Shaiana first appeared in 1995 as a supporting character in Entity Comics' 4-part cosmic epic Aster. Originally slated to be killed off, the heroine proved popular enough that she was given a stay of execution and eventually spun-off into her own 4-issue mini-series that same year.
But wait, wasn't Entity Comics an American publisher? Why is this being covered here? That's because the comics themselves were created right here in the Philippines. Both Aster and Shaiana were produced by the Philippine-based C.A.T.S. Studios.
Shaiana was co-written by Eric Duen with C.A.T.S. publisher and comic store proprietor Billy Lim-It. The first issue was illustrated by 2 artists, including Efren "Jay" Anacleto, who inked the book and pencilled 6 pages.
But most of issue no.1 was drawn by an artist who is actually very famous in the Philippines, albeit in another field of entertainment outside of comics.
Shaiana #1 was this artist's only professional comic book work, although he did recently contribute a piece to the Typhoon Ondoy benefit book Renaissance: Ang Muling Pagsilang, which was covered here a couple of months ago.
So just who is this mystery artist? Well, he's a man of many names as he is of many talents. His real name is Beethoven Bunagan. The comic credits him as Toybits. But he is best known to many Filipinos as Bitoy...
Yes! It's singer/actor-comedian