Ernie Chan

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Ernie Chan
Ernie Chan at Super-Con 2009.JPG
Chan in May 2009.
Born Ernesto Chua
(1940-07-27)July 27, 1940
The Philippines
Died May 16, 2012(2012-05-16) (aged 71)
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Pseudonym(s) Ernie Chua
Notable works
Conan the Barbarian
Detective Comics
Kull the Conqueror
Savage Sword of Conan

Ernesto "Ernie" Chan (July 27, 1940 – May 16, 2012),[1][2] born and sometimes credited as Ernie Chua, was a Filipino-American comic book artist, known for work published by Marvel Comics and DC Comics, including many Marvel issues of series featuring Conan the Barbarian. Chan also had a long tenure on Batman and Detective Comics. Other than his work on Batman, Chan primarily focused on non-superhero characters, staying mostly in the genres of horror, war, and sword and sorcery.


Ernie Chan was born Ernie Chua due to what he called "a typographical error on my birth certificate that I had to use until I had a chance to change it to 'Chan' when I got my [U.S.] citizenship in '76."[3] He migrated to the United States in 1970 and became a citizen in 1976.[4] For a number of years, he worked under the name Ernie Chua, but he was later credited as Ernie Chan.[5][6] He studied with John Buscema, and also worked with him as the inker on Conan during the 1970s. He also inked the art of Buscema's brother Sal on The Incredible Hulk.

Chan entered the American comics industy in 1972 with DC Comics, as a penciler on horror/mystery titles like Ghosts, House of Mystery, and The Unexpected. By 1974, he was working regularly for Marvel Comics on Conan the Barbarian. From 1975–1976, Chan worked exclusively for DC, including the artwork for Claw the Unconquered, written by David Michelinie.[7] While working on the Detective Comics series, he drew the first appearances of Captain Stingaree in issue #460 (June 1976)[8] and the Black Spider in #463 (Sept. 1976).[9] Under the name Chua, he was DC Comic's primary cover artist from approximately 1975 to 1977.[10]

Chan pencilled several issues of Conan and Doctor Strange, and worked on Kull the Destroyer in 1977 and Power Man and Iron Fist in the 1980s. From about 1978 onward, he worked almost exclusively for Marvel, in the 1980s focusing on Conan.[6]

In 2002, he retired except for commissioned artwork,[4] but returned to comics to draw writer Andrew Zar's adult-oriented webcomic The Vat #1 in 2009.[11]

Chan was based in Oakland, California, and had three children;[12] his daughter Cleo Caron Chan was born April 25, 1978.[13] Ernie Chan died in mid-May 2012 after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer.[2]


Comics work (interior pencil art, except where noted) includes:


DC Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Warren Publishing[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Lamentillo, Anna Mae Yu (May 18, 2012). "Comics artist Ernie Chan, 71, passes away". GMA News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Amazing Chan (Interview)". Marvel Age. Marvel Comics (109): 10. February 1992. 
  4. ^ a b "About Ernie Chan". Ernie Chan official website. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ Ernie Chua at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ a b Ernie Chan at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. David Michelinie's pen and Ernie Chan's pencils and inks provided the magic for this fantasy series that introduced Claw the Unconquered, a barbaric outlander with a deformed claw-like right hand. 
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1970s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 123. ISBN 978-1465424563. The swashbuckling villain Captain Stingaree...debuted in this volume by writers Bob Rozakis and future Batman movie producer Michael Uslan. Drawn by Ernie Chan, this story saw Stingaree launch a campaign against Batman. 
  9. ^ Manning "1970s" in Dougall, p. 123: "The Black Spider made his way to Gotham City in this story's lead tale by writer Gerry Conway and artist Ernie Chan."
  10. ^ "Ernie Chan". Lambiek Comiclopedia. July 10, 2012. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ernie Chan Interview". Dark Brain Comics. November 30, 2009. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ Lin, Sam Chu. "Asians Fulfill Fantasies As Comic Book Artists," AsianWeek (June 17, 1988), p. 12.
  13. ^ "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Comics cover-dated November 1978.

External links[edit]