(1925-2000) Filipino Comic-book artist with an intricate pen-line style reminiscent of the Victorian steel engravers, but with a boldness and vitality rarely achieved by them. His work is also remarkable for its inventiveness and ingenuity in creating dramatic atmospheres. His early influences were US comics artists Harold Foster, Alex Raymond and Lou Fine (1914-1971); later he was influenced by the US classical illustrators Howard Pyle, N C Wyeth and J C Leyendecker and the UK mural painter Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956).
APA's first job was as a sign-painter; he then worked with a manufacturer of wrought ironwork. His first comics work appeared in Bituin Komiks ["Star Comics"] in 1948. He proved a fast and reliable all-purpose artist, and frequently worked on eight comic books per month, drawing Superhero tales, comedy, melodrama and fantasy with equal facility; he is credited with such phenomenal energy that he can work for up to 96 hours non-stop. His most important work was the epic Voltar (Alcala Fight Komix from 1963).
In the early 1970s he began working for US comic-book publishers, drawing mainly short horror and mystery tales for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. The work that brought him the widest recognition in the US was on Savage Sword of Conan (beginning with #2, 1974), in which he inked and embellished the layouts of John Buscema (1927-2002); his work lent the stories a moody, magical antiquity. His other work includes Kong the Untamed (#1-#5 1975-1976). [RT]
Alfredo P Alcala