The Original Co-Pilot
In this regard, Devil Car was lucky. I was able to get as my illustrator for the said novel, KARL COMENDADOR, one of the busier artists in those days with whom I had already teamed up in past several projects. We went back a long way. We first met at Nestor Redondo’s ARES PUBLICATIONS in 1970, where I initially started out as a short story writer-illustrator ( Yes Virginia, yours truly also gave illustrating a shot, but found it a bit too arduous for my taste). Then it was in 1972 I think, when I asked Karl to be my artist when Mars Ravelo commissioned me to write a novel in his name, entitled “Brava”. (And, oh yes too Virginia, Mr. Ravelo did make use then of a few ghostwriters in several of his works, to help lighten his already heavy workload and allow him to meet his numerous deadlines.) Afterwards Karl and I did “Bandidos” in ’77 for ATLAS, “Planeta ng Pitong Araw” in 1980 for AFFILIATED PUBLICATIONS, and “Baniaga” in ’81 for ACE PUBLICATIONS, all solely my own novels and all becoming acknowledged hits. Karl and I were undoubtedly getting better and better in our respective crafts during all those collaborations, that we were probably already at our peak by the time we teamed up again in Devil Car. This, and the fact that we both were already so attuned to each other’s style of work, unquestionably were two of the most important factors that assured Devil Car of its niche—in the historical graveyard of former local comics’ most remembered hits. Unfortunately though, sometime in June of 1984, Karl had a falling out with the GASI management over the question of rate (amount payment) increase.