Posted July 2, 2013 by Alvin Minon in Comics

HEUBERT KHAN MICHAEL On The Owl, Vampirella & Dynamite Entertainment

Heubert Khan Michael takes the spotlight! In this interview, he talks about his new mini-series The Owl. He talks about Vampirella, and work experience in Dynamite Entertainment.

A: Could you tell as a little bit about Vampirella and The Owl? What’s the story behind Vampirella and The Owl? How did you ended up with those series?

H: Vampirella is one of the most iconic comic-book characters known outside DC (Comics) and Marvel Comics, and was just recently voted as one of the sexiest women in comics. She was originally from Warren Publishing then Harris Comics and was acquired by Dynamite Entertainment a few years ago. Other than Dracula, she’s the most easily recognizable vampire in pop culture. She’s had several origins throughout her decades-long stay in the pop-culture world, and Dynamite somehow pulled off a good job incorporating those roots altogether by getting great writers as they modernized and made the franchise fresh.

The Owl is a character from way back 1940’s, created by Frank Thomas. Somehow he became one of the almost-forgotten icons til Dynamite Entertainment and the legendary Alex Ross came up with Project Super-Powers, and revived the Owl along with other classic super-heroes that once entertained readers in the 40’s and 50’s. The character is a police detective who continues to serve justice after office hours wearing the mantle of the Owl, and now he’s taking the spotlight via a 4-issue miniseries written by scribe JT Krul, and I can say that his script is going to make The Owl a household name in comics once again.

A: How is it like working on Vampirella and The Owl? How are these comics different from your previous works? How is working on these comics different from how you worked before?

H: I feel overwhelmed! Both Vampi (-rella) and The Owl are 2 important books from Dynamite’s wide range of titles, and I’m part excited, pressured, anxious, and honored to have been given the faith that I could deliver well as an artist on both titles.
I have not been in the industry that long, so there’s not much comparison I can make. My first professional work was the Huntress pages for DC Comics Holiday Special. All the characters I’ve worked with so far — Huntress, Vampi, and The Owl — are creatures of the night, so I guess they also have similarities while being different, and I’m loving it! :)

A: How did you end up with those series?

H: I met JT Krul at the New York Comic Con. He saw my Batman samples, and he told me he has this book that’s currently being planned with Dynamite. He told me that the character, like Batman, is a nocturnal vigilante and that my sample pages told him that I could draw the book. So he introduced me to Dynamite’s President Nick Barrucci, and I’m glad he did, as I found Nick an awesome guy. While The Owl was being planned I was asked to fill-in for Vampirella #10, which got good reviews, and a few months after I came back on board as the series regular

A: Have you worked with Alex Ross? if so, kamusta po experience nun?

H: Alex Ross is one of the key people behind Project:Super-Powers from where The Owl spun off. He’s the Art Director for all the P:SP-related books, and working with him and getting feedbacks from him via our editor are easily among the highlights of my career.

A: Paano po ba ang dynamics when working with people overseas on international titles?

H: Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, being 8,000 miles away from the people you work with doesn’t feel like it. We communicate mainly via email, and then there’d be occasional phone calls as well.

However, I was advised by my mentor (DC Comics Artist – Philip Tan) to try to visit the US at least once a year during convention season, and just like he said, I find it very nice to see the people I work with and get to share meals and laughs with them in person once in a while. It deepens the working relationship on a more personal level, and an over-all amazing experience to see in the flesh the people whose names I thought I would only get to read in the credit boxes in the comics.

A: Aside from the two, what other projects are on your plate right now (if there are any)? Or do you have other titles in line?

H: All 4 issues of The Owl have been wrapped up, so we can expect the books to come out on time I’m currently working on more Vampirella stuff with the terrific Brandon Jerwa.

A: Alin sa dalawa yung mas malapit sa puso mo? Kung papipiliin, ano mas OK na maging? Vampire superhero or police na sumasideline as Owl-themed vigilante? Or perhaps someone like Batman or Huntress?

H: I think I’m personally more attached to Vampi now, having been in the title for more than 12 issues. And I have been a Vampi fan since I was in high school. The Owl, on the other hand, was the closest thing I could get to fulfilling my dream of drawing my all-time favorite character, Batman. The book (The Owl) was also very dynamic, and I learned a lot from working on JT’s script and of course the pointers I got from Alex Ross.

BUT, I really love working on night vigilantes, and more women. I’d love to get to work on Huntress again, or Batwoman or Batgirl. I would also love the challenge of working on a Punisher comic. Working on a The Shadow and Red Sonja book are also on my bucket list :)


A: WOW! Red Sonja and Punisher! I’m guessing you prefer the shadowy heroes kumpara sa mga superpowered beings in comics?

H: Yeah, I love Punisher. I know that he’s not as big a name as any of the Avengers, or X-men — but I love a hardcore character. I’m a fan of military characters growing up as a GI Joe fan, and again I love vigilantes — and Punisher is a perfect mix of both. I guess it’s because of my love for noir books from the likes of (Brian Michael) Bendis and Frank Miller that made me appreciate these “shadowy heroes” as you put them. Which reminds me, I’d love to draw Daredevil too!

A: Ah I see, the gritty characters. Well, in my humble opinion, they’re a lot cooler and deeper din than superpowered ones. [laughter]

H: Yeah. They are more complex, and less predictable. When you know the character can’t fly or lift a car to hit his opponent with, it makes every fight scene with that character more exciting, for me

A: Cool! Then does that mean we’d get to see you working on more international titles from now on? 

H: I HOPE SO! I really feel blessed to be consistently getting gigs and I thank my publisher for that. I can only wish that it stays that way.

A: Congratulations, sir! I’m pretty sure it’s just getting started and it’ll pave way for more projects 

H: I hope so! Thanks, man!

A: When’s the next event na makikita kayo ng fans and readers? Are there any other things you wish to promote or announce to your followers?

H: We will be having a 2-day weekend signing and title launch of The Owl this weekend, July 6 and 7 (Saturday and Sunday). Saturday will be at the Castle Geek – Glorietta branch, while Sunday will be held at the Comic Odyssey – High Street branch We will be doing sketches and sign copies of The Owl as well as Vampirella comics!

If there’s anything I wish to tell the awesome people who support my work, that would be a BIG THANK YOU! They have all been very warm, supportive, and inspiring. I also hope that they would keep supporting my work, as well as the works of every Filipino artists in the comic-book industry.

Alvin Minon