Monday, December 20, 2004

Tony DeZuniga

Tony DeZuniga

"...and spoil the CHILD!"
pencilled by Mark Silvestri
inked by Tony DeZuniga
The House of Mystery #292
May 1981

This will the first of many features on Tony DeZuniga, a very talented artist who was instrumental in introducing the art of Filipino Comics Art to the world. DC Editors were so impressed by Tony's work when he first worked for them in the late 60's-early 70's that they asked if there were any more like him back home in the Philippines. Tony accompanied DC Publisher Carmine Infantino and editor Tony Orlando to the Philippines in the 70's on a talent scouting expedition which proved fortuitous for the likes of Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala and Alex Niño, who were soon making work for DC.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Lico Reloj

Lico Reloj

Lico Reloj is probably one of the most promising cartoonists I've seen in a long time. And I don't say this lightly. You don't see me gushing profusely at just about any young kid who does some drawings and slaps on some words on them.

Lico's talent is something quite special. He makes me laugh. He makes me REALLY laugh. He comes from a new generation of jokesters who don't depend on tired old cliches of cartooning. While his drawing is still rough around the edges, the quality and humor of his work is unmistakable. And he never seems to run out of them, and that is one mark of a truly gifted jokester.

Some of his jokes do tend to be in-jokey, which you probably won't appreciate if you don't know the people he is spoofing, or you probably won't get if you don't have a certain level of geekery in you, but I think with work and time, he can channel his writing ability on a more general level which can be appreciated by a much wider audience.

I think Lico has it in him to go on and do great things. And I'm really hoping that it will happen.

Check out Lico's stuff at his DeviantArt page!

My advice to Lico.... develop your drawing even more, and never stop writing! I want to be entertained by your strips for as long as I live.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Jim Lee on Inkers

I Love Jim Lee

Because He Respects Inkers

You all know Jim Lee. He's just probably one of the most influential comic book artists to emerge in the 90's and literally changed the face of comics and he's still at it today.

Over at his blog, he has been talking about inkers and how he frowns at some companies' decisions to do away with inkers and color directly on the pencils. There's pretty much an industry wide and fandom wide disrespect for inkers and I think it's got to do with the fact that people actually don't understand what we do. Do we just trace or what?

Well, Jim has issued a challenged to everyone. He's uploaded a high resolution copy of a pencilled page from Superman/Batman and he challenges anyone to take a crack at inking it. I think he's on to something. For someone to understand what inkers do, the best way is for them to try it themselves.

Do you want to try? Click below!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Lastikman Launching

Lastikman Launching

Me and Arnold messing up somebody's copy.

I'm praying that this guy (Fero) buys another copy.

Thanks to everyone who came to the launch and bought their copies! Thanks as well to those who came even though you weren't able to buy a copy, your presence there means a lot to us.

It's very nice to meet people I've met online and people I've already met before. Forgive me if don't remember all your names right away, but rest assured I know you all by face.

I was able to check out the printed comic book myself yesterday at the launch and below I wrote a self review of it. he.he.

Thanks to AZ for the pics! Waah! I have no pictures I took myself because my camera's broke. I'll get myself a new one by February.

LASTIKMAN: A Self Review


A Critical Self Review
Spoilers! Don't read if you don't want to be spoiled on some story elements.

I'm pretty sure reviews of Lastikman will be forthcoming after the comic book gets more widely circulated. The schedule on it was pretty tight and the copies that arrived yesterday at the launching were literally HOT off the presses, as printing continues for the week. I actually haven't seen and read the comic in its printed form before then. So there I was reading it as people were giving their talks at the launching ceremony.

So what did I think? I gotta say, Arnold's art really just rocks. I mean, bow ako. Same goes for Ed's coloring. It really is a nice looking comic book. But I must admit, there are things about the writing that I wish I could fix. Reading through it I felt like I was rushing to finish everything in one go. I think this was a story that could best be served being told in 4 issues (wishful thinking!), but I think if I had maybe an additional 15 to 20 pages, I could try and make the story flow more to my satisfaction.

I'd devote more pages to Lastikman's adaption to the society, specially the reaction of the people in general, the development of the perceived threat, and more choreography of the battle scene at the end. Kasi parang may kulang over all.

There are some minor errors in the lettering, specially when Atomika is confronting Lastikman, a couple of balloons pointing to Atomika should be pointing to Lastikman.

There were some balloon placements that I think could be done better, because some words that should be read second gets read first and or vice versa. It's all a matter of placing the balloons in the right places to tell a story in an order and pace that I like. It's a writer's responsiblity that I unfortunately was not able to take care of this time around. If we will be doing another comic book in the future, I'll be directly supervising this aspect of production and more.

Those are probably the only technical errors I know, but everything else stems from my own personal opinion of the comic book.

Although this isn't really my first writing gig, it is my first writing gig where I'm handling a popular character drawn by someone else. It's a continuing learning process for me, and this particular project taught me a LOT about writing for comics like this.

I welcome all thoughts on Lastikman, specially thoughts on what you think doesn't work, what's bothering you about it and opinions on what you think should be done to fix it. Post comments below, or email me. Wag kayo mahiya. :)

gerryalanguilan at yahoo dot com.

At any rate, I'm extremely proud of this comic book and I'm very happy at how it all turned out, errors and all, and I'll be actively promoting it whenever I can. Artist Arnold Arre and colorist Edgar Tadeo created something truly exceptional with the art, and they breathed a kind of life into the story that went beyond what I had imagined. Thanks guys! Thanks also to Ryan Orosco for some invaluable assistance. And thanks to Zach, Mr. Hugo Yonzon and Mango Comics for the opportunity. I hope we could do more!

Monday, December 13, 2004

The El Indio Project

The El Indio Project

After finishing inking Batman, I came back to working on scanning and restoring El Indio. El Indio is a story written and illustrated by Francisco V. Coching that saw print on the pages of Pilipino Komiks from 1953-1954. The Francisco V. Coching Foundation, in cooperation with Komikero Publishing, is compiling the complete story in one volume, for publication next year. Hardly any original art exists for this story, so I'm scanning from the original printed comics pages.

For a long time I had no idea how to go about it because when I started with page one, I realized how difficult it was going to be. The decision to do it completely in black and white was reached in agreement with the Coching Foundation. This meant stripping out the color on some of the pages.

As is typical of many Philippine Comics of this time, some stories had two pages in color, and the rest in black and white. The coloring is mostly limited to shades of red and grey. To achieve a look of consistency for the entire book, it was necessary to make all the pages black and white.

It took a lot of trial and error to get the result I thought were OK. I even consulted with a comics art restorer who did work on Fantagraphic's B. Krigstein Comics and he gave me a lot of really valuable tips.

Oftentimes, I need to go in and clean certain sections of the page pixel by pixel just to make the art over all to look good. I'm pretty happy with how the pages look so far.

More on this later.

Sunday, December 12, 2004



I was asked to write Lastikman very early last year. I had already thought up a story shortly after then, but it wasn't until early this year was I asked to come up with a complete script. We set out to introduce new character in the story, a character that was strong enough on its own character-wise and powers-wise so it could possibly stand on its own in case we needed to spin it off in the future.

So it was then I came up with the name of Elastika, along with a description of her character, her background and her powers. Some may find the name cheesy, but it was fully intentional. We needed a name that seemed bombastic enough that would not only be easy to remember, but it would also appeal to younger readers.

I do realize that there's a band called Elastika, as Budjette Tan pointed out to me later on, but it I think it would be OK since it's a totally different thing all together.

Arnold Arre took my description of Elastika's character and came up with an awesome rendition, here colored by Edgar Tadeo.

I was progressing leisurely with the writing of the script when Zach Yonzon, Mango Comics Editor told me that we needed to fast track the script so we can release the comic book by December. We just found out that a movie of Lastikman is being made for the Film Festival in December. At the time we didn't know who was going to play Lastikman but we knew it wasn't Vic Sotto. We needed Lastikman to come out when the buzz on the movie is the strongest. This is probably the best free advertisting we can have for the comic book.

But anyhow, by October, we learned much to our shock, that the movie is going to use a female villain named LASTIKA. We collectively went, what the FUCK! A leak? A coincidence? I was pretty aggravated myself for the first 30 minutes, but I thought well, let's just make up another name. They still tried to get the name Elastika copyrighted as a comics character, but in the end, we just decided to let it go. There was no use in bothering with all the fuss and it wasn't really worth making enemies because of this thing.

I already had a new name in mind anyway. It sounds even more bombastic, and everyone seems to like it. So we ended up using that instead. What's the name? Come to the Lastikman launching this Tuesday to find out! he.he.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Nestor Redondo's DIWANI

Nestor Redondo's DIWANI

Written and Drawn by Nestor Redondo
Hiwaga Komiks, 1953

Diwani is regarded as another one of Nestor Redondo's masterpieces. The illustrative quality and realistic amount of detail remains impressive to this day. Nestor was never so detailed before or since.

I strongly believe that he was inspired to try this manner of illustration with the arrival of Fred Alcantara in the local komiks scene from the advertising field. Fred was at the time highly regarded for his ultra-realistic and profusely rendered ads of Coca-Cola, Ginebra San Miguel and various other ads. He did very few comics stories, but what few he did so staggered not only that generation of comics artists, but generations that followed.

His influence on Redondo in Diwani is remarkably evident in this story. But while Fred's figurework was somewhat stiff, with Redondo employing this style accompanied by his graceful figurework he produced a piece of work that is extraordinary.

CLICK HERE for a gallery of full page scans from this story.

Tulisan by Nestor Redondo

Before Lara Croft There Was....

Written by Pablo S. Gomez
Drawn by Nestor Redondo
Hiwaga Komiks, 1961

Friday, December 10, 2004

Francisco V. Coching

The Classic Pinoy Look in Komiks
Francisco V. Coching
Pilipino Komiks #236, June 16, 1956

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Lastikman Launching

Mars Ravelo's Lastikman Comic Book Launch!

Mango Comics invites you to the launch of its latest title for 2004, Mars Ravelo's Lastikman!

Just in time to celebrate the 40th year Anniversary of Mars Ravelo's fantastic, elastic creation, Mango Comics is proud to bring Lastikman back to the pages of comics in full color. Created in 1965, Lastikman comes to life through the writing of acclaimed comic book creator and inker Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted, Superman: Birthright), the art of two-time National Book Award winner Arnold Arre (Mythology Class, Trip to Tagaytay), and the brilliant colors of the talented Edgar Tadeo (Wolverine, Silver Surfer).

This special 56-page one shot pays homage to the original story of one of the country's most popular superheroes, and features a cameo from Mango Comics' newest creation. Mango Comics' Mars Ravelo's Lastikman is made possible in part through generous contributions to the Support Filipino Comics Program.

Be there as we celebrate 40 years of walastik superheroism! December 14, Tuesday, 4pm at PowerBooks Live! Greenbelt 4, Makati.


All right! There's actually going to be a launch of something I wrote! Awesome! Wasted had it's own launch back in 1998 and while it was small and intimate, I thought it was appropriate. This Lastikman launch is quite something else. It's going actually going to be at Powerbooks! Coolness! What self respecting writer doesn't want his book to be launched at Powerbooks? Well, maybe one or two, but well.... Arnold is an old hand at this, having had launched his book After Eden there, and actually made a Powerbooks tour as well.

Now here's hoping the book doesn't suck! Well, I'm pretty sure the art won't suck because I've seen all of if, and holy crap, they're absolutely terrific.

We hope you could come, check the comic book out, and let us know what you think. See you there!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Mwahaha! #4

Mwahaha #4

Mwahaha, the bimonthly comic magazine from Mango Comics, is available now!

Mwahaha Laughs at the Movies features work from the country's top cartoonists and illustrators. With new episodes of Gerry Alanguilan's Johnny Balbona, Tonton Young's Polly's Report, Rene Aranda's Mokong's World and Manix Abrera's Kirot ng Kapalaran. New art from the Singapore Strait Times' Dengcoy Miel, more jokes from Manny Francisco, and new submissions from Steven Pabalinas and Steph Bravo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Other features include how to get an iPod Mini! An interview with the lovely Amanda Griffin!

More pages! More jokes! More kalokohan!

Mwahaha 4 is available at your favorite book, magazine, or comic stores. Ask for it! P60 lang!

Petronilo Z. Marcelo

Petronilo Z. Marcelo

Ang Biyenan Kong Amerikana
Written by Mars Ravelo
Pilipino Komiks, 1955

Mga Ligaw Na Bulaklak
Written by Carlos Gonda
Pilipino Komiks #251, January 12, 1957

Written by Mars Ravelo
Pilipino Komiks #236, June 16, 1956

Petronilo "P.Z." Marcelo is known for delicately detailed faces and figures in simple layouts that are easy on the eyes. Proponents of such a style include J.C. Calauag, Elpidio E. Torres, and much later, Mar Santana. Personally, I find this style quite appealing and P. Z. Marcelo is easily one of my favorite artists of this time.

Federico C. Javinal

Federico C. Javinal

MagpaKailan Man
Story by A.S. Tenorio
Art by Federico C. Javinal
Hiwaga Komiks #96, June 2, 1954

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Teny Henson

Teny Henson

Love Story Illustrated Magazine #6, October 8, 1971

Teny Henson was popular for the clean, stylish art that he employed in the stories he illustrated, a style in Philippine Comics that became popular in the late 60's to the mid 70's. Proponents of such style include Floro Dery and Ading Gonzales (Adrian Gonzales).

Teny is the artist featured on the museum's front page. Click Here.

Nestor Redondo

Nestor Redondo

Written by Virgilio Redondo
Drawn by Nestor Redondo
Espesyal #173, May 25, 1959

Fred Carrillo

Fred Carrillo

Kayumangging Krisantemo
Komiks Novel by Clodualdo Del Muno
Drawn by Fred Carrillo
Espesyal Komiks #112
January 21, 1957

Alex Niño

Alex Niño

Prinsipe Amante
A Komiks Novel by Clodualdo Del Mundo
Drawn by Alex Niño
Pilipino Komiks #432, April 1, 1965

Batman, Lastikman, Marty McFly

Batman/Danger Girl

I've finally inked my last line on this book and it's all done. WHEW! These pages took far more time to finish than a typical Superman: Birthright page because of the sheer amount of detail that Leinil chose to employ. I'm not one to complain because the end result is bound to blow some bat fans away, hopefully! The amount of detail is something I'm familiar with when I was working with Whilce. His detail is just extraordinary and to be honest, it's something I'm comfortable with because I'm a detail freak myself.

I was thrilled to work on Superman, and of course, it's terrific I got to do Batman next. But I don't know who this Danger Girl is. I've heard of her, and I have heard a lot of people, including Warren Ellis, say it's a lot of fun to read. I'd read it, but for some reason, I'm not just inclined to. I don't know why really.

Inking has been great, I've done it for a long time and I've got to work with a lot of talented people. For years I've been seriously thinking of moving on to drawing full time and through the past few years I've drawn some stories on the side. There was Ochlocrat in 2002, the Bram Stoker and O. Henry stories for Graphic Classics, stories for Siglo: Freedom and Siglo: Passion, and Johnny Balbona for Mwahaha! Now that Batman is done, I'm about to start on a personal project that I've wanted to do since last year, before Leinil and I start on our next project. I'm becoming more and more comfortable with drawing, and hopefully, I can do this full time in the next two years.

Drawing (and writing) my own stories have been extremely fulfilling for me as an artist. While I enjoy and still enjoy inking, and I know that it is *not* tracing, the artistic fulfillment there is not as great as when I do my own drawing. I still can't help but feel that although I do get to use whatever artistic skills I may have, I'm still following the lead of another artist. I don't get to create, and I don't get to contribute in any significant way to the look of the art.

I'm happy though, that I get to write more in the past couple of years, specially on Johnny Balbona, Siglo, and what is probably my biggest writing gig yet, Lastikman.


This is a panel from a page of the upcoming Lastikman #1 from Mango Comics. It's pencilled and inked by Arnold Arre, and colored by Edgar Tadeo.

Working on Lastikman has been nothing short of fun. I've been working on my own characters for a long time now. There's Eric in Wasted, Timawa, the strange twisted version of me in Crest Hut Butt Shop and various mini comics, and more recently, Johnny Balbona. This is the first time I'm writing another person's character, and this time it's a character created by none other than Mars Ravelo, and it's a character that is now pretty much considered an icon of Philippine Comics.

Some people have speculated that I do this for the money, choosing this over creating something original. Pwah! I've *been* creating nothing but original characters for the past 10 years or more. I think it's allright if I indulge myself in seeing what I can do with someone else's characters purely out of fun. And I don't do this for the money, but for a love of this character, and out of respect for a man whose creations have enriched Philippine comics and culture.

Lastikman may be derivative of DC's Plastic Man, but not having read any Plastic Man at all in my couple of decades of reading comics puts me in the position of not having my vision colored by what had originally inspired Mars Ravelo to create him. I have based this version of Lastikman solely on the first 2 original stories written by Mars as drawn by Mar Santana, Vir Aguirre and Hermoso Pancho back in the 60's. I have not seen any of the movies by Von Serna, Vic Sotto and Mark Bautista, nor have I seen any of the strange offshoots like Michael V.'s Rubber Man and Vic Sotto's Fantastic Man. Hopefully, this would enable me to offer something that Philippine audiences have not seen before.

Lastikman will be launched sometime this December. An annoucement will be forthcoming...very soon!

Marty McFly

We all know him as a mild mannered comic book penciller, but unbeknownst to many of you, Leinil Francis Yu is also a composer, guitarist, singer and producer. He has transformed part of his house into a recording studio and together with his band Marty McFly, he has released a CD of 15 songs in which he composed, sang and played the guitar in all of them.

Leinil and his band came over here to San Pablo last week to perform and he called to tell me about it. Of course I had to see it. Not only that, he would be handing me the last 2 pages of Batman so I had to go anyway. he.he.

Komikero Radio!

Do It Again
Click on the link above to hear streaming real audio of Marty McFly's "Do It Again".

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Damned Viruses!

Damned Viruses!

If you received an email from me, most likely with a virus, originating from my address "", then it most definitely did not come from me. Some of my friends have told me that they received viruses from me from that address. Even I received an email from that address just now.

But it can't have come from me because that is an address I have NOT USED to send any messages for the past 2 or more years. However, it is now simply a forwarding address that points to my yahoo email address. And my yahoo address is the one I use to send email messages now.

What people need to understand is the kind of insidious viruses that are in play now. They are capable of sending themselves using SOMEONE ELSE's address. It could be mine. It could be yours. That doesn't mean the virus is using your computer. It's just using your address to send viruses. Where did they get your address? Most likely from address books of people whose computers ARE infected.

I update my computer's anti virus as much as two times a week so I know if my computer is infected or not.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Pinoy Komiks Artists

Thanks Mr. Romeo Tanghal Jr.!

Can Anyone Identify these Artists/Writers?

Huge HUGE thanks to Mr. Romeo Tanghal Jr., superstar inker of Teen Titans, Green Lantern, Robin and a ton of other comics from DC Comics! He sent over a package of original art, sketches, posters and photographs for the benefit of the museum. Thank you sir!

We will be featuring this stuff slowly over the coming months, and they will become a permanent fixture of the museum online and off.

Aside from this, Mr. Tanghal emailed some photographs as well, including the one featured above. I've restored it a little bit with some help from Neil. Thanks man! This was taken from a costume party held at Tony Velasquez's house during the christmas season of 1963-64. Some of the artists/writers have been identified. Can anyone help identify the rest?

For a higher resolution of this picture as well as a list of those already identified, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dennis Villegas' Vintage Komiks Shop

Dennis Villegas' Vintage Komiks Shop

Dennis Villegas and his collection of original art from vintage komiks. Congrats on your diet, Dennis! You look really thin now. Amazing!!

With Hal Santiago (in black) and his wife.

Dennis Villegas, Philippine Komiks collector and publisher (he published Tony Velasquez's Kenkoy Album) opened Annika's, a unique comic book store in which every comic sold are made by Filipinos. He also sells vintage comic books and original art from the golden age of Philippine komiks. The store had a soft opening last November 9 and will have a grand opening on December 1.

The store is located at Gallery #16, Marikina Shoe Expo Behind Rustan's Cubao and beside Ali Mall in Cubao, Quezon City.

I had planned to be there for the opening but I couldn't make it because of some pressing problems at home. Apologies Dennis! I want to let you know that I was there in spirit and rest assured I'll be your BEST customer!

Thanks to Az for the pics!

Jesse Santos, Korea Comics Festival, etc.

The World's Smallest Comic Book?

I got a huge box in the mail yesterday. It contained books, a shirt, and a couple of these really small comic books. Could they be the smallest? They fell out of the box and I thought they were just a couple of small erasers. Ilyn held one up and told me that they were actually little comic books! It's amazing! I couldn't understand them though, as they're in Korean.

They came from South Korea's Bucheon Cartoon Information Center, who just recently organized the successful 7th Bucheon International Comics Festival. They say the festival had around 70,000 visitors for the duration.

They had contacted me several months ago asking for assitance in acquiring information and reference material on Philippine comic books and I sent them several current comics collections including SIGLO: Freedom, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, Congressman Kalog, Pugad Baboy, Mang Ambo and many others. I also sent high resolution scans of the works of Francisco Coching, Alfredo Alcala etc, and a write up on the history of Philippine comics.

They invited me to the festival, and I wish I could have gone, but I was busy finishing a bunch of work before I left for Bohol. Maybe next year.

Jesse Santos

I updated the museum with artwork from DI-13 by Jesse Santos. Jesse Santos may well be the first artist in Philippine comics to apply watercolor shading to render characters. Most of the opening pages of Jesse's work feature a panel or a whole page of artwork rendered in this manner.

Click here for Jesse Santos' DI-13

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Howard Cruse

Howard Cruse

Even though this is a site dedicated to the talents of Filipino Comics Artists, every once in a while I'll be featuring a non-Filipino creator, specially if I think his or her work is worth checking out. Howard Cruse is one such creator, who wrote and drew the critically acclaimed Stuck Rubber Baby, considered as one of the 100 Best Comics of the 20th Centry by The Comics Journal.

Howard's newest comic(?) book is called "The Swimmer With a Rope In His Teeth" and it's something that's evolved beyond what is normally considered as "comics", pushing further the envelope of what this medium can do.

It's available now! For more information on the book and where it can be bought, go to Howard's site here:

The Swimmer With a Rope In His Teeth

Thursday, November 04, 2004

ALAMAT: 10 Years of Comics

ALAMAT: 10 Years of Comics

It's Alamat Comics' 10-year Anniversary today. Wow, TEN YEARS! I still remember December 1992 when I first got in touch with a growing community of comics fans and would be creators. Comics were suddenly HUGE, and everyone wanted to read and make their own comics. I fell in with a talented group of writers and artists who were creating a comic book which will eventually become Lakan, the finished but as yet unreleased title.

Through the course of two years, comics made by these young creators started to come out like Exodus, Flashpoint, P-Noize, Comics 101, Memento Mori, etc. The earliest mini comic I became aware of was Dino Ignacio's Sigaw Saklolo, a format I would later use for my own mini comic Wasted.

Whilce Portacio became the catalyst through which these varied group of creators be united under one banner: ALAMAT COMICS, officially formed in 1994.

10 years later, we are still here and we are STILL creating and publishing comics, even though most of these comics were never done to make money, but for the sheer love of comics and sharing stories and art with other people. Alamat isn't a typical comics publishing company in that we have to release titles on a regular basis and we have an office where we have salaried employees. Alamat is simply an anchor through which individual creators publish their own comics out of their own pocket.

Alamat is a support group composed of creators who help each other out in their respective projects. To this day, all my mini comics carry the Alamat logo, and all my self published stuff in the future will carry it.

We may not have been successful in coming out with a comic to commemorate our anniversary as we have planned, but I'm confident that everyone will see comics created by this group of people who love the medium and has a sheer passion for creating them.

Here's some pictures from the early days of Alamat:

Circa 1994. Wow, how thin we all were back then! Jeez! From left: Mark Gatela, Budjette Tan, ?, Arnold Arre, Brandie Tan, Gerry Alanguilan, Whilce Portacio, Ian Orendain, Chris Bernardo, John Toledo, Oliver Pulumbarit and Alex Manabat.

Alamat Comics 4-day Exhibit at Robinson's Galleria, circa 1995

The Lakan Booth, I'm the one next to the guy in stripes.

Mark Gatela and Arnold Arre at the Comics 101 booth.

David Hontiveros (in black) and the Flashpoint gang at the Flashpoint booth.

The LAKAN Booth with a bunch of still unreleased artwork. I still feel bad about Lakan not being released inspite of the fact that the artwork have all been finished. Even from this picture you can see how AWESOME some of this art is. I'm confident that it will be released somehow in the future. I'll make sure it does and it doesn't matter how many bones I break!

Happy Anniversay guys! Here's to 10 and MORE years! :)

Monday, November 01, 2004

More Oktoberfest Pics!

More Oktoberfest Pics!

Click here for larger image of above.

Johnny wants to be eaten as newest Komikera Therese gets her face painted courtesy of Jac.

Jac gives Carla, Ilyn's cousin a face painting.

Mylene and Johnny

Gerry's Angels

The last day of Komikero's public display of the Philippine Comics Art Museum was yesterday and it proved to be quite surprising and fun day all around. Early in the day tricycle drivers looking for passengers were stopping in front of the booth, getting down and checking out the exhibit. All of them were pleasantly surprised at seeing bits and pieces of their childhood on display and they animatedly talked about how they used to read them when they were kids. One particular driver happily pointed out dates of the issues of the comics, saying things like "I was grade 3 when this came out! I was kinder on this one!"

Another particular driver stopped in front of the booth and started looking for issues of THOR. We had a bunch of old (and newish) Marvel, DC, and Image, as well as some Alamat Comic, my comics and indies form the Komikeros. The guy happily looked through most of them. He ended up buying a couple of comics before he got back on his tricylce and drove off.

Younger kids find themselves very impressed with the works of Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Alex Niño and are surprised to realize Filipino artists are really *really* good. People pass by all day reminiscing of the days when the read comics and they just hung out to talk comics, and check out the exhibits.

Late komiks writer L.P. Calixto's wife and children, as well as L.P.'s frequent collaborator, komiks artist Rudy Florese's entire family visited the booth and it was one of the highlights of the exhibit.

It's this kind of response that convince me that a museum on comics here in San Pablo is truly worth having, and something that could be much appreciated by people from all walks of life.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

San Pablo Oktoberfest!

San Pablo Oktoberfest!

I got a couple of booths for the Oktoberfest/Food and Art and etc. Festival here in San Pablo City from Oct. 27 to 31. I saw it as an opportunity to publicly preview the Philippine Comics Art Museum and gauge the reaction of the people to it. The Komikero group can use the booth as well to sell their mini comics, caricatures, back issues, postcards, books and so on. Ilyn is taking the opportunity to sell her hand made cards, and dispose of read books.

The response, I'm glad to say, has been very encouraging. Visitors were amazed at some of the old komiks and artwork on display. Older visitors felt nostalgic and talked about komiks they had loved when they were younger, and younger visitors were very impressed by artists they are seeing for the first time like Nestor Redondo and Alfredo Alcala.

Our San Pablo City postcards received quite a bit of attention as well. Nobody really makes postcards of San Pablo City scenery and the reaction to them were quite surprising. A lot of them couldn't believe how beautiful Sampalok Lake is. Someone really couldn't believe it and was convinced I "edited" the pictures on the computer to make them look good. He only has to go to the other side of the park just to see how beautiful that lake is. :) At any rate, we sold quite a bit of those postcards.

I also took this chance to work on my Batman/Danger Girl pages, and make that part of the exhibit. A lot of people, specially the younger kids and students, were very interested in seeing how an actual comic book page is inked. Having people watch you work can get unsettling at times, but it did prod me to work really hard and I ended up finishing more than what I normally would back home.

Thanks to Johnny, Geoff, Jerald and Mylene for helping out the first couple of days!

We still got two more days to go. Anybody is welcome to drop by! Our spot is between the Municipal Hall and the Doña Leonila Park. Here are some pictures from it:

Setting up the booth with the help of our UAP OJTs. Komikero Jerald supervises.

Inking Batman/Danger Girl. That man hung out there for a long time.

Ilyn and Komikero Mylene selling postcards and books.

Girls like comics!

If you want to drop by and don't know how to get here, check out these directions:

Get to where the Municipal Hall is and we're just sitting next to it. See you!

Friday, October 29, 2004


Is This What You Want?

Comic Book Artist Magazine, published by Top Shelf publications in the United States, is one of the premiere magazines on comic book artists from all over the world. In it's latest issue, #4 cover dated September 2004, the magazine devotes nearly the entire issue on the art of Philippine comic book art and artists.

Here are some excerpts:

"...the Philippine 'school' of artists (in the 70's), a stunningly talented group of men who made an immediate and lasting impression on the industry and among appreciative readers. Strange sounding names -- DeZuniga, Niño, Redondo, Alcala, etc.-- would quickly become familiar and quite welcome..."

"As a group, these Asian artists were astonishingly accomplished and talented almost beyond measure. Certainly the top three talents -- Redondo, Niño and Alcala -- stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any comic book artist the world over, bowing their heads to no one."

"What the Filipinos shared was a good, solid and usually (Niño excepted) conventional approach to storytelling, exceptional draftmanship, and exuberant florid brushwork which harked back to the golden years of magazine illustration in the first few decades of the 20th Century."

"...the traditional Filipino style is all but dead."

"Manga have greatly influenced the market, generating a genre called Pinoy manga (Philippine manga), new companies and titles such as Culture Crash, Questor, etc., and a batch of cartoonists following the Japanese style of drawing."

Observations from an objective third party, not mine.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Grafiction, Graphic Novel, etc.

Grafiction, Graphic Novel, etc.

The term "graphic novel" to refer to book length comics has been around for many years now, and it's part of an effort to uplift comics as a medium in the eyes of the reading public. The latest term to come into play is "grafiction", a term that has been coined by a friend of mine, and SIGLO: Freedom is one of the very first comic book projects to to use the term to refer to it.

I think it is a good thing that there are comic book creators out there who do see the general perception of comics as a problem in getting comics recognition as a legitimate form of art, and it is something that is no longer just for kids.

And I'm really glad that there are many creators who do create material that are of a more sophisticated nature, and tackle more issues that are not normally associated with comics.

However, I am a little bit uncomfortable with using the term "grafiction" or "graphic novel" or any term that tries to uplift comics by changing the term by which comics is called. For better or for worse, the product that we create *is* comics or comic books. That is what the medium we all love to read and create is called. And people will know it to be comics for a long time to come. Probably for all time.

Imagine a scenario in which you are approached by someone and you are asked what work you do. You answer "I'm a grafictionist." or "I'm a graphic novelist". And you show them a sample of your work. More often than not, the reaction you will get are "But...but this is COMICS." or "Ah! Comics!" And I can tell you some of them will come away with the feeling that they have been a little bit deceived.

COMICS is what we do, for better or for worse. And we are already creating stories that uplift comics. I think it would be nice to try and uplift the term as well. Comics is a name that I think is worth fighting for, a term that is worth uplifting. It's a word that we have to be proud of using. Meanings of words change over time. The meaning of "comics" can change as well, specially if we create more stories and art that continue to push the envelope of what we can do in this medium. It may take a long time, but it is a road that I'm prepared to take.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bad Phone, Bad!

Bad Phone, Bad!

If you have been trying to get in touch with me via text message, don't be pissed if I don't answer back. Globe has been down here in my area for the past couple of days. When there is a signal, I get messages, but messages refuse to get sent, and calls don't connect. I don't know how long this is gonna be. So if you text me, I'll probably answer via email for the meantime.

I can't use PLDT either because for some reason, my long distance has been disabled (even though my bills are paid).

Do I get smart and get Smart?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Back from Bohol!

Back From Bohol!

At Panglao Island, Bohol

Just got back last night. What a crazy, fun week! I was ready to get fired because of the amount of time I was gone. A week may not be much, but it may well be 10 years for someone who works in comics. I still had a lot of work to do, but if Ilyn and I didn't take this break at this time, we both would have gone crazy. At any rate, it was all worth it. We had a GREAT time! More pictures at my personal blog.

It seems I still have my job, at least some of it, and I'm just raring to get cracking at the desk again. Later!