Whilce Portacio

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Whilce Portacio
BornWilliam Portacio
(1963-07-08) July 8, 1963 (age 59)
Cavite City, Philippines
Area(s)Penciller, Inker, Writer
Pseudonym(s)Whilce Portacio
Notable works
Iron Man
Uncanny X-Men
AwardsInkpot Award (2012)[1]

William "Whilce" Portacio (/pərˈtɑːsi./; born July 8, 1963) is a Filipino American comic book writer and artist noted for his work on such titles as The Punisher, X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Wetworks and Spawn. Portacio was also one of the seven co-founders of Image Comics,[2][3] though he did not become a partner in the company.[4]

Early life[edit]

Whilce Portacio was born July 8, 1963[5][6] in Sangley Point, Cavite City, Philippines. He grew up in places such as Midway Island and New Mexico before his family settled in San Diego, California. He began reading comic books at the age of ten, when his neighbor decided to get rid of her husband's collection, and through this, he discovered the work of creators such as Jack Kirby and Neal Adams, who were the two most important influences on Portacio's art. Though Portacio dreamed of becoming an astronaut, his height and eyesight did not meet the necessary requirements, which determined that art would be his vocation. In high school, he continued to create his comic books with his long-time friend, Scott Williams, who would one day be a prolific comic book inker in the industry.[6]


Cover to X-Factor #68 (vol. 1, July, 1991), by Whilce Portacio.

Portacio attended his first comic book convention in San Diego, where Marvel Comics editor Carl Potts, upon seeing Portacio's portfolio, offered him the job inking over Frank Cirocco and Chris Warner's pencils on the 1984 series Alien Legion.[6] The following year, he inked over Art Adams' pencils on the 1985 miniseries Longshot.[7]

Later he was given assignments as a penciller, and became noted for his work on such titles as The Punisher, X-Factor, and The Uncanny X-Men, for which he co-created the character Bishop with John Byrne. Bishop first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #282, published in November 1991.[8][9][10]

In 1992, Portacio left Marvel to co-found Image Comics with six other high-profile artists. He quickly withdrew from Image due to his sister's illness. He eventually published his title Wetworks through Jim Lee's Wildstorm imprint in 1994. Other notable series that Portacio worked on include Stone and Marvel's controversial Heroes Reborn storyline within Iron Man.

Stan Lee interviewed Portacio in the documentary series The Comic Book Greats.

In August 2000, Portacio fell into a diabetic coma as a result of a failing pancreas. He woke up a week later, thirty pounds lighter, and unable to walk, stand or even draw. Only six months later was he able to pick up a pencil and draw. According to his blog, "My mind could see what I wanted to draw but my hand couldn't accomplish it."[11]

In 2006, Portacio returned to his artistic duties at Wildstorm on Wetworks vol. 2, which was being written by Mike Carey. Portacio left the book with issue #6. He also began art duties on the monthly DC Comics series Batman Confidential.

On June 9, 2008, it was announced that Portacio would be the new artist on Spawn starting in October 2008 with issue #185, providing pencils with Spawn creator Todd McFarlane returning as co-writer with Brian Holguin as the new creative team.

Following his run on Spawn, he has done more work with Marvel. He contributed pencils to Hulk #18 in 2008[12] and had a run on The Uncanny X-Men.[13]

Two pages of Portacio and Arthur Adams' Longshot were up for auction in the 2021 April 1 – 4 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction in Dallas, where the starting prices were $2,600 and $6,250, respectively.[14]

In July 2021, Marvel announced that Portacio was one of the various Asian artists for the book Marvel's Voices: Identity #1, in which he would contribute the art for the character Wave (Pearl Pangan).[15][16]



Image/Top Cow[edit]

  • Artifacts, limited series, #5–8 (2011)
  • Darkness #84 (2010)
  • Deathmate #Black (among other artists) (1993)
  • Non Humans, miniseries, #1–4 (2012–13)
  • Image United #1–3 (2009–2010)
  • Spawn #185–192, 194–195, 197 (2008–2009)
  • Stone #1–4 (1998–1999)
  • Stone, vol. 2 #1–4 (1999–2000)
  • Tales of the Darkness #1–2 (1998)
  • Wetworks vol. 1, #1–9, 11–12, 14 (1994–96)



  1. ^ Inkpot Award
  2. ^ Richard George and Jesse Schedeen. (April 5, 2010) "Whilce Portacio Joins Uncanny X-Men". IGN.
  3. ^ "Whilce Portacio on Spawn with McFarlane". Todd McFarlane Productions. June 9, 2008. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008 – via Newsarama.
  4. ^ "Who are the Image founders?" Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine "Frequently Asked Questions". Image Comics. Retrieved October 25, 2010
  5. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on April 18, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "Whilce Portacio". Dragon Con. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  7. ^ "The man who drew The X-Men". Esquire Middle East. October 2016. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  8. ^ "Minorities in cartoons: Bishop". Diverse Tech Geek. February 19, 2015. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  9. ^ Barrios, William (February 25, 2022). "A Chronological Look At The Most Popular Black Superheroes, Past And Present". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on February 27, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  10. ^ "It's not "uncanny" that a young Pinoy illustrator is now the marvel of comics fans in America". J.R Mercado. 11 January 1992. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  11. ^ Whilce Portacio (December 6, 2006). "Wetworks:The Creative Process". Retrieved April 30, 2007.
  12. ^ Hulk #18 solicitation at Marvel.com; Accessed October 25, 2010.
  13. ^ "Advance X-Solicitations, March 2010". Comic Book Resources. December 21, 2009 Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Johnston, Rich (March 30, 2021). "Two Pages Of Arthur Adams, Whilce Portacio's Longshot Up For Auction". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  15. ^ "Your First Look Inside 'Marvel's Voices: Identity #1". Marvel Entertainment.
  16. ^ Johnston, Rich (July 2, 2021). "Whilce Portacio Joins Marvel's Voices: Identity in August". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved March 17, 2022.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Series creator
Wetworks artist
1994–1996; 2006–present
Succeeded by
Preceded by Uncanny X-Men artist
(with Jim Lee)

Succeeded by
Preceded by X-Factor (vol. 1) artist
Succeeded by