Ernesto Chan (July 27, 1940 – May 16, 2012),[1][2] born and sometimes credited as Ernie Chua, was a [-Filipino]-American comics artist, known for work published by Marvel Comics and DC Comics, including many Marvel issues of series featuring Conan the Barbarian. Chan also had a long tenure on Batman and Detective Comics. Other than his work on Batman, Chan primarily focused on non-superhero characters, staying mostly in the genres of horror, war, and sword and sorcery.

Ernie Chan
Ernie Chan at Super-Con 2009.JPG
Chan in May 2009.
BornErnesto Chua
(1940-07-27)July 27, 1940
The Philippines
DiedMay 16, 2012(2012-05-16) (aged 71)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
Pseudonym(s)Ernie Chua
Notable works
Conan the Barbarian
Detective Comics
Kull the Conqueror
Savage Sword of Conan
AwardsInkpot Award 1980


Ernie Chan was born Ernie Chua due to what he called "a typographical error on my birth certificate that I had to use until I had a chance to change it to 'Chan' when I got my [U.S.] citizenship in '76."[3] He migrated to the United States in 1970 and became a citizen in 1976.[4] For a number of years, he worked under the name Ernie Chua but he was later credited as Ernie Chan.[5][6] He studied with John Buscema and worked with him as the inker on Conan during the 1970s. He also inked the art of Buscema's brother Sal on The Incredible Hulk.

Chan entered the American comics industry in 1972 with DC Comics as a penciler on horror/mystery titles such as Ghosts, House of Mystery, and The Unexpected. By 1974, he was working regularly for Marvel Comics on Conan the Barbarian. From 1975–1976, Chan worked exclusively for DC including the artwork for Claw the Unconquered which was written by David Michelinie.[7] While working on the Detective Comics series, he drew the first appearances of Captain Stingaree in issue #460 (June 1976)[8] and the Black Spider in #463 (Sept. 1976).[9] Under the name Chua, he was DC Comics' primary cover artist from approximately 1975 to 1977.[10]

Chan pencilled several issues of Conan and Doctor Strange, and worked on Kull the Destroyer in 1977 and Power Man and Iron Fist in the 1980s. From about 1978 onward, he worked almost exclusively for Marvel and focused on Conan in the 1980s.[6]

In the early 1990s he joined Sega, providing character design and art for video games such as Eternal Champions.[11]

In 2002, he retired except for commissioned artwork[4] but returned to comics to draw writer Andrew Zar's adult-oriented webcomic The Vat #1 in 2009.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Chan was based in Oakland, California and had three children;[13] his daughter Cleo Caron Chan was born April 25, 1978.[14] Ernie Chan died on May 16, 2012 after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer.[2]


Ernie Chan received an Inkpot Award in 1980.[15]


Comics work (interior pencil art, except where noted) includes:


  • The Vat (2009)

DC ComicsEdit

Marvel ComicsEdit

Warren PublishingEdit


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Lamentillo, Anna Mae Yu (May 18, 2012). "Comics artist Ernie Chan, 71, passes away". GMA News. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Amazing Chan (Interview)". Marvel Age. Marvel Comics (109): 10. February 1992.
  4. ^ a b "About Ernie Chan". Ernie Chan official website. Archived from the original on April 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Ernie Chua at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ a b Ernie Chan at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. David Michelinie's pen and Ernie Chan's pencils and inks provided the magic for this fantasy series that introduced Claw the Unconquered, a barbaric outlander with a deformed claw-like right hand. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1970s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 123. ISBN 978-1465424563. The swashbuckling villain Captain Stingaree...debuted in this volume by writers Bob Rozakis and future Batman movie producer Michael Uslan. Drawn by Ernie Chan, this story saw Stingaree launch a campaign against Batman. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ Manning "1970s" in Dougall, p. 123: "The Black Spider made his way to Gotham City in this story's lead tale by writer Gerry Conway and artist Ernie Chan."
  10. ^ "Ernie Chan". Lambiek Comiclopedia. July 10, 2012. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "How to Get a Job in the Game Industry". Next Generation. Imagine Media (16): 42. April 1996.
  12. ^ "Ernie Chan Interview". Dark Brain Comics. November 30, 2009. Archived from the original on March 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Lin, Sam Chu. "Asians Fulfill Fantasies As Comic Book Artists," AsianWeek (June 17, 1988), p. 12.
  14. ^ "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Comics cover-dated November 1978.
  15. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Batman artist
Succeeded by
Preceded by Detective Comics artist
Succeeded by