Sunday, February 22, 2009

Emil Rodriguez: First to America

Emilio D. Rodriguez or Emil Rodriguez, as he was known early in his career, was one of the most brilliant illustrators in the Golden Age of Philippine Komiks. However, he abruptly left the Philippine comics art scene to go to the United States, probably sometime in the very late 50's or early 60's, and very little is known about him since. This would probably place him as one of the first, if not the first Pinoy comic book artist to come to America and test the waters here... but apparently, and to the disappointment of his many fans, not as a comics artist. Legend has it (how else to explain but to ascribe legendary status to his mysterious disappearance), that he gave up comics to take a very lucrative position as a car designer at one of Detroit's Big Three. However, that is pure hearsay, and not something we can verify as fact even in this age of the internet, probably adding more to the mystery shrouding Rodriguez's disappearance. We do know for fact, that he never worked for Marvel or DC. So, one can now only speculate to the what might have been -- imagine what a perfect fit his powerful figures and dynamic layouts would have been for the likes of Superman, Batman, Avengers, etc.

I did manage, however, in my ever-constant search for collectibles in bookstores, comics stores and thrift shops, to find comics that he did for a little-known publication called Treasure Chest. Yet another mystery: why did Rodriguez choose to illustrate for this publisher, when, with his impressive resume, he could easily have worked for either Marvel or DC had he chosen to do so, particularly since by that time, his colleagues from the Philippines were already working for the aforementioned publications? Be that as it may, suffice it to say that it is our good fortune to find comics that he actually illustrated and published in America. Here is Emil Rodriguez's cover for Treasure Chest and the five-page story titled appropriately enough "First to America."

For more of Emil Rodriguez, check out this link to my other blog:
Emil Rodriguez in Treasure Chest.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Featured Artist: Carlo Pagulayan

Carlo Pagulayan is another Pinoy Superstar illustrator in the Super Hero genre. Here are pages of his illustrations from Marvel's Fantastic Four and New Avengers. Check also with our earlier posting of Super Heroes and Villains by Pinoy Illustrators for more of his work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Leinil Francis Yu Interprets Brian Michael Bendis' Script for Secret Invasion.

How does a top-notch illustrator like Leinil Francis Yu illustrate a page from a script by a top-notch writer? In this case, the writer is Brian Michael Bendis of Secret Invasion. Featured in WRITE NOW magazine are 5 pages of a script by Bendis for Secret Invasion and the pencil rendering showing how artist Yu interprets each page. With commentary and analysis by the magazine.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Featured Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

Leinil Francis Yu is the first Pinoy artist to have done what even the legendary Philippine Golden Age comics illustrators who first invaded the U.S. shores, could not achieve, and that is do Marvel and DC Super Heroes. He has drawn Superman, Batman, Spiderman, the X-Men, New Avengers, the Hulk, and a host of other Super Heroes. His skills have been hewn with Super Hero mentality under the tutelage of another Pinoy illustrator in America, Whilce Portacio, who came back to the Philippines, saw the potential of so many artistic talents there and opened a school. Yu was one of Portacio's students, many of whom subsequently went to work in U.S. comics. Yu is now a legitimate Super Star in U.S. comics, not surprisingly, because of his superior figure drawing and layout skills, and is now one of the hottest, most sought-after artist. Yu was one of Marvel Comics' Young Guns of 2007, and recently, was voted the 2008 Artist of the Year by Wizard Magazine.

The following are images from his latest illustrations for Marvel Comics: Wolverine vs Hulk and Secret Invasions. For more of his work check our earlier posting under Super Heroes and Villains by Pinoy Illustrators.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Mico Suayan is the latest Pinoy artist to grace the pages of Marvel Comics with his dark, powerful images of Moon Knight. Following are images from the latest issue of Moon Knight and the magazine that comes with the Moon Knight Figurine collection.