Hal Santiago



Hal Santiago
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Taong Buwaya Cover Mga Ligaw na Punglo: Unang Labas Mga Ligaw na Punglo DIMASUPIL Manila Boy Special Cover MEDUSA Tatlong Hari Mga Bakal at Kalawang
Hal Santiago's name is synonymous with the komiks novels Pinoy Houdini, Talim and The Hands.  The Hands won for him the award for Best Written and Illustrated Novel by an Artist from the komiks contributors' association, WIKA, in 1984.

The three aforementioned novels were all written by him when he joined Graphic Arts Service, Inc. (GASI) in the 70's.

Santiago, who started his komiks career in 1958 as an illustrator, won the Best Illustrator Award in 1980 - his first, also from WIKA - for his artistic visualizations of various novels.

Mga Ligaw na Punglo

These novels, all written for GASI by various writers include: SUN GOD by Pablo S. Gomez, AT SAKA NATIN ITANONG SA DIYOS by Carlo J. Caparas, ISANG MINUTONG KASALANAN by Elena M. Patron, and MEDUSA and UNICA by Jim Fernandez.

It was a very young Santiago who had for many years vowed to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Harold Foster, the distinguished American comics artist who illustrated Tarzan in 1929, then proceeded to carve a niche for himself in the international comics world as the creator of Prince Valiant.

Indeed, Santiago idolized Hal Foster so much that he changed his own name to HAL. In 1958, Santiago wrote Foster abut his desire to learn the ropes of komiks illustration and, inspired by Foster's swift and sincere reply, immediately set out for the komiks pubishing houses to give his talent a try.

Mga Ligaw na Punglo

He illustrated short stories for the now defunct Manila Klasiks until he was commissioned by Gil Evangelista to illustrate Bert Tablan's novel, Puso sa Puso, for Screen Komiks.

His first komiks novel was Tatlong Hari for UNITED Komiks, written by Rene Rosales and published by PSG Publications.

As a Class A Illustrator with Atlas Publications, he had teamed up with Jim Fernandez, Vic. J. Poblete and Carlo J. Caparas. He illustrated Danilo Roman's memorable novel, Shanghai Joe.

It was while he was with Atlas that Hal Santiago tried his hand at writing, and came up with Huling Umaga which he illustrated himself.

Hal Santiago currently illustrates "Mga Bakal at Kalawang", written by Ricardo M. Luna for Liwayway Magazine.

Of Hal Santiago, writer Jim Fernandez had this to say: "I consider him as the Raphael of Komiks ilustrators."

-From A History of Komiks of the Philippines and Other Countries
and conversations with the artist.