Rodolfo Obrero Florese was born on April 20, 1946 in Sto. Domingo, Nabua Camarines Sur, Philippines.
Artistically inclined at an early age, he wrote, drew, lettered, colored and even bound his very first comic book Argado when he was 13 years old. A few years later, at 17, he would begin his professional career as a comics illustrator on various short stories for Aksyon Komiks. So impressed by his work, his editors gave him his first komiks novel, “Tres Cruzes” written by Leopoldo Salcedo.
A “komiks novel” in the Philippines is a large story, serialized in 4-5 page installments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. To get a novel in komiks is considered an honor because not only is your talent being recognized, but you are now able to work in comics on a more or less regular basis.
Just as Rudy was about to seemingly launch a long and sure career in comics after graduating high school, Rudy decided to go to college and take up Architecture, a career that he had truly wanted. But financial setbacks forced him to concentrate on comics, specially now that it was becoming a stable and lucrative source of employment. He took up Commercial Advertising instead, for the tools and education that a more well rounded career in comics creation required. He continued to illustrate komiks novels through his education, completing such titles as Bert Salamanca and Linda Maligna.
It was also during this time that he began illustrating some of his most artistically impressive works on Tony Velasquez’s Ang Mga Kwento Ni Kenkoy where he illustrated stories like “Naging June Bride Din Si Lola“.
Rudy married Linda Montecillo in 1970, and moved to San Pablo City in 1973. It was at this time he began illustrating stories for American publications like Korak, Son Of Tarzan, and Tarzan for DC Comics, and adaptations of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Mutiny on the Bounty for Pendulum Press. Working as he was with American companies while still being based in the Philippines, he continued to work on local publications like G. Miranda and Sons, GASI, and Atlas.
Among the local stories he illustrated were …at sumanib ang Langis sa Tubig, one of the long-running series about a Filipina governess in Italy who has a love-hate relationship with her employer. Several of the more notable works he did were Chowbar, Iguana, Luluhod Ka at Mananalangin, Parang Kaning Isusubo, Jessa, and Blusang Itim 2.
Rudy also loved writing novels and drawing them himself. These include Boy Escombro, about an overseas construction worker who experienced life in Saudi Arabia; Exkirmuz, Street Warrior, a post-Apocalyptic story of a man who struggled to fight the chaos and evils brought by the aftermath of a nuclear war; Oras Mo Na!, a story of a vigilante who fought child sexual abuse committed by foreigners, and; Meridiana, the tale of a very beautiful witch and her black magic. This last novel was unfinished, though. It had such a dark and evil story that a few pages into illustrating the story he could not continue doing it.
Aside from his work as a comic book artist, a father, and a husband, he found time to organize the youth of Brgy. San Nicolas in San Pablo City in the early 1980s. He had many activities with them including basketball leagues, Santacruzan, beach parties, and Christmas activities. He also served as barangay treasurer from 1988 to 1991.
When his son Jun and daughter Ilyn moved to Manila for their college studies, Rudy moved back to Manila to accompany them. While in there, along with various comics projects, Rudy tried his hands in animation. He worked as layout artist at Island Animation. He also drew covers for local romance pocket books.
Unable to work after suffering two strokes between 1995 and 1999, Rudy returned with his family to San Pablo City where he resided until 2003. He passed away a little after 1pm on April 4, 2003. He was 56.