Nestor Redondo - Komikero Komiks Museum

Nestor Redondo by
Bira Dantas

Nestor Redondo

Short Stories

Nestor 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 Bulaklak Publications.

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 the move.

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 1972.

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.