Ric Estrada was a Cuban American penciler of comic books for companies including the major American publisher DC Comics. He also worked in comic strips, political cartoons, advertising, storyboarding, and commercial illustration. Ric Estrada was born in Havana, Cuba. He made his first professional sale, an illustration used on the cover of the Cuban magazine Bohemia, at the age of 13. Estrada attended the University of Havana. Through his uncle, Sergio Carbo, Estrada met writer Ernest Hemingway; the two men facilitated Estrada's move to New York City in 1947 to further his artistic studies and start a career. Estrada there attended the New York Art Students League, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts. Estrada's first New York home was in Greenwich Village where he met fellow artists such as Lee J. Ames, Dan Barry, Sy Barry, Frank Frazetta, Andre LeBlanc, Mort Meskin, Pete Morisi, Don Perlin and George Roussos.
In the 1950s, Estrada penciled and inked "Bunker", the first comic-book story to feature an African-American hero, and "Rough Riders". Both stories were for the EC Comics series Two-Fisted Tales. He drew for Dell Comics, Hillman Periodicals, St. John Publications, and Ziff-Davis. In 1967 and 1968, he drew stories for Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror comics magazine Eerie. Much of Estrada's comic-book career was spent working for DC Comics. Though superheroes were not his preference Estrada worked on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Richard Dragon, and he co-created Lady Shiva and Power Girl. Estrada drew detective comics, romance comics, war comics and a few horror stories for DC. In 1976, Estrada's work was in such high demand from DC that he illustrated the premiere issues of six separate titles that year: All Star Comics, Blitzkrieg, Freedom Fighters, Isis, Karate Kid, and Super Friends. Estrada's preference was for the war stories. Among the war titles he worked on for DC Comics was G.I. Combat, for which he illustrated a number of stories in the ongoing features "Blitzkrieg" and "Robert Kanigher's Gallery of War", both written by Robert Kanigher. While working on G.I. Combat #169, Estrada filled a page shortage with an account from the Book of Ether, a short book of scripture contained in the Book of Mormon. That story came to the attention of Hugh W. Pinnock, who was in charge of creating a comic-style adaptation of the New Testament for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in 1980 Estrada drew all the pictures for that book.