(Gil Kane/Ernie Chan)
I remember the first time I tabled at the Alternative Press Expo, 2006: It was early in the day, Sunday, the place was still empty. I was bored out of my mind. An older gray-haired Filipino man came up to my table. He asked a lot of questions like why I wanted to be a cartoonist, what I wanted to do with my comics and what were they about. He seemed really concerned like your typical Filipino uncle. He was interested in my stories about being Filipino. It was weird for me because no one had asked that many questions to me that entire weekend. I asked what he did, and he said he was a penciller. He showed me what he was working on: a penciled drawing of a sci-fi superhero gal with big boobs. HA, yep, just like an uncle! It was cool to see that this “old” guy was still working on stuff even if it was not up my alley.
RIP Ernie. Wish we could have met again. I would have been less stupid to talk to about comics now, and had more answers about my own comics than I did when we first time we met. Thoughts and prayers go out to your family, friends and fans.