In the latest edition of the Filipino artist spotlight: The Witching Hour and Ghosts artist Buddy Gernale, the vastly underrated Arturo Geroche, and “one-and-done” Weird War Tales contributor Vic Geronimo.
Author’s Note: Readers who have been following me on Tumblr will know that I’ve recently started a series of weekly posts highlighting the the “Filipino Wave” artists who worked on the horror, sci-fi, western, war, fantasy, and sword-and-sorcery comics published by DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Warren Publishing, and other outfits in the 1970s and 1980s. Today’s column is a collection of the most recent posts in the series.
As with all the art I post in this blog, the images below are being shared in the spirit of fair use.
Buddy Gernale was an associate of the great Nestor Redondo in the Phiilippines, having illustrated a number of comics for CRAF Publications (a short-lived Filipino komiks publishing firm co-founded by Redondo) in the 1960s.
Gernale was among the first FIlipino artists to work for DC Comics, making his debut for the publisher with the macabre short story “The Cadaver in the Clock” in Ghosts #8 (October 1972):
As to be expected, Gernale initially employed a style that would eventually come to be associated by American readers with the artists affiliated with Redondo and his Redondo Studio outfit, one typified by fundamentally solid clear-line rendering and a somewhat reserved approach to storytelling.
Still, Gernale found opportunities to incorporate other influences as his career progressed. Note for instance, his work on the following short story (”The Ghost That Wouldn’t Die”) from Ghosts #15 (June 1973), which seems to draw more from early Tony DeZuniga than Redondo in terms of style:
Gernale worked for DC Comics between 1972 and 1979, producing art mainly for the publisher’s horror comics anthologies, although he would illustrate the rare, straight war story, such as the following from Star Spangled War Stories #191 (September 1975):
Buddy Gernale’s American comics bibliography (excludes reprints):
- Ghosts #8 (DC Comics, October 1972): “The Cadaver in the Clock”
- Ghosts #14 (DC Comics, April 1973): “The Bride Wore a Shroud”
- Ghosts #15 (DC Comics, June 1973): “The Ghost that Wouldn’t Die”
- Ghosts #25 (DC Comics, April 1974): “The Phantom’s Invisible Clue”
- Ghosts #30 (DC Comics, September 1974): “One Foot over the Grave”
- Ghosts #40 (DC Comics, July 1975): “The Ghost Who Died Twice”
- Ghosts #43 (DC Comics, October 1975): “The Boy Who Cried Ghosts”
- Ghosts #45 (DC Comics, January/February 1976): “The Spirit in the Ring”
- Ghosts #48 (DC Comics, July/August 1976): “The Phantom Head”
- Ghosts #50 (DC Comics, November/December 1976): “Ghosts and the Supernatural”
- Ghosts #77 (DC Comics, June 1979): “The Phantom Falcon”
- House of Mystery #249 (DC Comics, January 1977): “Hit Parade of Death”
- House of Secrets #134 (DC Comics, August 1975): “The Last Out”
- House of Secrets #146 (DC Comics, June/July 1977): “Snake’s Alive”
- Secrets of Haunted House #19 (DC Comics, December 1979): “To Bug You to Death!”
- Star Spangled War Stories #191 (DC Comics, September 1975): “Stuka!”
- Tales of Ghost Castle #1 (DC Comics, May/June 1975): “The Mushroom Man”
- The Unexpected #171 (DC Comics, January/February 1976): “Feast for Slaughter”
- The Unexpected #175 (DC Comics, September/October 1976): “Long Arm of Lunacy”
- Weird War Tales #40 (DC Comics, August 1975): “The Warrior Breed”
- Weird War Tales #45 (DC Comics, March/April 1975): “The Battle of Bloody Valley”
- Weird War Tales #48 (DC Comics, September/October 1976): “Time had Lost All Its Meaning…”
- The Witching Hour #31 (DC Comics, June 1973): “Hold Hands—and Die!”
- The Witching Hour #41 (DC Comics, April 1974): “The Ghost that Lived Twice” (pencils only)
- The Witching Hour #59 (DC Comics, October 1975): “The Hanging Judge”
- The Witching Hour #61 (DC Comics, December 1975/January 1976): “Marked for Death”
- The Witching Hour #64 (DC Comics, June/July 1976): “Mirror of Madness”
- The Witching Hour #67 (DC Comics, December 1976/January 1977): “Dead Duck”
Arturo Geroche rose to prominence in the Filipino komiks scene in the 1970s on the strength of his Tagalog-language comics adaptations of Bible stories and English literature classics for Philippine bookstore chain National Book Store.
Geroche honed his craft under the tutelage of Nestor Redondo, although by the time he started working for DC Comics, he had developed his own style, typified by a naturalistic bent and fine brushwork somewhat reminiscent of the work of artists from Spain’s Selecciones Ilustradas agency such as José González and Esteban Maroto.
Geroche’s American comics career was brief—he illustrated a total of six DC horror anthology stories over a span of seven years, with his finest US work perhaps the story below (”A Little Knowledge”) from Ghosts #112 (May 1982):
Geroche closed out his brief foray into American comics with “Death Likes a Lullaby,” a dark tale of revenge from beyond the grave that appeared in Elvira’s House of Mystery #1 (January 1986):
Arturo Gereoche’s American comics bibliography:
- Elvira’s House of Mystery #1 (DC Comics, January 1986): “Death Likes a Lullaby” (credited as “Arthur Geroche”)
- Ghosts #112 (DC Comics, May 1982): “A Little Knowledge” (credited as “Arthur Geroche”)
- House of Mystery #321 (DC Comics, October 1983): “Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” (credited as “Art Geroche”)
- Secrets of Haunted House #21 (DC Comics, February 1980): “The Ghost of the Man Who Never Was” (credited as “A. Geroche”)
- Secrets of Haunted House #38 (DC Comics, July 1981): “The Great Dark God Rises Again” (credited as “Arthur Geroche”)
- The Unexpected #202 (DC Comics, September 1980): “The Creature of the Park” (credited as “Arthur Geroche”)
Vic Geronimo had a “one-and-done” career in American comics, his sole US work is a six-page short story (”Bulletproof”) which appeared in DC Comics’ Weird War Tales #43 (November/December 1975):
Geronimo did go on to have a prolific career illustrating komiks in the Philippines, however—he was active as recently as the early 2000s.