Ernie Chan RIP

Ernie Chan 1940-2012
I was sad to hear of the passing of Ernie Chan, a comic book artist whose work I first saw in the pages of Batman when I was a kid when he was working under the name Ernie Chua-- and to be honest in those days of Neal Adams and Jim Aparo on the character anyone else was a disappointment-- it was only later on that I saw the energy and the power of his work as well as his amazing storytelling ability.  He was a real pro.

I'd hoped to get to meet him at a convention one of these days-- a few years ago in New York I was signing in to the guest area when a small man with large glasses came up behind me to sign in too-- I turned around and instantly recognized Jim Aparo-- one of my absolute favorite artists.  Aparo's later work suffered from a bit of generics but his earlier work was out of this world-- sometimes topping Neal Adams work on Batman.

I had the honor of escorting Mr. Aparo into the show and helping him find his way to his table-- but not before I took him over to my pal and current Phantom Artist Paul Ryan's table to introduce him-- the look on Paul's face meeting his hero was priceless.

Unfortunately, I never got to tell Mr Chan how much I enjoy his work now-- and too often at these cons the older guys don't get the crowds the "hot" artists do.  I was amazed at Boston that Bernie Wrightson was so easily accessible.  Do yourself a favor if you're a fan of the medium, get to know the artists who influenced today's generation and then thank them for laying the groundwork we all follow. Who knows how long they'll be around?