Your Ad Here

Panels and Pages #3 - A Heubert Khan Michael Interview

Hey, hey, hey! After a few months of inevitable hiatus, my “Panels and Pages” interview series is back again – at last! For this 3rd installment, I’ve decided to feature none other than Heubert Khan Michael - writer, artist and creator of Unstoppable comics. Read on and let’s catch up with the guy about some cool news about his comics, his quest for a Marvel gig and, of course, some exciting news about the upcoming Manila Comic Con.

Mark Rosario (MR): First off, I just have to tell you that I absolutely love Unstoppable’s costume - the design, the color scheme, his mask… everything is just so cool! What was your inspiration for that?

Heubert Khan Michael (HKM): Thanks , man! I’m happy that you like the costume. I’m actually overwhelmed by people (including some non-Filipinos) who would drop me a note or email me telling me how much they love the costume.

Anyway, here’s a brief overview of how his costume came to be. My first-ever design for Unstoppable had an all-black suit, with a red “U” trim. Thinking that my laziness took over my sense of design, I tried to redesign him, coming up with version 2. Except for the trimmings being red and the full-faced mask, V2 is very similar to the Unstoppable we came to know. The mask was redesigned after my 1st sketch of Mr. Unstoppable (whose costume never had any revisions) was made. I thought it was cool to have their costumes somewhat identical. The trimmings were changed from red to gold when the belt was added.

Contrary to what some may think, I never had any inspiration from Invincible, costume and story-wise. Most people who know me well would say that Unstoppable’s mask somehow looks like half of Batman’s mask, knowing that I’m a big Bat-fan. :)

MR: I noticed the cover for Unstoppable #1 says you’ve won 3rd place for the 2007 Philippine Graphic/ Fiction awards. Can you tell us more about it?

HKM: Yeah! That was one of my most unforgettable moments in life! It was a week after the 2007 KOMIKON, and I was still having a hang-over from all the emails I got, including one from Gerry Alanguilan, praising Unstoppable. I was lucky to have won 3rd place that year, the year when Neil Gaiman came back to the Philippines to co-present the winners! Neil was too kind to say in front of the huge crowd that my entry was the best drawn among the lot! How cool is that?! And the dinner with him was just too awesome for words to describe. He shared a lot of things, words that still inspire me each time I draw. And it all happened when I was asking the good Lord for a sign, whether I should pursue a career in comics or not. So I guess it was a big “YES” from God, having “successfully” done a couple of comic-related stuff (Unstoppable and then the 2007 PG/FA) in a span of a week!

MR: That’s really cool!.. In the past, you’ve worked as a college Guidance Counselor and have also majored in Psychology. Does that, in any way, help you become a better comics writer or artist?

HKM: OH yes, I believe so! My background in Psychology helped a lot in the creation of Unstoppable, so I guess it does help me both as a writer and an artist! I’m still learning to do both (writing and drawing), and thinking “What would (insert writer or artist’s name/s) do if they are to write/draw this page?” certainly helps me get the job done. Hehe.

MR: How’s your work-for-hire assignment with Marvel going these days, by the way? What titles are you working on or are already working on?

HKM: Oh, that. It’s been a year and my contract’s already turned yellow. LOL! Kidding aside, I guess I got in at the wrong timing. I heard that as an answer to recession, publishers would give priority to the artists who have already previously done something for them. But I have faith in my agent, and I just sent him a new set of samples for the San Diego Comic Con and he told me that it was, by far, the best he’s seen from me and that he’s sure that it would get me a gig very soon. Help me pray it happens!

MR: Good luck to you, man! Anyway, I’ve heard you are giving away FREE copies of Unstoppable comics this coming Manila Comic Con, right? Wow, I’m sure a lot of comic book fans are excited.

HKM: Yes, we will! Though not as much numbers of copies we would want to give away. It’s like our way of thanking those who support Unstoppable. We have some friends who helped us make it possible.

MR: Since I’ve already mentioned about MCC, would you like to tell our blog readers more about the event? I know you’re part of the team of organizers - and I’m making a guess that you’re the one responsible for making indie comic booths available for free.

HKM: MCC is a product of a group of guys (and girls) who love comics, and dreamed of doing Comic Conventions the way it’s done in the US. I remember us even saying “let’s try to bring SDCC in the Philippines”. Hehe, I guess we’re that sorry that we just can’t go there ourselves. LOL.. But seriously, MCC will try to give Pinoy comicbook fans a fresh convention experience, while maintaining some of the oldie-but-goodie convention themes.

*blushes* Yes, I guess you could say I was responsible for the indie booths being free, but it would just be an idea I pitched if it weren’t for the rest of the organizer’s kindness. I do indies, too, and I’ve seen the love and effort artists put on their work, not to mention the money they spend to self-publish. So I thought,” why be more of a burden to these artists? If we really wish to support them , let’s give it for free. The amount we’ll get from them (if we’ll ask for a cut from their sales) won’t be too much for us, anyway, but it might be too much for them.”

MR: I’m sure a lot of your fellow indie creators are happy for that. Lastly, do you have any messages for Unstoppable fans out there? Like what could fans look forward to in future issues?

HKM: Oh, so there are fans? Hehe. Wow. Honestly, up to this day I try not to consider anyone an Unstoppable fan. I don’t even call Unstoppable artworks done by other artists as “fan art”, since I don’t know if they only felt like drawing him or if they really are “fans” of the book, which most people have not seen much of yet since there’d been only 2 books out so far.

But anyway, if there are, I could only thank them for all the support and all the kind words that they have said about Unstoppable. I won’t try to make any promises, but for them I’ll try to make the next Unstoppable stories as good as possible. Again thanks, and I hope they’ll stick with us. After all, there’s an Unstoppable in all of us!

MR: More power to you and Unstoppable, Heubert. And thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

HKM: You’re welcome, Markus! :)

(*Images courtesy of Heubert Khan Michael)

Bookmark this:

Related Posts

  1. Panels and Pages #6 | Justin Leach interview
  2. Panels and Pages #4 – An Interview With Aaron Felizmenio
  3. Panels and Pages #8 | Paolo Fabregas Interview

12 Responses to “Panels and Pages #3 - A Heubert Khan Michael Interview”

  1. Ner P says:

    nice interview! go Huebert and Unstoppable!

  2. rhiver says:

    unstopa-PAPA!!! MWAH!

  3. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Ner P, salamat ng marami! More power sa inyong lahat! :)

    @ Rhiver, ewan! Hahaha!

  4. Dexter Entera says:

    This is one of the reasons why a blog should exist…The very crisp and fresh(metaphorical, okay?) Heubert Khan and his road to comicbookdom. It brings great pride to see someone from humble beginnings making it to where he is right now and still keep his feet planted firmly on the ground. I salute you sir(I wish i could follow your success)!
    And Markus, as for the interview, it was informative and an ease to read. You are becoming adept to this. I wish you goodluck and success. More man! :D

  5. Wan says:

    very nice! really cooL!

  6. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Dexter Entera, thank you so much for the support, bro. Watch out for more artist interviews in the near future.

    @ Wan, thanks for dropping by. Good luck to you guys for MCC.

  7. rhardo says:

    nice, bro… we get to know a bit deeper (as far as art is concerned) about our idol hehehe!

  8. Hello guys!

    Mark, thank you very much for this opportunity, bro!

    Ner, Wan, Rhardo, and Dexter, maraming salamat sa inyo! :-)

    Rhiver… pa-kiss, pare! hehe…

  9. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Rhardo, Heubert rocks. I love his artwork and I also love his story-telling skills - on top of that, he’s a really nice guy! :D

    @ Heubert, the pleasure’s all mine. More power, bro!

  10. hungrynez says:

    Mark, astig, you are unstoppable! Excellent interview for comic readers who wanted to get a glimpse of the comic creators behind the comic heroes and stories they read!

  11. Hazel says:

    Hi Nice article Mark!

  12. Mark Rosario says:

    @ hungrynez, thanks for the compliment! Heubert is really a nice guy to interview. His answers show that. Heheh..

    @ Hazel, thanks much! Goodluck to you and Callwork for the upcoming cons.

Leave a Reply