The Filipino comics world has lost another giant with the passing of Ernie Chan at age 71. Chan, originally known as Ernie Chua, was another one of that generation of artists who could and did draw anything, but he got has start doing covers for DC before going to the mystery/barbarian genre which made such good use of the heavily illustrative Pinoy style. Chan also had a long run as a definitive inker for John Buscema on Conan. This is a page that Chan only inked but there’s a lot of his embellishment in the image.
Chan was a fixture of the earliest comic-cons of my youth; he’d always be sitting there in his cap, sketching away in Artist Alley with his wife at his side. I was too shy to get to know him, but the remembrances of a fun, gentle man are coming in.
I am saddened to hear of Mang Ernie’s passing. I heard from Tina DeZuniga that Ernie had been feeling sick during that convention, and he found out he had cancer soon afterwards. It’s sad to lose one, but it’s truly crushing to lose so many in such a short amount of time.
But Mang Ernie lived a full life. He had accomplished a lot. There was a point in time that he was one of the hottest artists working comics. DC wouldn’t give you the honor of drawing so many cover on their mainstream titles if you weren’t so well regarded. He deserves to be remembered and recognized as someone who contributed positively to the image of Filipinos and their talents worldwide.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.