Hailing from the Philippines, Carlo Pagulayan is no stranger to the average comic fan. His pencils have graced the pages of some of the most iconic titles in the industry. His incredible work on Planet Hulk gave life to one of the greatest story arcs I’ve ever read.
Carlo, who is currently working in partnership with Subway Singapore to lend his hand to bring their Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy campaign to life. Carlo has specially illustrated the visuals for this promotion, and three prints of artwork from this campaign will be up for grabs to SUBWAY and Marvel fans alike.
Despite his busy schedule, Carlo was kind enough to take a bit of time to share with us his take on working with some of the biggest names in the industry to the work that’s required to get recognised.
Q: What is it like working for one of the most prominent brands (Marvel), in not only comics, but the world?
It feels great and intimidating at the same time. It’s fun working on the characters you read growing up, but it’s also a big responsibility as a part of the creative team to keep the story going for new readers.
Q: How did you break into the Comics industry? How did you get noticed?
I credit luck really. Initially I had done a 3 page contribution for the benefit of the 9-11 victims for Dark Horse. After that I was trying out for the KISS (band) Comic, but unfortunately wasn’t good with likenesses, so I did an Elektra pinup on New Year’s Eve 2002. My agent at the time turned that pin up to Marvel, and luckily enough, they were looking for a replacement artist because the current artist was shifting to writing. The rest is history.
Q: What was it like initially? Were you star struck – or just fit in like you belonged?
We worked at home but when I received the news I was finally going to be drawing, I was elated. It’s always like that if I am given a title. Although, it wasn’t as exciting as when I was given Hulk, a big event like that — I literally paced around the house because I was so excited. Fitting in was never a problem, because the local community has always been close and nurturing, and almost every artist, aspiring and pro knows one another.
Q: You’ve worked on some really iconic titles like the Hulk. What was it like working on a title that had so much history and heritage?
It was a big change from what I’ve worked on before because I rarely draw buff guys, and mostly sexy heroines. It was scary at first. The thing about working with publisher owned titles is they take the time to make sure you have enough info in your hands, so we’re pretty much guided all the way. Generally it was exciting, I could draw really exciting stuff and smash things through Hulk.
Q: Do you see a lot of talent breaking through to the Big Boys (Marvel/DC) from Asia?
Definitely. They’re always on the lookout for fresh talent, and they always find them one way or another.
Q: Are there any encouraging trends for Asian artists? Are there enough opportunities for Asian Artists?
I’m not sure about encouraging Asian trends, but they try to cater to a lot flavours that they think would appeal to everyone. There’s enough opportunity as long as they meet the qualities they’re looking for. Honestly competition is tough, but as long as people keep trying and improving their craft, it’s just a question of time. It took me two years before I got in, and others even longer.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring comic artist from Asia?
Be your own worst critic, because only you are aware of how grand your plan was before putting it on paper. Listen to criticisms from your peers because too much praise can do more harm than good, and of course practise, learn and analyse.
In partnership with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, SUBWAY Singapore has made available two limited edition flavours – Cosmic Chicken Cordon Bleu and Galactic Chicken Pizziola. In addition, 100,000 Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy cards will be distributed with every limited edition combo purchased until 31 August. Collect the full set of five to be in to win the chance to eat free for a year at SUBWAY®. Cards available while stocks last. Get to your nearest SUBWAY® restaurant and taste the intergalactic subs now!