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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Appreciating Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad

Celso "Sonny" Trinidad was one of the B&W masters. Whether as penciler, inker, or both, I think the samples below will show that. Here's a bit about his career, from his Wikipedia page (hyperlinks have been left in, if you're so inclined to make those jumps):

Along with a number of other Filipino comics creators in the 1970s, Trinidad found work in the American comics industry, initially for DC Comics on such titles as The Witching Hour, House of Mystery, The Unexpected, and Weird Western Tales.[5]

It was in the U.S. that he began using the pen name "Sonny" Trinidad. When he moved to Marvel Comics in 1974, he was given the moniker "Slammin' Sonny Trinidad" in the "Bullpen Bulletins".[6] Trinidad supplied full art or inks over other artists (frequently John Romita Sr. and John Buscema) on horror titles such as Vampire Tales (Morbius the Living Vampire stories written by Doug Moench), Dracula Lives!, Marvel Chillers, and The Son of Satan, as well as fantasy and adventure titles like Skull the Slayer, The Savage Sword of Conan, and Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. Other highlights of Trinidad's tenure at Marvel included "Hellfire Helix Hex!," written by John Warner, for Marvel Presents #2 (Dec. 1975); in addition, Trinidad inked the feature story (written by Bill Mantlo and penciled by Tom Sutton) in Man From Atlantis #1 (Feb. 1978).[7]

Trinidad was often hired to do adaptations. One of his biggest commissions was the black-and-white magazine one-shot Marvel Movie Premiere, which featured his and writer Marv Wolfman's adaptation of the 1975 movie The Land That Time Forgot. With writer Roy Thomas and penciler John Buscema, Trinidad adapted Robert E. Howard's "The Pool of the Black One" in Savage Sword of Conan #22–23 (Sept.–Oct. 1977). And with writer Doug Moench, Trinidad adapted H. G. Wells' The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth for Marvel Classics Comics #22 (1977).[7]

I think you'll agree that man left us a feast for our eyes.



  1. I haven't seen much of Trinidad's work, but his Conan stuff was pretty good; I like the dinosaur/Savage Land splash above ... great detail.

  2. Hiya,

    Oh wow. Great subject for the day. I first 'met' Trinidad on several color comics, such as Son of Satan and Skull the Slayer. Did a solid job on both, especially considering that he was doing a full embellish rather than a direct ink. But that issue of Kazar that he did over John B. was absolutely outstanding. The man definitely deserved a crack at the full color Conan book.

    Now, after having said all of that, I definitely preferred his black and white work, especially when he got to do full pencils and inks. His pages had a rich lushness that bordered upon a sweet decadence that is hard to describe.

    But I'm going to try.

    You've got to understand that I infinitely preferred the art of the Filipino artists over the Spanish Invasion that occurred some years earlier. The Spaniards were technically more proficient, in my opinion, than their Asian brethren. But artists such as Trinidad, Chan, Alcala and others had a vitality and story telling ability that put them easily at the top of the pack.

    I hope that this doesn't make me sound sexist, but gravity worked in the world drawn by Trinidad and it was readily apparent in the women that populated it. Unlike many of his contemporaries the figures rendered by Trinidad had a lush reality that definitely resonated with me.

    Great subject for the day.



  3. Some truly fine work there. I'd agree with PFG regarding a preference for his black-and-white renderings. Ah, that Morbius page is wonderfully atmospheric...

  4. I must admit I didn't pay as much attention to Trinidad as I did some of his other Filipino brethren, but I'm liking him more and more as the years go on, as I investigate all this b/w stuff I missed. Those last two pieces are amazing!
    BTW, thanks for clearing up the mystery of his name - I always knew 'Sonny Trinidad' had to have been an alias!

  5. This photo is wrong. This man pictured acted in movies such as Ace Ventura 2

  6. Thank you. The post has been updated.



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