes Tadeu built a reputation as a colorist and illustrator in Brazil before pursuing a career in American Comics. He had illustrated music album covers, the 1999 "Heavy Metal" Calendar, as well as covers and interiors for several comics, such as recoloring "Mys-Tech Wars," "Rogue," "Tex" and Elseworlds covers for Brazilian editions.

He was buried last week in Sorocaba.

Thanks to UHQ.

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