And that’d be Leinil Yu. This is his third trip to STGCC, his second as an official guest of the con. What I noticed is that the books he is doing with Mark Millar, whether they are for the Marvel Ultimates line or the Millar World titles, it’s a Southeast Asian collective at work. Leinil will be penciling, Gerry Alanguilan and Stephen Segovia will ink it, Jason Paz will letter it (they are all from the Philippines) and Sunny Gho from Indonesia will colour it.
I ask Leinil why is this so. Eh, wouldn’t the Marvel editors have a say in this?
“Marvel trusts me to do the recommendations. I pick the guys who can make the comic book better. Editors will determine the lineup for the younger guys, but they trust me to recommend what’s best for the books. Same for the Millar books. He had wanted a different style for Super Crooks, and he wanted a different colourist. I told him Sunny can do a different style and it worked out.
I didn’t know Sunny was Indonesian when I first saw his work. It was not a conscious decision to gather creatives from Southeast Asia. I chose Sunny from four colourists presented to me. Sunny had worked with Kenneth Rocafort and I really like his colours.
As for Gerry, he is a friend for a long time, but he is really one of the best. (NB: Gerry inked Leinil’s very first work for Marvel – a Wolverine series by Warren Ellis in 1997) For Stephen, when I first pick him, we were not friends yet. He was influenced by my work, so naturally he is the right fit for my art.”
Leinil has said that DC and Marvel do not paid their overseas artists any less than their American counterparts. The determining factor is whether an artist is popular. And in 2012, Leinil is at the top of his game.