Why Fil-Am comic book artist Whilce Portacio is Tom Rodriguez’s ‘ultimate idol’
Over the weekend, the annual AsiaPOP Comic Convention (APCC) gathered comic book creators, artists and fans in a three-day event at the SMX Convention Center.
Among the attendees was actor Tom Rodriguez, who has made no secret of his love for comic books, even sharing his superhero illustrations on Instagram.
Rodriguez gushed about his third time meeting Filipino-American comic book writer and artist Whilce Portacio, who was featured in the comic con. He shared his expertise and nuggets of wisdom to aspiring comic book artists in a workshop.
Portacio helped found Image Comics, which counts “The Walking Dead” and “Saga” as some of its successful series. Portacio’s work is also seen in DC (“Batman Confidential,” “Wetworks”) and Marvel titles (“The Uncanny X-Men,” “The Punisher”). Bishop, an aboriginal mutant who first appeared in “Uncanny X-Men,” was created by Portacio with John Byrne.
“This man is largely responsible for fueling the fire of art within me and my love for comic books,” said Rodriguez.
The 30-year-old actor said he “found solace” in comic books after moving from the US when he was 13 and experienced bullying.
“Among the myriad titles that kept me company, the ones that truly empowered and inspired me were the ones drawn by @whilceportacio [Whilce Portacio] especially his own series, ‘Stone,’ which really resonated with me.”
Portacio co-wrote the fantasy comic “Stone” with “Witchblade” co-creator Brian Haberlin. The comic was groundbreaking in that it was an American-published comic set in the Philippines and featured Filipino folklore.
“The Philippines is extremely lucky to have someone like Whilce Portacio not only bring international pride and [put the] global spotlight on the innate talents and adaptability that we Filipinos possess, but [also] for nurturing generations of Filipino artists that proved they had what it takes to dominate in an international field,” Rodriguez said.
Despite meeting him for the third time, the actor said, “The novelty never wears off whenever you meet your heroes.” /ra
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