Francis Manapul was born in the Philippines. An Asian country where there is a wide gap between those who have and those who don't. English is taught in the schools as a second language and comic books are used as an accessible way to learn how to read English. This is where he was exposed to DC Comics and characters like the Flash, of which he is the ongoing interior and cover artist as of the 2010 relaunch of Barry Allen.
In the early 1980s Francis moved to Toronto, Canada with his mother, brother and sister. Comics would fade away from his mind for a little while, until he was in Scarborough (a suburb of Toronto) on a random trip to a bookstore. The Uncanny X-Men #268 was the comic that triggered the rebirth of his love affair with comics. Jim Lee's artwork inspired and influenced Manapul as he was blown away by the art and would trace anything from Jim Lee he could. From that moment he knew he wanted to draw comics for a living.
Road to Success:
The Road to success was not easy. Like many artist he would take road trips to Conventions to show off his portfolio. After High School he would take a year off and just push his art. His mother was supportive but skeptical on the idea of doing comics for a living. One thing that is not taught in the Philippines is that there have been many successful Filipino Comic Book artists, like comic legends Alfredo Alcala ( Swamp Thing, Hellblazer) and Tony DeZuniga (Co-creator of Jonah Hex). Even in the comic market today, Francis is not the lone respected Filipino artist, artist like Philip Tan, Leinil Francis Yu and Noel Tuazon find roots from the Philippines and have found success in North America.
Francis was working for auto-trader magazine in the daytime during the week and drawing at night to help with the financial situation of a single mother household. Weekends he would push the art and try to break into the industry. His mother had to go back to school to upgrade her overseas credentials as an interior designer. When his year off school was up, he applied to animation school. Only then did he start to get contracts. In Novine, Michigan, Francis would meet Mike Wieringo ( Flash) and Matt Hawkins, a writer who became the president of Top Cow Productions. Hawkins was the one who gave Manapul his first break, with Tomb Raider and Witchblade. Francis chose to follow his passion instead of returning to school.
He currently has a 3 year exclusive contract with DC Comics and is a co-host on the Canadian TV Show Beast Legends , which currently airs Wednesday nights at 10pm EST on History Television Canada and on Thursday at 10pm EST on SyFy for those who live in the United States of America .
He can’t swim and is afraid of heights. He is also the boyfriend of another Canadian artist Agnes Garbowska.
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