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Comic Creator

Francisco V. Coching

(29 January 1919 - 1998, The Philippines)  Philippines

Francisco V.  Coching

Pilipino Komiks cover by Francisco Coching

Francisco V. Coching was born in Buting, Pasig, Rizal in the Philippines. His father, Gregorio, was one of the better-known novelists of his time. He used to take his young son to Liwayway Publications where a young Coching met all the prominent artists of the day. Among them was a pioneer in the illustrated medium, Francisco Reyes, creator of 'Kulafu'. Reyes was to have a tremendous influence on Coching.

Gigolo, by Francisco V. Coching

As a young man, Coching studied art through a correspondence school and by 1934 he tried his hand at comics. His first creation was 'Bing Bigotilyo', about a bungling playboy, which appeared in Silahis Magazine. A year later he created another character, a warrior called Marabini, which was published in Bahaghari Magazine. Unfortunately, this series was never completed, due to the outbreak of the second World War.

comic art by Francisco V. Coching

Like many young men of his time, Francisco Coching joined the guerillas and fought against the Japanese army. It was his unit which was credited for the clever use of coffins for concealing and transporting weapons. In 1945, when the war ended, Coching returned to comics, creating 'Hagibis', initially conceived as the local equivalent of the US 'Tarzan'. This series appeared in Liwayway Magazine and lasted for fifteen years, resulting in five adventure books and a movie.

Coching has taught and inspired many Philippine comic artists, such as Federico Javinal, Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, Emil Rodriguez, Noly Panaligan, Carlos Lemos and many others. He made 53 comics in his whole career, 50 of which were made into movies. At the height of his productivity, Francisco V. Coching was working on three weekly series at the time.

In 1973, Coching retired, devoting his last years to golf, traveling and his family. He regarded himself as a fulfilled man, with a loving wife and five children, two of whom, Maridel and Lulu, have become prominent artists in their own right. Francisco V. Coching was a quiet, unassuming man and a private person. The perennial answer he gave to aspiring artists who asked him for advice, was simply: "You have to love your craft."

Francisco V. Coching, the King of Komiks

Biography courtesy of Manuel Auad
Last updated: 2012-07-29

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