Thursday, March 26, 2009

Whilce Portacio - New Guard Guru

In the world of Pinoy illustrators in the U.S.A., Whilce Portacio needs no introduction. What Tony Zuniga was to the old guard of Pinoy artists in America, Portacio is to the new guard. Portacio briefly opened a comic book art school in the Philippines, and introduced to his students the ways of American comics, particularly the Image style. Many of his former students now work for DC, Marvel, Image and other publications. Some are featured in this blog. Portacio has worked for all the major comics publications here. He has just finished Batman Confidential for DC Comics.

Portacio also has the distinction of being the only Filipino to have founded (together with 6 other American artists) a major comics publication - Image Comics. In 1992, seven artists frustrated for not getting equal rights to the characters they created, Portacio one of them, left Marvel Comics to form Image Comics. Image is now one of the top four comics publications in the U.S. In Image Portacio was able to showcase what might be his creative masterwork - Wetworks, in which he is both creator and illustrator. Featured below are images from Wetworks. Also featured below is a two-page biography of Portacio published by Image Comics. The caricature of him, while, there is no credited artist, I believe, was done by J. Campbell-Scott.

The Blogger with Whilce Portacio
at the Wizards Convention in L.A.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The DC Comics Pinoy Artists: Francis Manapul and Philip Tan

So far we've only featured Marvel Comics Pinoy artists.
Here are two Pinoy artists from DC comics.

Francis Manapul and Philip Tan could not be farther apart, both in illustrative style and in physical distance. Manapul works out of Toronto, Canada, and Tan is in Los Angeles, California. Manapul's work display a Manga-infused style, possibly an early career influence, Tan shows a more realistic tendency as in the cover work shown here. They share a common bond - both are Philippine-born, and both currently work for DC Comics.

Francis Manapul is described as "a rising star artist" in the latest DC Comics Previews Magazine. Just like his Pinoy contemporaries at Marvel Comics, the artist draws just as many Super-Heroes, if not more. He is the artist for DC's Legion of Super Heroes and draws Star Boy, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Invisible Kid, Ultra Boy and others. His next challenge, at which he is busy right now as of this writing, is drawing DC's premiere Super-Heroes, Batman and Superman.

Philip Tan, at 17 years of age, was the youngest in Whilce Portacio's school for comics in the Philippines, and as such, his then still latent talents were overshadowed by his colleagues. He worked hard at his craft though, and with sheer guts and grim determination, went to the United States to be that much closer to pursue his dream of working for the big two: Marvel or DC Comics. After a few years honing his talents in smaller publications, he has finally achieved his dream job - working for DC Comics. He is the artist for DC's Final Crisis - Revelations.