La Grande Ourse A.S.B.L.
lex Niño, one of the best well known, respected, and admired comic book artists in recent years, was born in the Philippines. He lived with his family in a small province under the shadow of the Mount Pinatubo volcano where the only source of entertainment was going to the movies or reading comics. Alex knew he wanted to draw from an early age. Unlike some, if not most artists who studied Art at some Art School, Alex is a self taught artist. His art class was underneath his parent’s bamboo hut; his art books the sand on the ground, and his art tools a short stick. He would spend hours drawing figures on the sand with his little stick like a professional artist would with expensive pens or brushes on Bristol board or canvass. Since Alex had no idea on the rudiments of creating comics, his very first attempt to try and present his sample pages to an editor, he soon learned two things: First; you don’t draw on a huge poster size sheet of paper and, (this was impressed upon him several times before he left the editor’s office) you do not ever use black shoe polish, instead of black ink. But as the old saying goes, there is no bad pen to a good writer. It didn’t take long for Alex to learn everything there was to know. He started hitting most of the dozens of comic book publishers in the big city of Manila. In the beginning Alex’s art was viewed as strange or curious. He did not fit with what was considered the ‘norm’ of the times. He did not follow in the footsteps of the Alex Raymond, Hal Foster, Milton Caniff, and those of his peers. He marched to a different drumbeat. Finally, in the early sixties, a small comic book publisher decided
« Sketchbooks Collection » Sketchbook number four All artworks © Alex Niño - All rights reserved. Many thanks to Alex Niño, Manuel Auad and Claude Mazere ! Published by La Grande Ourse A.S.B.L. 187b, rue Salm B-5300 Landenne (Belgium) Editor and book design : Tony Lariviere Write to : firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website at www.lagrandeourse.be Printed in Belgium by Adrenaline. First printing, July 2008 3
to take a chance on him and gave him a script. During that period, the best known comic book artists of the Philippines, the likes of Redondo, Alcala, Coching, had been basking on their popularity for almost two decades without anyone seriously challenging their fame. Frankly, they had gotten complacent. Suddenly Alex Nino appears on the scene and all of a sudden there’s a new kid on the block and is taking everybody by storm with his unusual style of drawing. Now, everybody wanted to hire Alex. His fame grew around the country like an uncontained brushfire. It was apparent his reputation was not going to be contained by the shores of the Philippines. Soon, the word was out about this young maverick that had a unique style all his own unlike anything seen before. When the news reached the United States, a couple of editors from one of the best known comic book publishers in New York flew all the way to the Philippines to meet with Alex and ask him to work for them. Soon, other publishers were offering him work. Through the years his fame grew and was recognized for his work from Europe to the Orient. He’s won countless awards and is admired and respected by his peers and that’s the best compliment an artist can receive. Today Alex does still some comic book work but likes o spend his time painting. He hopes one day to see his paintings in galleries around the country. From what we’ve seen what Alex can do, there is no doubt that he’ll attain that goal too. For a kid who had a dream and a stick to draw on the sand under his parent’s house, Alex has come a long way. Manuel Auad 08’
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Alex Niño (b. 1/5/1940, The Philippines)
gliliyab' ('The Eyes that Glow in the Dark') in Alcala Komiks. Alex Niño freelanced for several comics companies, like PSG Publications, where he did a series of short stories about Bruhilda Witch and where a number of his collaborations with Pablo Gomez were made into movies.
lex N. Niño was born in Tarnac, The Philippines, and dreamed of being a comic artist since he was a small boy. He began his career assisting his father, who was a photographer. He was a medical student at the University of Manilla, but eventually chose an artistic profession. In 1965, after learning the finer points of the comics profession from Jess Jodloman, he started a collaboration with Clodualdo del Mundo and created 'Kilabot Ng Persia' ('The Terror of Persia') for Pilipino Komiks. Later, he teamed up with Marcelo B. Isidro to create 'Dinoceras' for Redondo Komiks. After working on a couple of stories with Mars Ravelo, he began an association with publisher Pablo S. Gomez, who gave him full artistic freedom. In 1966, Niño came up with his own comic, 'Gruaga - The Fifth Corner of the World', for Pioneer Komiks. Again in association with Isidro, he made the series 'Mga Matang Na-
By 1975, Niño ended his collaboration with Gomez and started to focus on the U.S. market, like many of his contemporaries. Already active in the US since the early 1970s, he contributed to D.C. mystery titles and drew comic adaptations of literary classics for Pendulum Press. In 1973 he illustrated 'Captain Fear' for Adventure Comics from a script by Bill Kanigher. For Rima, he made the series 'Space Voyagers'. He was additionally the artist of several stories of 'Korak, the Son of Tarzan', and until 1978 he was a regular artist for DC's Weird War Tales. He continued his adaptation work at Marvel in 1975, and also drew for the company's 'Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction'. Starting in 1977, he was additionally present in Warren's horror magazines, Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella. He was active as an illustrator for Heavy Metal and Byron Press. During the 1980s, Niño's work appeared in ‘Batman Annual’ and ‘Space Clusters’, as well as publications by New Comics Group and Pacific Comics. In 1994, he returned to the comics field more prominently with a new version of 'Conan the Barbarian', scripted by Roy Thomas. Than, for more than a decade, he worked primarily in animation as a conceptual artist on ‘Mulan’, Atlantis’, and ‘Treasure Planet’ for Disney. 33
He continues to work in both comics and animation. His recent works includes : - ‘God the Dyslexic Dog’ (Bliss On Tap Publishing 2004) - ‘The Orcs Treasure’ (ibooks 2005) - ‘Drawings’ (catalogue of original art published by Stuart Ng. Books) - ‘The Call of the Wild’ (Puffin Graphics 2006) - ‘This is my World’ (Auad Publishing 2006) - ‘ The Art of Alex Niño’ (Auad Publishing 2008) Biography extract from : The Lambiek Comiclopedia : Alex Niño’s page http://lambiek.net/artists/n/nino_a. htm Drawings (Stuart Ng. Books) More informations about the artist on : http://www.auadpublishing.com/ Nino/bio.htm