Monday, May 21, 2012

R.I.P. Ernie Chan

Two sad Mondays in a row, Groove-ophiles. Last week we lost Tony DeZuniga, and then I learned over the weekend that Ernie Chan (aka Ernie Chua) left us last Wednesday. Ernie's art was always a pleasure. Whether he penciled, inked, or both, you knew you were getting something special.

Through the mid-70s, Ernie made his home at DC where he did mystery, war, western, Batman, Claw the Unconquered, and a huge batch of covers from 75-76. In 76 he began splitting his time with Marvel, and by 77 he had pretty much made Marvel his home. Again, the powers-that-were gave him plenty of cover work, but his biggest claims to fame during the late 70s was inking/finishing the powerhouse pencils of the Brothers Buscema; John on Conan (in both Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword) and Sal on Incredible Hulk. Ernie's brawny, organic, almost 3-dimensional inks meshed well with John and Sal's robust pencils making those jobs some of the most memorable of the Groovy Age.

Ernie was so versatile, I figured the best way to pay tribute is to show off a variety of his wondrous work...


  1. Vale.
    As a late 70's beginner, I think Ernie Chan inking John Buscema on Conan was a definitive depiction of the character. (certainly as far as in monthly comic books goes.)

  2. IT is extremely sad. Ironic....I met the man several times in my vsits to NY comic cons and once even had a commissioned Conan drawing made up by....and just from those meetings and having befriended him on the SOCIAL NETWORK...I am as saddened by his passing as I was when my Uncle passed away...
    Ernie Chan was one of my heroes...and when one of your idols or heroes passes... you feel it as powerfully as when losing a family memeber.

  3. You've selected some terrific splash pages to honor him. These bring back some fond memories of his classic work.

  4. Yeah Ernie Chan was definitely one of the greats on both Marvel & DC. I've always been a fan of his distinctive powerful inking style. His work on Batman, Hulk and of course Conan immediately come to mind.

    Not much else to say other than by all accounts he was also a fine gentleman too. RIP Ernie.

    - Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

  5. I couldn't believe when I read we lost Ernie. Right after we lost Tony Dezuniga, I never had the chance to meet either in person. But I was lucky enough to talk with Tony a few times for lengthy periods & his lovely wife Tina. I'll miss their great art, they left us too soon. It's been a bad week for people who grew up in the 70's. Not only did we lose two great artists. But two singer legends of the disco era as well. Disco Queen Donna Summers & Bee Gee Robin Gibbs.

    Ironic both Tony & Ernie were good friends. That they'd ride off into the sunset together.R.I.P. Tony & Ernie you'll art will live on for decades to come. For future generations to be inspired from & enjoy.

  6. Great tribute, Groove. Those are indeed some fantastic examples of his work. In his own quiet way, he really left a mark on comics in the '70s and early '80s.

  7. Loved his mid 70's work on detective comics,if i'm not mistaken,he penciled the last two issues of the four part BAT-MURDERER storyline.Picking up where JIM APARO left off must've been intimidating for the then newcomer to the comic business,but those were shoes he filled rather nicely.Greatly appreciated his entire body of work.FAN FOR LIFE.Thanks groove-dude.

  8. I looked foreword to seeing Ernie at Comic-con every year. He would bring a nice selection of art with him every year and I would pick up a drawing, or a page, and have the pleasure a nice conversation. I didn't realize how empty I would feel to not nee him there. He drew the first Batman I remember reading as a kid, #262. I still have the comic. I wandered around the convention floor this year feeling like I was looking for a friend, but knowing I would never find him. Instead, I found a page he did from Batman 277 and purchased it in his memory. I hung it on the wall next to my other original Ernie works. He is, and always will be, a wonderful, talented man. Thanks, Ernie, you will be missed. --Murphy



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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