Nick was 20 when he was discovered by Whilce Portacio in the Philippines after winning the First Super Hero Art Competition from among 800 artists. He was then offered a job with Homage Studios (later Wildstorm Productions) . Initially geared to do Wetworks with Whilce, it was taken over by Jim Lee and Nick was given his own title Cybernary as a flip side with Deathblow. His work was dark and explosive with lots of energy and very detailed. Major influences were Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Simon Bisley, Ken Kelly, Bernie Wrightson and other fantasy artists. He had no formal art education but taught himself thru observation, reading books and comics and specialty magazines on sports, muscles and lots of sketching. A hidden talent of Nick was his modeling and sculpturing skills, which could rival some of the best comic hero figurine modelmakers.
Unfortunately, after 4 issues of Cybernary, Nick was diagnosed with Hodgskin Disease and spent a whole year at UCLA Hospital undergoing bone marrow transplant, and a lot of operations and radiation treatments before succombing to the disease. He quietly passed away early morning of November 5, l995, cremated and his remains brought home to Australia.
For those fans and artists interested in seeing more of Nick's work , watch this page. I will be posting many of his unpublished sketches, especially those done in hospital during his last days. You may reach me at this email address: email@example.com
Gerry Alanguilan has created a nice tribute to Nick Manabat HERE.