Nestor Redondo by
Redondo was born on April 5, 1928 in
Candon, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. He was
exposed to comics even before he could read and
write, when his father would bring him imported
comics like Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny.
What fascinated the young Nestor though, were
comics like Tarzan, Buck Rogers, Superman, Flash
Gordon, Lone Ranger and Captain America. His
addiction to comics was so strong that he
sacrificed his lunch money to buy more.
Nestor took up Architecture at the Mapua
Institue of Technology at the behest of his
parents, who believed that one comics artist in
the family was enough. Nestor's brother Virgilio
was at the time already illustrating comics for
But the pull of comics was too strong and the
young Nestor found himself eventually drawing
comics. It soon became clear that Nestor
was a far better artist than his brother, and
Virgillio settled down to writing and the two
often collaborated, specially on Palos, Tagisan
ng Agimat, Diwani ang Gagamba.
Nestor became a household name when he
illustrated the first story of the Mars Ravelo
superheroine Darna in 1950. Darna became a
monster hit, spawning several sequels, and
several motion pictures. In 2004, a
television-fantasy series is set to be shown.
QUO VADIS In
1953, MGM Pictures comissioned ACE Publications
to create a comic book preview of their
international all star cast blockbuster QUO
VADIS starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr,
Peter Ustinov, set to be shown in the country
that year. Ace Publications assigned the
job to Nestor Redondo who drew a 16-page preview
written by Clodualdo Del Mundo, and serialized
in Tagalog Klasiks 92-93 in 1953.
The adaptation, so deftly drawn by Nestor, was
so impressive that MGM sought to hire him as in
house artist on the spot, and offered to fly him
to the States. Nestor declined, who was at the
time 24, and felt he was not yet ready to make
Nevertheless, Nestor's talent was by this time
undeniable, having developed an illustrative
style which so appealed to readers that a whole
generation of komiks artists including Tony
Caravana and Jim Fernandez sought to emulate.
In 1963, Redondo and five colleagues (Tony
Caravana, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Fernandez, Amado
Castrillo and brother Virgillio) founded CRAF
Publications, Inc., where young artists and
writers were provided with the rare opportunity
of having on-the-job training i the komiks
arts. The social and economic turbulence
of the late sixties and the early
seventies, however, proved too much for
the young company, and it folded not long after.
Bigger things however, were in store for
Nestor. He established contact with
American comic book and magazine publishers
through the help of US Based Tony De Zuniga in
He soon began working on titles for American
comics like House of Mystery, House of Secrets,
Rima, Savage Sword of Conan, The Unexpected,
Weird War Tales, and the title in which he would
leave an indelible mark: Swamp Thing.
Taking over the book after Berni Wrightson, it
seemed like an impossible task. But fans who
loved Wrightson's work, ready to dismiss
any artist who followed him, were surprised at
the quality of Nestor's work, and quickly
accepted him as the new Swamp Thing artist.
A deeply religious man, Nestor treasures as
one of his more meaningful works his
illustrations of the Bible and other religious
material which a Netherlands-based organization,
the Open Doors, distribute to countries where
religion is discouraged or suppressed.
Nestor passed away in 1995.