By Myron Tay, STGCC 2014, August 28th 2014
Philip Tan is a comic book artist who has worked on major titles such as Uncanny X-men, Batman and Robin and Spawn. He was born in the Philippines, but is currently based in the US. In his teens, he's finished one of the 90's 'Romance of the 3 Kingdoms' games more than 200 times...
Who are the artists (both within and outside of comic books) who influenced your style?
Grew up with a lot of Yoko-yama Mitsuteru, Takehiko Inoue and Kia Asamiya. Then as a teen it's a lot of Jim Lee, John Byrne, Todd McFarlane, Bengus and Katsushiro Oto-mo. But you really don't ever stop looking at stuff that inspires you, and on top of new influences, we always looks back again and again to those who inspired us in the past. So even when I im-merse myself with Katsuya Terada, Travis Charest or Hiroaki Samura's artwork now, I still go back and try to get inspired from other artists
Do you think that comic book artists should make changes from time to time? Why or why not? What factors should determine changes (if any) should be made?
I should have combine my answer from the last question! Lol, But yes, I don't say one should change just to change, but we look at things and how we appreciate them differently in different stages of our lives, so we always will have a different idea on what is entertain-ing to our audience in each of those. With that in mind, we will always end up changing, even if subconsciously.
Which of your past projects did you enjoy doing the most? Why?
New52 Eclipso one shot, it was my first time playing with a lot of inkwash and especially screentones! And Dan Didio was very open co plotting the story with me. That and 4 issues of Green Lantern with Geoff John's, I got to design a lot of aliens creatures!
What about your work would you like to be re-membered for? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 to 10 years?
Hopefully my creator-owned book. I have some pro-jects not just in America, but also in Japan, and they are all stories from my head! So I hope fans from all genres will like them!
What challenges did you face as you were starting out in the comic book in-dustry? How did you over-come them?
The biggest is probably being so distant from my publishers, as I did not move to the states until later on. Some people have good contacts early on and it allowed them more free-dom not having to interact with people you work with, but new creators usually are better off in closer and more regular contact with people they work with. Without, there opens up a lot of chances to be taken advantage off or just miscommunicate.
What are your thoughts about the current state of the comic book industry? Where do you think it is headed to and what are your hopes for the industry?
It's an opinion that differs with different people. There's no real answer to predicting what's ahead for the industry. But I do hope we can reach to more of the younger audiences compared our current readers in that demographic.
What words of advice would you give to aspiring comic book artists?
Back in my days, it really comes down to work hard and persevere. But nowadays, you need to do all that and also have a few more. Especially to have courtesy and not be an aggressive, disrespectful artist who thinks as long as your good, you can act whatever you like. End of the day, people like working with people they get along with, no long term work relationship works outside that.
What are the comic books you are currently reading that you would recommend to your fans?
I still pick up anything by Hitch and Charest. I read a lot of manga, from commercial ones like Naruto and Attack on Titan, to less commercial ones like Haikyuu and Knights of Sidonia Noragami and Yowamushi Pedal are a few more!