This is the second installment of the Road to ACE where I am featuring artists and celebrities that will be coming to Albuquerque Comic Expo in June. Needless to say I am really excited because there are going to be many comic artists and writers coming. I might spend a fortune trying to get comics so they can autograph them. Or dig through my collection.
In this installment, I want to focus on Whilce Portacio. Portacio is perhaps best known for being one of the seven co-founders of Image Comics. However, he never became a partner in the company. Allow me to explain how I became aware of Mr. Portacio. I can proudly say that I missed the early part of the speculator market in the early 1990s. I was in graduate school or living abroad. In 1994, I began to get reacquainted with comics. Namely, Age of Apocalypse, Zero Hour, and the Chaos Effect from Valiant Comics. I fell in love with Valiant. However, in the American Comic Company order forms, I was seeing all these other comics, Malibu, Image, and since they also sold back issues, they seemed to be going up in price. Back then, they had grab bags which promised that there would be many number ones and collector's items. Anything back then was a collector's item, mind you.
There were many solicitations for Wetworks, which never seemed to have been published. Over in Wizard, I recall that Portacio's sister was very sick and that he had left the business to take care of her. This touched me deeply because this was the time I first became ill and could no longer work for a time so I sympathized. Eventually, Wetworks number one came out and the art was stunning. It was worth the wait.
Portacio later was involved with Marvel's Heroes Reborn, which I loved. He was the penciler of Iron Man. Eventually he went on to pencil Spawn as well.