Alfredo P. Alcala (August 23, 1925 – April 8, 2000) was a Filipino comic book artist. He was born in Talisay, Occidental Negros,in the Philippines. Alfredo was born with a creative niche to design any and everything. He was hooked on to comic books in his early childhood and ever since then he has never stopped. Art was so contagious to him that he would then start drawing pictures and begin posting them in his school's hallways. Alcala was so determined to persue his career in art he dropped out of school as a young teenager to do so. He got a break doing different things for various commercials painting signs. Later he would begin to start using his masterful talents working in a ironworker's shop designing household materials like lamps and household furniture. The biggest honor of his childhood came when he started drawing cartoons of the Japanese occupation forces of World War II. He played as sort of a spy for the American forces not even having intentions on doing so. Alcala would draw his pictures and give them to the leader of the American unit which would help them in the war in some way. Going anywhere close to Japenese territories was very dangerous because you were liable to get shot for intruding but at that time Alfredo felt on top of the world so whatever consequences which were ahead didnt even worry him. The important thing was that his pictures made a difference in his life. August 23 is the 235th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (236th in leap years), with 130 days remaining. ...
1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...
April 8 is the 98th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (99th in leap years). ...
This article is about the year 2000. ...
A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ...
Alcala admired many different comic artists of his time but he loved Lou Fine. Alfredo was a great artist but suffered from drawing to much extra in his work sometimes. Once he got passed this little setback everthing would soon for this great man. Inspired so much by Lou's work Alfredo started working in the world of comic books in October 1948. Starting in his native land of the Philippines with an illustration in one of the local comic magazines called the Bituin Komiks. At the end of the year he would find himself doing many works for Ace Publications, which was the biggest publishing company in the Philippines.
At that time Ace Publications was the head liner to four comic books each one featuring some of Alfredo's work in it. The names of the comics were the Filipino komiks, Tagalog klassiks, Espesial komiks and Hiwaga komiks. Working with the company helped him develop many oppurtunities and expand his work. There were a mixture of genres in the comic world and Alfredo drew for each and every one of them never limiting himself to just a certain few. He took the challenge and made a good living off doing so. Throughout his entire career of artwork you would have thought that he had some help with creating many of his masterpieces but he didn't which made him so unique. In his own words Alcala said, "I somehow felt that the minute you let someone else have a hand in your work no matter what, its not you anymore. Its like riding a bicycle built for two."
He worked so hard on everything he every did in the world of art. Sometimes he wouldn't sleep for a couple of days just to get things done but he understood inorder to be the best at his craft it would take 100% dedication and effort. Alfredo never let anyone put him down because he was so confident in himself and he knew in his heart that is what he wanted to do. This was the life of a destined artist looking to make a change in all art lovers lives.
As his comical career gained depth he would then feel the need to widen out his range of work in illustration of commercials and in painting portraits. The great artists of his time which he had the up most respect for were the inspirations of his work. He seen himself gathering everything he learned from their works and putting it in his own. Giving great honor to those artists who meant the most to him which were Dean Cornwell and Frank Brangwyn, promising himself to work as hard as possible to reach their level of work.
Alcala beame a star of the Filipino comics. He was so famous that they published a comic magazine named after him called the Alcala Komix magazin. Alcala introduced himself to the comic universe when he created the comic Voltar in 1963 and from then on out it had been non stop success. Voltar was the key to showcasing his true and undefining love for art. Alfredo won numerous awards for the comic and became a worldwide attraction. Being a one man recking machine with good poise helped him create a complete comic book series of the Voltar stories to finish off everything.
Alcala began working for DC in the early 1970s, he help recruit Filipino artists on the uprise. Being apart of DC helped Alcala get up to 40 pages done in a month for horror and fantasy titles. Being so exposed, Alcala would then receive many works from America which made him move to New York from the Philippines in 1976. The transition from the Philippines to America was not as hard as it may have seemed for Alcala. He adapted quite fast to the faster more accustomed life in no time but that's where the problems would soon abrupt. DC was ran by the Marvel company which had all control over all DC workers including Alcala. At the time Marvel started to send away some of the DC workers but Alfredo was participating in many works for the Marvel publishing company so there was no need for him to go anywhere. The extra work assigned from the company wasn't really a style of which Alcala was use to and he knew that his artistic features didn't mix with such.
Later on in the early 1980's, he would then move on to take part in art more suitable for his creative niche. The man would go on to create popular adventure comics such as Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian. By the 1990's his career and popularity would sky rocket like never before. Alcala took on differnt projects of that decade, he even found himself drawing animations for films letting everyone know that he was universal with his work. Alcala would not stop there rounding up a selected few of more work to take part in starting with the novel Daddy Cool written by the late Donald Goines which would feature some of Alcala's art in it. Then he would finish off creating the famous comic of Swamp Thing for his old company DC which would help him touch home with the same sort of work he started off in this business doing. contributed work across several genres including superheroes, horror, and fantasy. Alcala died of cancer in California. All that remains of the great artist is a wife and a beautiful career which helped him pave his way in the art world's history books.
- The Comics Reporter Obituary: Alfredo Alcala, 1925-2000 (posted May 30, 2000)