Leinil Francis Yu, was born on July 31, 1977 (age 37 years) in the Philippines. He worked hard to hone his artistic skills and caught the eye of another very well known talented fellow Philippines artist Whilce Portacio (X-Men, Image Wetworks). From there it's been nothing but dreams come true for the hard working Yu! Having done COUNTLESS covers for both Marvel and DC he's also drawn some of the most iconic stories and images we've seen in modern day comics! For a man who has so much endless talent.....Leinil Yu was one of the most humble and nicest guys I've ever talked to! We got along like just normal comic nerds having a good time chatting comics.
Then at the end of this article, you'll read one of the best things I've had the privilege to EVER witness at any of the many comic cons I've been to.
So in the beginning, I hear that you won a art contest and that started you off with Whilce Portacio and him being the one who set up the deal with Marvel?
"Actually I knew of Whilce and he knew of me, the contest stuff wasn't what did it! It was all Whilce and his help. He helped me get my start at Marvel and they gave me the Wolverine series right away. It was really all due to his (Whilce) help and lessons."
One of the very first times I remember seeing and really following your work after it was the famous New X-Men Annual Widescreen comic book! All the pages and cover were sideways...it was so cool! It had not been done too often other then the Spiderman/XForce McFarlane/Liefeld crossover issues! How was that book to do and what do you think of it now?
"It's one of my most proudest works!! It was so much fun to do and refreshing...I didn't expect to do that kind of book and it took me out of my comfort zone. I met Grant Morrison long after we did that book for the first time and I remember him telling me he would have totally written that issue differently had he known I was drawing it. He would have changed it so more of the backgrounds could have been used more correctly with my artwork"
How was your time on Marvel Secret Invasion?
"You're forgetting a lot of work in between there...." Yu says with a smile.
Oh yeah....I know let me think...
"X-Men, Superman Birthright, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk"
Oh yeah!! I was just getting out of comics when those came out. You remind me now I have yet to read those
Laughing "it's cool. I had fun with those other series but Secret Invasion was a whole different thing! It was such a large crossover event, it was one of the most fun things I've ever done!! Drawing all sorts of characters....I really like that one too!"
Earlier today I got to speak with one of your good buddies...and the friendship you have with Salvador Larroca.
"He's here?" As we all turn around to see Salvador hard at work on a commission. "Yeah, I love that guy!" Laughing "I'll have to go over there and say Hi"
I see that you have worked a lot with one of Marvel's head creators. So how is working with Brian Michael Bendis? I remember the days when he was just Brian M. Bendis
Laughing "I've always had a great time working with Brian. He is an amazing writer. The only difficulty I have is making sure I have room for all his dialogue"
So he's a wordy type like Kevin's Smith then?
Both of us laughing "You could say that. Nah, Brian's great.....but I do have to work around where a lot his words might go" still chuckling.
So what does Leinil Yu want to do in the future in comics?
"Actually I would love to draw more Spiderman! I'd love to do more of him!"
I'd like to give big THANKS to Leinil Yu and his family for treating me so good and having such a good time with the interview.
Now for the very special thing that happened right when I first sat down next to Leinil for the interview. One of Yu's BIGGEST fans came up to the table and she was so visibly taken back at just being able to meet Leinil for the first time in person! She was brought to tears! Tears of JOY!! I never got her name and Leinil was so great to her. Yu, later said he had NEVER had that happen to him before. It's was one of the greatest things I had ever seen at a comic con and we all had an amazing feeling over it!! This is what comic cons are all about folks!!! If you have never been to a comic con...you just have to go!!
Interaction with his biggest fan, a great moment for Leinil Yu!!