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