Friday, March 13, 2015

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Ernie Chan the DC Cover Man

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! I've got Filipino artist on my mind today for some reason. Maybe it's because Ernie (originally Chua, but he legally changed his name to Chan we he became an American citizen in 1976) was such a great comicbook artist. He had a cool, very American style that was very sleek and organic. His heroes had Marvel-style power, which DC must have loved 'cause from 1975 into 1977, the powers that were at the House that Superman built gave Ernie tons of covers to draw. Not just superheroes, but mystery, western, and war mags, too! We're just gonna scratch the surface today, giving you a feel for what the man was capable of on his own. Many of his covers (especially those for mags like Superman, Action, Batman Family and others) had other folks ink Ernie's pencils. I dunno why they went for the mixed results when they knew that Ernie inking himself was a sure-fire masterpiece! Just see for yourself, baby!

Than-que, Grand Comics Database for the suh-weet cover scans!


  1. Ernie Chan is the artist I most identify with the Bronze Age of Comics. He wasn't the best, he wasn't the worst, but he was ubiquitous with (as you suggest) a warm appealing style that made for good reading. His covers are what most likely pop to mind first when I think of DC comics (sorry Neal Adams and Nick Cardy).

    Rip Off

  2. He was a very busy man during the Bronze Age. I first saw his work when he took over Batman in the mid 70's and soon he was everywhere with DC Comics, both inside and outside. He was a very good storyteller. I also liked his work with John Buscema on the various Conan books.

  3. A lot of the inking choices in comics were mystifying to me, probably because the editors were mostly not artists. Many of the combinations seemed designed to obscure the penciller or to make his work more conventional. Ernie Colon's exciting pencils on Arak were made to look like Conan-lite by DeZuniga's leaden inks, which makes you wonder why Colon was picked in the first place. I read an interview with Roy Thomas that explained that they had Colletta ink Frank Robbins on the Invaders because readers liked Alcala inking Buscema on Conan. It makes no sense, unless the purpose of inking is to blunt the individuality of the penciller.



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