The GeeksverseLeaving Proof 315 | Filipino artist spotlight: Jess Noriega, Abe Ocampo, and Noly Panaligan

Leaving Proof 315 | Filipino artist spotlight: Jess Noriega, Abe Ocampo, and Noly Panaligan
Published on Friday, August 5, 2016 by

In today’s Filipino artist spotlight: Jess Noriega (Ghosts), Abe Ocampo (House of Mystery, Rima the Jungle Girl), and Noly Panaligan (The Unexpected, Weird Western Tales).

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.

Jess Noriega

Jess Noriega has a solitary American comics credit, providing the pencils for the three-page short story “The Most Haunted House in England!” which appeared in DC Comics’ Ghosts #23 (February 1974).

The work was inked by Filipino comics legend Alfredo Alcala, which may have meant that Noriega’s original pencils were completely dominated by Alcala’s interpretation (as good an artist as Alcala was, he did have a bit of a reputation for overwhelming or straying from other artists’ pencils when he inked over them).

This blog post by Arman Francisco has scans of Noriega’s Filipino komiks work, which provide a clearer illustration of his abilities as an artist.

Abe Ocampo

Abe Ocampo was one of the first Filipino artists to be recruited by editor Joe Orlando to work for DC Comics in 1971. A veteran of the Filipino komiks scene who started illustrating comics professionally in the 1950s, Ocampo’s first American comics work was inking the pencils by compatriots Vic Catan, Jr. and Frank Redondo on the story “Goodybye, Nancy” for House of Mystery #99 (August 1972), sample pages of which can be read in a previous post.

Ocampo would make his debut as a solo artist several months later in Secrets of Sinister House #9 (February 1973), penciling and inking an eight-page story entitled “Rub a Witch the Wrong Way!”

Some “Rub a Witch the Wrong Way!” trivia: the short story was included in Tales from Space #8, a fictional comic used as a prop in the 1985 film Back to the Future. The original prop was for all intents and purposes a copy of Secrets of Sinister House #9 with a new cover illustrated by Back to the Future production artist Andrew Probert. Various unofficial, unlicensed recreations of the prop have made it into the collectors’ market over the years.

Another notable entry in Ocampo’s bibliography is his work “ghosting” for the legendary Nestor Redondo in the 12-page lead story in Rima, the Jungle Girl #7 (April/May 1975). It’s a testament to Ocampo’s skills that most readers at the time went largely unaware of the surreptitious change in the comic’s artist:

All in all, Ocampo penciled and/or inked 32 strips for DC Comics’ horror and “weird” anthology titles over an American comics career that spanned almost eight years.

Abe Ocampo’s American comics bibliography (excludes reprints):

  • “Death of a Ghost”: Ghosts #18 (September 1973, DC Comics)
  • “The Haunted Catacombs”: Ghosts #47 (May-June 1976, DC Comics)
  • “Phantom, Let Me Die!”: Ghosts #67 (August 1978, DC Comics)
  • “Special Sale: Canned Death ½ Off!”: House of Mystery #216 (August 1973, DC Comics)
  • “Day of the Witch”: House of Mystery #239 (February-March 1976, DC Comics)
  • “Skin Game”: House of Mystery #254 (September-October 1977, DC Comics)
  • “The Monster of Darkwood Down”: House of Mystery #260 (September 1978, DC Comics)
  • “Demon Blade”: House of Mystery #266 (March 1979, DC Comics)
  • “A Strange Way to Die”: House of Mystery #267 (April 1979, DC Comics)
  • “The Right of Inheritance”: House of Mystery #273 (October 1979, DC Comics)
  • “Goodbye, Nancy”: House of Secrets #99 (August 1972, DC Comics) [NOTE: inks only]
  • “The Loser”: House of Secrets #102 (November 1972, DC Comics) [NOTE: inks only]
  • “The Headsman of Hell”: House of Secrets #127 (January 1975, DC Comics)
  • “The Vampire of Broadway”: House of Secrets #144 (February-March 1977, DC Comics)
  • “The Imp!”: Rima, the Jungle Girl #7 (April-May 1975, DC Comics) [NOTE: Artist not listed in the credits at the time of publication]
  • “Rub a Witch the Wrong Way!”: Secrets of Sinister House #9 (February 1973, DC Comics)
  • “Grave of Glass”: The Unexpected #145 (March 1973, DC Comics)
  • “Good Night… Sweet Nightmares”: The Unexpected #155 (February 1974, DC Comics)
  • “That Dear Old Gang of Mine”: The Unexpected #162 (March-April 1975, DC Comics)
  • “Angel in Black”: The Unexpected #179 (May-June 1977, DC Comics)
  • “The Fear of Number 13”: The Unexpected #196 (March 1980, DC Comics)
  • “Island of the Damned”: Weird Mystery Tales #11 (April-May 1974, DC Comics)
  • “To Sleep, Perchance to Die”: Weird Mystery Tales #12 (June-July 1974, DC Comics)
  • “Fire Dance”: Weird Mystery Tales #19 (June 1975, DC Comics)
  • “The Invaders”: Weird War Tales #35 (March 1975, DC Comics)
  • “Soldier of Satan”: Weird War Tales #54 (July 1977, DC Comics)
  • Introductory illustration: Weird War Tales #63 (May 1978, DC Comics)
  • “Night of the Seminole”: Weird War Tales #88 (June 1980, DC Comics)
  • “The Eyes of a Killer”: The Witching Hour #57 (August 1975, DC Comics)
  • “Food for Fear”: The Witching Hour #67 (December 1976-January 1977, DC Comics)
  • “Death Struggle”: The Witching Hour #71 (May 1977, DC Comics)
  • “Death Can Be Contagious”: The Witching Hour #74 (October 1977, DC Comics)

Noly Panaligan

Noly Panaligan honed his craft under the tutelage of pioneering Filipino komiks artist Francisco Coching, who recognized the teenaged Panaligan’s potential and took him as an apprentice of sorts and even helped him land his first professional job as a comics artist on the Philippines’ very first comics series, Halakhak Komiks.

Panaligan was already something of an elder statesman in the Filipino comics industry (he also had a thriving career as an advertising illustrator and designer) by the time he decided to ply his trade for American publishers. His US debut was as the artist on the main Jonah Hex serial on DC Comics’Weird Western Tales #24 (September/October 1974), taking over for compatriot Tony DeZuniga.

Panaligan’s background as Coching’s student is evident in his solid draftsmanship, robust inking, and relatively conservative panel and page construction, reminiscent in tone of the classic American interwar comics and comic strips—think Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon or Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant. He was more than capable of effectively employing less conventional page and panel designs, though, as evidenced in the short story below from The Unexpected #187 (September-October 1978, DC Comics):

In the early 1980s, Panaligan began freelancing for Warren Publishing. Like many of the Filipino artists hired by Warren, he used the magazine-sized black & white format of the company’s publications to showcase his skill in inkwash techniques, such as in the sample sequence below from Creepy #131 (September 1981):

All in all, Panaligan penciled and/or inked 33 original strips for DC Comics and Warren Publishing.

Noly Panaligan passed away in 2004.

Noly Panaligan’s American comics bibliography (excludes reprints and cover work):

  • “Prism Second Generation Blues”: Creepy #127 (May 1981), Warren Publishing
  • “Mindwar”: Creepy #131 (September 1981), Warren Publishing
  • “Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet”: Eerie #138 (January 1983), Warren Publishing
  • “The Soldier Who Couldn’t Kill”: G.I. Combat #260 (December 1983), DC Comics
  • “The Phantom Who Saw His Future”: Ghosts #44 (November-December 1975), DC Comics
  • “The Feathered Furies of Death”: Ghosts #54 (May 1977), DC Comics
  • “The Night the Devil Danced”: Ghosts #55 (July 1977), DC Comics
  • “The Flaming Phantoms of Oradour”: Ghosts #57 (October 1977), DC Comics
  • “The Split Specter”: Ghosts #58 (November 1977), DC Comics
  • “The Phantom Fires of Java”: Ghosts #60 (January 1978), DC Comics
  • “The Miracle at San Sebastian”: House of Mystery #259 (July-August 1978), DC Comics
  • “A Demon Shared”: House of Mystery #260 (September 1978), DC Comics
  • “Then Beggars Could Ride!”: House of Mystery #264 (January 1979), DC Comics
  • “The Lawman”: Jonah Hex #6 (November 1977), DC Comics [NOTE: inks only]
  • “Son of the Apache”: Jonah Hex #7 (December 1977), DC Comics [NOTE: inks only]
  • “A Study In Scarlet, Part 1”: The Rook Magazine #13 (February 1982), Warren Publishing
  • “A Study In Scarlet, Part 2”: The Rook Magazine #14 (April 1982), Warren Publishing
  • “Papa Don”: Secrets of Haunted House #17 (October 1979), DC Comics
  • “A Change for the Hearse!”: The Unexpected #170 (November-December 1975), DC Comics
  • “An Arabian Fright”: The Unexpected #184 (March-April 1978), DC Comics
  • “Cry of the Death Bird”: The Unexpected #185 (May-June 1978), DC Comics [NOTE: inks only]
  • “Death Is a Grave Matter”: The Unexpected #186 (July-August 1978), DC Comics
  • “Freakout and Fright”: The Unexpected #187 (September-October 1978), DC Comics
  • “The Killing Machine”: The Unexpected #189 (January-February 1979), DC Comics [NOTE: inks only]
  • “Fatal Forgery”: The Unexpected #214 (September 1981), DC Comics
  • “The Witches’ Way”: Weird Mystery Tales #16 (February-March 1975), DC Comics
  • “Ordeal”: Weird War Tales  #45 (March-April 1976), DC Comics
  • “The Point Pyrrhus Aftermath, Part I: Blind Man’s Bluff”: Weird Western Tales #24 (September-October 1974), DC Comics
  • “The Point Pyrrhus Aftermath, Part II: Curtain Call”: Weird Western Tales #24 (September-October 1974), DC Comics
  • “Showdown with the Dangling Man”: Weird Western Tales #25 (November-December 1974), DC Comics
  • “The Meadow Springs Crusade”: Weird Western Tales #27 (March-April 1975), DC Comics
  • “Breakout at Fort Charlotte”: Weird Western Tales #29 (July-August 1975), DC Comics
  • “Death’s Guardian”: The Witching Hour #72 (July 1977), DC Comics
Have Your Say
Your Name ↓
Your Email ↓
Your Website ↓
Tell us what you think of this story ↓
You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Connect With Us!
The Geeksverse on Instagram

- Instagram feed not found.
Recent Comments