Nestor Malgapo was born in Barrio Baluarte, Gapan, Nueva Ecija. At a young age, Nestor was resourceful, driven & independent; he sold comics to fund his elementary schooling. He enjoyed the admirable work of artists in those comics, such as Francisco V. Coching, Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, Elpidio Torres & the like. He never dreamed that one day, he himself would contribute to the comics he had been selling.
Nestor graduated from high school with the award, "Artist of the Year". Because of his talent, he had no trouble getting work - he was hired, almost instantly, as a sign painter for billboards & passenger buses.
He then worked as a cameraman for a printing press, which printed Extra Komiks & Romansa Komiks. It was there that he witnessed comic artist, Felipe Ilag, feverishly drawing page after page for Mars Ravelo's "Asuwang", trying to beat the deadline. This was Nestor’s first glimpse of the professional world of Comics Illustration. He assumed then that comics were drawn with the aid of machines, when in fact, they were drawn by hand, a fact that left quite an impact on him!
From that time on, Nes decided that he, too, will be a comic book artist. He made several sample drawings & shopped them around comics publishers. But because the art directors of those companies were strict & exacting in their standards, it took him a year of study & practice until he was finally given a break drawing "Walang Mukha", written by Tony Ma. Alcaraz for Sinderela Komiks. That was the start of what would be his long career, drawing comics for various publications.
Nestor then sent samples to Mars Ravelo, then Editor-in-Chief of Pilipino Komiks, Inc. (later, Atlas Publishing Co., Inc.). Nes started with several short story illustrations for Pilipino Komiks before he was commisioned to illustrate Antonio s. Tenorio's comics-novela, "Kaibigan Ko’ng Sto. Nino". So impressed was Ravelo by Nestor’s work that when the first left Pilipino Komiks, Inc. to establish RAR Publishing House, he brought the latter along with him to illustrate most of his comics-novelas.
Nestor simultaneously worked with Pablo S. Gomez of PSG Publishing ("Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Hahanapin"), Clodualdo del Mundo of Liwayway Publications, Tony S. Velasquez of Graphic Arts Service, Inc., GMS Publishing Corporation, Rex Publications, Inc., & almost all other publishing houses of that time!
Nestor was one of only eight pencillers/inkers personally handpicked by DC Comics' publisher Carmine Infantino & Editor-in-Chief Joe Orlando during their visit to the Philippines (accompanied by Tony DeZuniga, first Filipino artist to break into American comics) to scout for talents back in 1971. Nes worked on several DC mystery titles namely, "Ghosts", "House of Mystery", "Unexpected" & "GI Combat". Versatile, Nestor also inked "Teen Titans", as well as Neal Adams’ "Megalith" for Continuity Comics.
Ever enthusiastic in his search for creative outlets, Nestor tried his hand at animation as layout artist for Island Animation, headed by fellow illustrator Abe Ocampo. He also authored some comics scripts, & had illustrated his own stories for Atlas Publishing Co, Inc. & Ace Publications, Inc.
Nestor, together with other influential comics book artists formed HAND (Huwarang Akbayan ng mga Nagkakaisang Dibuhista) in response to the issue of artists having unfair working conditions. HAND championed the cause of the illustrators, which resulted to beneficial privileges & recognition from comics publishers on the important role of comics illustrators to the industry. Nestor served as President in the 10 years of the group’s existence.
The success of HAND influenced the birth of the UAP or United Artists of the Philippines, a much larger organization with a broader membership of writers, illustrators, letterers & colorists.
Nestor also served as President of the SPIC or the Society of Philippine Illustrators & Cartoonists after Nestor Redondo relinquished the position to pursue his career in the United States.
- No trivia.
Links and References