Friday, November 2, 2007

Creator Profile: Ernie Chan

Ernesto "Ernie" Chan (born 1940) is a noted Filipino comic book artist. For several years, he was forced to work under the name "Ernie Chua" as that name had been mistakenly entered on his immigration documents, but he was later credited under his actual given name. Chan is particularly known for his classic work on the Marvel Comics version of Conan the Barbarian, although he has also worked for other publishers such as DC Comics. Chan studied with the great John Buscema, and often worked with him as the inker on Conan during the 1970s. He also inked the art of Buscema's younger brother Sal on The Incredible Hulk.

Later, Ernie himself pencilled several issues of Conan, and also for Marvel Comics he worked on Doctor Strange, Kull the Destroyer in 1977 and Power Man in the 1980s. For DC Comics, he later drew the sword & sorcery series Claw the Unconquered. Chan was also a regular cover artist.
Ernie Chan was a reliable artistic presence, whose work often appeared in one-shots or fill-in issues in lieu of the regular art team, or during transitions of creative personnel on select titles. He dutifully applied the lessons that he had learned from "Big John" Buscema, yet he channeled his own unique twist on the characters on which he worked. As one of several Filipino artists who successfully broke into the American comics market in the 70's, Chan made a name for himself that stands out from many of of his peers. He's been retired since 2002.


Ford MF said...

Just out of curiosity, what was your source on the whole "credited as Ernie Chua because of an immigration cock-up" thing? I've heard that before too, and it's what it says in his Wikipedia article, but there's no source for the statement and at least one Wiki editor has expressed concern about the veracity of that statement.

Chuck Wells said...

Wikipedia does mention it, but I have heard this said at least a couple of times over the years - and honestly I can't recall where. In my "uninformed opinion", it seemingly explained the difference in the two names that were attributed to Ernie back in the day.

Your comment is the first indication that I've ever heard that there was a dispute over this factoid.

Ford MF said...

It's minor, to be sure. It's just sort of irritated me that's been passed around as "common knowledge" without anyone really knowing where it came from, whether it's true or just a plausible enough theory for everyone to believe.

Duh, why don't I just google this. Huh. Turns out it was a typographical error on his passport? Cool. Mystery solved.