CALGARY – Filipino talent took center stage at the annual Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, one of the biggest comic conventions in Canada.
Gerald Garcia, Ian Navarro and Erickson de la Rosa impressed thousands of attendees and comic book fans with their jaw-dropping artwork.
Drawing with traditional media like pen and ink, Garcia's style sets him apart from many of the other visual artists in the exhibit who draw the digital way.
Garcia has been active in comic conventions across the country.
"I just like to keep out in the public and do some seminars and panels and things like that. Actually, make more appearance in public libraries, and more conventions and shows. Last year, I did Edmonton. Last week, I just did Vancouver. I got Calgary. I got another one in Calgary. I'm going back to Edmonton. I try to look at different cities and maybe considering Seattle for next year," Garcia said.
Navarro's work attracted a lot of buyers because of his very modern and colorful style. He has gained a good following on his website where he shows most of his creations.
Aside from buying his original artwork, fans asked for autographs as well.
"I grew up with lots of DC and Marvel comics so my style kinda leans towards that. So, that's why a lot of people are attracted to my work," he said.
He added, "I promote my art mostly through conventions and a lot of online work, like online websites like Twitter and Deviant Art. I'm working on a calendar with the zombies. So far that's all I have on my plate."
A first-timer in the comic convention, Dela Rosa also makes artwork in a traditional way using brushes and paints.
He describes his style as "loose and sketchy" but focuses more on the visual aspect of story-telling. He advises kababayans in the field to continuously hone their craft since Filipinos are very much artistic.
"I would say just draw everyday. Practice all the time because actually all the successful artists in the comic book industry like Francis Manapul, he is huge, he is doing Batman now and he is actually very friendly. I saw him last year here at the show and we just talked about it and all that stuff. It's just practice. The more you practice the better you get," he said.
The three Pinoy artists plan to exhibit their work again next year and hope more Filipino-Canadian artists will do the same.