Doroteo Gerardo N. Alanguilan, Jr. better known in the Philippines by his alias Komikero, has died.
He was a Filipino comic book artist and writer from San Pablo, Laguna. He was known for his graphic novels Wasted and Elmer, and for his inking on American superhero comics such as Wetworks, X-Men, Superman: Birthright, Wolverine, and Fantastic Four.
Many of Alanguilan’s titles take place in the Philippines or feature Filipino characters, such as Johnny Balbona, Humanis Rex!, and Timawa.
He incorporated elements of social commentary in his work, especially Elmer, which satirizes racism. The protagonist of Whilce Portacio and Brian Haberlin’s comic series Stone, Gerry Alan, is named after him.
Gerry Alanguilan was born in the city of San Pablo, Laguna in the Philippines. Filipino legend states that Alanguilan’s family was originally named San Gabriel, but the name changed when a witch placed a curse on the family that would make them destitute for seven generations.
Alanguilan would later use this legend as the basis for his story San Dig 1944 in the Siglo: Freedom anthology. As a child, he owned a chicken named Solano, which would later become the inspiration for his graphic novel Elmer.
Alanguilan studied to become an architect, but turned his hobby of comic book illustration into a career in order to be with his then-girlfriend. At first, much of Alanguilan’s work in comics was on conventional American superhero titles.
His first self-written comic was Wasted, originally intended for only his friends to read, and was later embarrassed by the large amounts of violence and profanity in it.
Eventually he published Wasted in the Philippines, and from there its popularity spread to the United States, where it was praised by Warren Ellis, and established him as an independent comics creator.
After Wasted, Alanguilan created several other titles which were published in several Filipino publications, such as Johnny Balbona, Humanis Rex!, Elmer, Timawa, and Where Bold Stars go to Die.
His self-created titles attracted fans including comic creators Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis. Alanguilan cited Barry Windsor-Smith, Alfredo Alcala, Frank Miller, Katsuhiro Otomo and Alan Moore as creative influences, in particular Moore’s 1980s reinterpretation of Marvelman.
In the United States, he became known as an inker for such titles like Wetworks, X-Men, Superman: Birthright, Wolverine, High Roads, Fantastic Four, and Silent Dragon.