13 COVERS: An ERNIE CHAN Birthday Celebration

The Bronze Age artist was born July 27, 1940.


Ernie Chan (or Chua, as he was often known because of a bureaucratic error) is, in all likelihood, nobody’s favorite Batman artist.

I’m not trying to be mean. It’s almost certainly the truth.

Here was an artist whose time as primary Batcover artist followed Neal Adams’ time on the character and predated Marshall Rogers’. Jim Aparo, another major Batman artist, held the reins on Brave and the Bold and also manned the drawing table on many other Batcovers of the era. Dick Giordano was frequently in the mix, as well.

But Chan, who died in 2012, was a part of my childhood too — for his covers and his interiors — and for that I want to give my posthumous thanks.

Chan’s work on Conan is better regarded than a lot of his DC material. But I knew him from Batman, and so here is our 13 COVERS salute …

Vince Colletta inks. One of my favorite -- if not my favorite -- Batman Family covers.

Vince Colletta inks. One of my favorite — if not my favorite — Batman Family covers.


Colletta inks

Colletta inks


Colletta inks

Colletta inks


Another Batman Family favorite.




Frank Giacoia inks

Frank Giacoia inks




Cover images and credits from the underappreciated Grand Comics Database.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Interesting how Ernie could adjust his style. I always thought he drew/inked lumpy looking muscles on Conan and other Marvel work. He adopted the sleaker DC style too it seems.

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  2. His covers were my intro to DC. The first comic I ever bought, SUPER TEAM FAMILY #7 I believe, he was the cover artist. It featured the Composite Superman & I was instantly hooked! His time as DC cover artist is my Golden Age. His work for Marvel was a different & has it’s own merits but the DC work is what I remember so fondly. Just seeing those Batman covers & seeing his name makes me smile.

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  3. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Batman #279 was the first Batman comic I ever bought, and I’m sure that Ernie’s exciting cover was a big part of why I made that purchase! His inking over Sal Buscema on Hulk about a year later also solidified my love for that character; I was lucky enough to have him sign a copy of Hulk #214 (my first Hulk) in 2011.

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  1. 13 COVERS: An ERNIE CHAN Birthday Celebration | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] posted a 13 COVERS birthday salute (click here) more out of a sense of duty than desire, not realizing…

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