Carlo Pagulayan, world-class Pinoy comic book illustrator

Carlo Pagulayan's earlier Marvel work impressed publisher’s higher-ups, landing him more gigs like X-Men Unlimited. Photo: Carlo Pagulayan

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 — The Philippines has a rich history of comics. The medium was part of the local mainstream consciousness with works such as Kenkoy, Panday and Darna created by the great writers Romualdo Ramos, Carlo J. Caparas and Mars Ravelo with their artists/illustrators Tony Velasquez, Steve Gan and Nestor Redondo, respectively. The Filipino brand also enjoyed past success overseas with the brilliant illustrative works of Alex Niño, Darna’s Redondo, Tony DeZuniga and others appearing in famous titles such as Swamp Thing, Conan and Jonah Hex.

Carlo Pagulayan

Based on the Geoff Johns and Gary Frank 2008, Action Comics story arc Superman: Brainiac, the animated movie Superman: Unbound explores the horrific force responsible for the destruction of Krypton and why Brainiac is now targeting Earth.

Today, the torch is being carried by the likes of Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and, of course, Carlo Pagulayan.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Pagulayan studied at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

First Steps to Fame

Pagulayan traded that piece of paper outlining his academic accomplishment for a chance at working for Dark Horse Comics, one of the major comic book publishers in the US, in 2001.

His first shot at the big leagues was for a great cause, drawing up 3 sequential pages for the WTC Tribute Book. It was created to pay homage to the twin towers of the World Trade Center after the September 11 tragedy, and profits were donated to help the victims.

Pagulayan later on gained the attention of Marvel by submitting a pinup, landing him the job of illustrator for eight issues in the second volume of Elektra in 2002. He got a chance to work on the Man of Steel himself in 2003, but the project was unfortunately cancelled by DC Comics.

Continued Rise to Glory

Pagulayan’s earlier work at Marvel impressed the publisher’s higher-ups enough to land him more gigs with titles such as X-Men: Unlimited and Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four.  What would finally put him on the map, though, was his pair-up with rising star writer Greg Pak in The Incredible Hulk. Pagulayan was tasked to pencil the memorable event Planet Hulk, where the titular green giant is exiled on a brutal world where raw power rules.

He has since drawn up more awesome issues for the House of Ideas, most recently penciling the mad adventures of Red She-Hulk and creating designs for Iron Man in the Marvel Now! relaunch. 

Take a look at some of his best artworks below, and be awed at the skill and creativity of one of the top Filipino comic book artists in the world today.

Iron Manual by Carlo Pagulayan

Carnage By Carlo Pagulayan

X23 By Carlo Pagulayan

Rougue By Carlo Pagulayan

Spider-man By Carlo Pagulayan

Planet Hulk Sketch by Carlo Pagulayan


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Alexander Aviado

Aj Aviado is a Painter, Musician and a Registered Nurse who has learned how to write and blog through the help of his lovely girlfriend Adie and his friends from Xight Interactive.

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