Saturday, March 20, 2004

No Turning Back

Alfredo Alcala
Halik ng Apoy episode 3, Page 5, Panel 4
Universal Komiks Magasin, June 6, 1969

It all started with the Comics Festival last December, I believe. The enthusiastic response to the festival was quite encouraging. I was really glad that the art of our earlier generation of artists garnered such appreciation. Personally, it increased my interest in something I was already fanatical about in the first place. I myself gained much more appreciation for it and I became further motivated to find more. We pretty much accomplished what we set out to do with the festival....and it was to share that art with a generation of Filipinos who are not even aware they exist. The number we reached that day was small, but it was good and we didn't feel like stopping there.

The thought then occured to me of putting together and publishing a book compiling the best and the greatest comics art produced by best and the greatest Filipino comic book artists. It was an idea that I talked over with the Komikero group and they in turn were very enthusiastic about it. This way we can reach a whole lot more people.

That led me to search for more art produced by those artists. I found myself doing some things I never thought I'd do. Like seek out old rare books on ebay, like for the first time in my life, buy original artwork. When I sacrificed an arm and a leg for Satan's Tears: The Art of Alex NiƱo a few months ago and I saw the book right in front of me, I knew there was no turning back. I knew I would soon run out of arms and legs to spare, and I knew I'd never stop looking.

So far I've managed to reach many of those artists and I'm so glad to see their enthusiasm and are all willing to help out. At this point that's where we are now, just gathering material and looking for artists and asking if they're willing to participate. It may take a while because we would like to get as many of them as we can, and get as many terrific artwork as we can. Hopefully we can gather enough material by next year. We will try to find publishers for it then. If we don't, we'll try and find money for it wherever we can find it, no matter what.

Nestor Redondo
Ang Lihim ng Gagamba, Episode 12
Page 5, Panel 6

This may be far FAR off in the future, but I'm already thinking of what we'll do with all the material that will eventually be collected after the book is done. I'm thinking...wouldn't it be great to have a permanent exhibit for all this art and comics? A museum perhaps? Think of it....A Philippine Comics Art Museum! Doesn't hurt to dream, does it? :) Many times in this blog I've dreamt of things I wish I could wishing I could sing good and be in a band...about wishing to have the money to restore Supreme Theater and build a kick ass cinema that will show nothing but the best movies and have a restoration house for the country's greatest films....all of that is possible, I think....but having a museum on comics is even more possible because comics and comics art are where my heart ultimately lies. It's something I can never get tired being obsessed about.

With the material I already have I can fill all the walls of our little apartment with comics art and that is a little museum right there. Ilyn is all for it and we are preparing right now to do just that. In case the guy next door moves out, we'll rent it that and place the exhibit there. Hopefully one day we can find a real place to do all this. Hopefully!


That said, I'm on the lookout for really old Philippine comics...and if you have it....original art! Liwayway, Hiwaga, Universal, Pinoy Komiks...anything and everything from 1980 and earlier. The earlier the better! If you have anything of those you're willing to part with, let me know and I'll meet with you, see your stuff and I'll see if I can buy it from you. I can be reached here:
gerry at


Thanks to Dennis Villegas for all that terrific art. These are the very first original artwork I ever bought and I gotta say I'm damned proud of them. This will hopefully be the start of what eventually be a large collection of comics and artwork that everyone will be able to see and appreciate. :)