organic inking is what I would describe Alfredo's inking over Rick Veitch
for Swamp Thing #52.
Click on the
image to see a larger image.
extremely saddened to hear of Alfredo's passing due to cancer not too long
ago. He is one of those veteran Filipino comic book artists that I truly
look up to and and whose work I truly admire. I marveled at his own
work, Voltar, which blew me away with its lushness and detail,
and enjoyed the comic books he inked, among them many issues of Swamp Thing,
written by Alan Moore.
I'm glad to say that
I had the great opportunity to meet and talk with him at the 1997 San Diego
Comics Convention. I approached his table quite sheepishly, truly excited
and nervous at the prospect of finally meeting this man whose work meant
a lot to me. There were a lot of people surrounding him, and I sort of
managed my way near him to see him draw. Upon noticing I was a Filipino,
he immediately set me aside to talk to me in Tagalog. I introduced myself,
and told him I was an inker for Image comics. ( I had just finished working
on Wildstorm Spotlight #2 and 3, featuring Loner, written by Steven Grant
and pencilled by Roy Allan Martinez.)
He grabbed several pieces
of paper and he proceeded to give me lessons on drawing while railing,
quite loudly, about how many of the current artists can't draw squat. Old
as he was and hands shaking (proabably from his illness that he most likely
already had at the time), he went on to draw these amazingly gorgeous bodies
and legs without much effort. I was totally blown away. He went on talking,
mostly about drawing, sometimes strongly suggesting that I settle there
in the States, sometimes showing off his displayed artwork, and inquiring
how the Philippine comics industry was doing. He kept on talking, as if
refusing to let me go. And to be honest, I didn't want to. For a man his
age (and I realize later, a man who was sick as he was), he was quite energetic
We parted ways not too
long after, but not before I bought his book "Secret Teachings of a Comic
Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala" written by Heidi MacDonald and
Philip Yeh. An amazing book and a terrific resource for aspiring artists.
I had it signed of course. That book, and the pieces of paper where he
gave me drawing lessons, are things that I will be keeping with me always.