Sunday, May 30, 2004

Alex Niño
Cover, Tagalog Klasiks Magasin # 427
May 26, 1967

Wraparound covers in Philippine Komiks were commonplace and above example by Philippine and international comics legend Alex Niño is just one in hundreds of such covers. I've yet to trace when it was first used, but it started to become most prevalent in the early 60's, specially with the komiks published by CRAF Publications on such titles like Redondo Komixs, Alcala Fight Komixs, and Craf Klasix.

CRAF comes from initials of 4 comics creators who incorporated to form their own comics company when pioneering company ACE Publications closed down. They are composed of Tony Caravana, Amado Castrillo, Virgilio and Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala and Jim Fernandez.


By the way, the Filbar's Anniversary thing is tomorrow! See you all there. Just scroll down if you're just tuning in to see the details of the event.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Prophecy Anthology 1

I just received my copy of Prophecy Anthology #1 yesterday and I had no idea how beautiful this book is. And how LARGE. It's twice the size of the standard comic book, it has full color and black and white artwork on 188 thick glossy pages. So it's quite heavy too!

This book contains two stories which I both wrote and drew. It's quite significant for me because although I've been working in US comics for like 10 years now, this is my very first writing credit.

The book also has the work of other Filipinos like Edgar Tadeo, who at the time he did this may well have been still inking X-men, but nowadays he's a colorist who has worked on many Image and Marvel books. He is currently coloring Silver Surfer over another fellow Filipino Lan Medina.

Prophecy Anthology also features the work of Cebu-based Carlo Borromeo in his very first writing credit. This will be a writer to watch out for!

Arriving in the mail at the same time is veteran Filipino Komiks illustrator Tony DeZuniga's art book Concepts: Tony DeZuniga. This portfolio book features full page illustrations that Tony did just this year. And man, the man can still draw and I swear, he's far better now than he ever was. Looking at his work you can easily see there's still an energetic young man at the helm of this veteran's hand. Tony here can run rings around any young upstart and I won't be surprised if he gets lots of offers now that this book is out.

Who says 70's era Filipino Komiks art is all washed up? It's really frustrating when I encounter editors and agents who dismiss this style as something that will never sell today. Tony is but an example that shows this isn't true. Take Rudy Nebres. His style is more evocative of that "70's" Pinoy style than anything else. And yet he was taken by Cross Gen to illustrate a whole double sized issue of Crossgen Chronicles. Granted Crossgen is teetering on the edge, but still, that shows us that Rudy can still hold his own and hold it well.

Why else would Alex Niño be illustating a graphic novel with best selling author Kevin J. Anderson? Why would Kevin and their publisher mess with Alex if him and his style are all washed up?

All this is just perception, and a mistaken perception at that, that a lot of people mindlessly hold on to. A lot of these artists still have a LOT to offer and they can still kick ass if they are given the chance.

Tony's book Concepts: Tony DeZuniga can be bought at Bud Plant's Site.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Classic Komiks Reprints

Francisco V. Coching's Lapu Lapu

Aside from collecting material for the Philippine Komiks Art book and museum, one of the things being planned are reprints of some classic komiks "novels". A regular visitor to this site, Dennis Villegas, has some concrete plans for such reprints, the first being a reprint of what may well be the very first comic book ever published in the Philippines. And no, it's not Halakhak, but a compilation of Kenkoy strips by Tony Velasquez that was printed in 1938, a full 8 years before Halakhak. This is an extremely rare comic book that is currently being reprinted and should be available in the next few months to the general public. This has been done with the permission and full cooperation from Tony Velasquez's widow, who had provided much of the material that will be reprinted.

Dennis has other exciting plans for other properties which I will announce here when the time comes. The opportunity has come my way to be able to do something similar with the works of other creators, and the creator whose work I most want to reprint would be Francisco V. Coching. And of his works, those that immediately jump to me are Lapu Lapu, El Indio and Sabas: Ang Barbaro.

If I do manage to get permission for it (which Dennis assures me won't be too difficult), this is certainly one of things that I want to do. At this point, I would like to hear some suggestions from visitors of this blog about what they would like to see in such a reprint book. Would you like to see it colored? And by colored I mean how they would color it back then if they had the means and the money. What supplements would you like to see? In what format would you like to read it? Do you like it to be translated in English or would you prefer it to remain Tagalog? Let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Filbar's at 25 Years!

I would like to invite everyone to the Filbars 25th
anniversary to be held at the Glorietta activity
center on Monday, May 31, 2004 from 1pm-7pm.

Original Comic Book Creation Contest
• Free registration for all Filbar's Power Club members
(Registration Form can be secured at
• Open to Amateurs only
• Upload entries to of no more than 10mb
• Minimum of 24 pages and no more than 32 pages per entry
• Collaboration between writer/s and artist/s allowed
• filbar's reserves the right to screen entries
• cash prizes: 1st prize-$1,000 and plaque;
2nd prize - $700 and plaque;
3rd prize-$300 and plaque

Heroclix and Super Card Game Demo
Continuous demo of the latest card games
to be conducted by Neutral Grounds

Filbar's Power Club Launching
Launching of Filbar's Power Club which is
an enhanced version of the Filbar's Comics Club.
Register at the booth during the event and avail
of a 50% discount of your membership fee, and
receive the following benefits: 10% discount for
every purchase of current issues of comics, books,
magazines, toys and cards.Free access to
website. More discount privileges to come from
forthcoming affiliate-establishment members.

note: To all existing FCC members, please bring
your Filbars membership cards.

Live Entertainment and Giveaways
For the early birds, there will be giveaways from
our sponsors such as wines, magazines, Mirinda
orange, bags and other surprise goodies.
• Live concert performance by Cody Moreno
and a hot band sponsored by Pulp Magazine

COSPLAY(Best in Superhero Costume Contest)
• Free registration for all Filbar's Power Club members
• Open to all ages
• 1st prize- P10,000.00 plus trophy;
2nd prize- P5,000.00 plus trophy
3rd prize- P1,000.00 plus trophy

Launching of website
• Trading Site for comic collectibles and cards
• Original Comic Creation Contest entries open to all
Filbar's Power Club members to surf and to cast their votes
• Online registration to Filbar's Power Club
• Online reservation of comic orders
• Online subscription of U.S and Philippine

Children's Book Coloring Contest
• Registration will be on a first come-first served basis
• Open for children up to 10 years old
• Must be accompanied by parents during the contest
• Contest materials to be provided by Filbar's
• Prizes: 1st prize- P5,000 plus trophy;
2nd prize-P3,000 plus trophy;
3rd prize- P1,000 plus trophy

Comic Guest Artist Signing
Comic celebrity artists in attendance will sign autographs
for Filbar's Power Club members
during the event. Confirmed artists to date are:
• Gerry Alanguilan • Wilson Tortosa
• Leinel Yu • Eugene Perez

note: All Filbars products (comics, toys, magazines, cards, etc.)
will be available in this one day event.

Thanks in advance to the owner/moderators of this group for letting me
post this wholesome event. SEE YOU ALL THERE!!

-Richard Mojica
Filbars Co. & Inc.

I've been buying from Filbar's for! Since 1985? This was during the time that drawing comics professionally was something I haven't even considered yet. In a way, Filbar's helped me appreciate comics more and so helped me decide to take this comics thing more seriously. I have to say Fil Barbasa, Filbar's owner, has such a remarkable memory. I remember meeting him only once at that time and when I returned a month or so later to his Cubao branch, he knew my name, where I went to school, where I lived. Amazing!

I'll be at the anniversary. I'll be hanging out all day starting from 10am until the place closes, I think. If you're going, please feel free to come on over and jam!


Monday, May 24, 2004

Quo Vadis

In 1953, MGM Pictures comissioned ACE Publications to create a comic book preview of their hit blockbuster movie "QUO VADIS" for the Philippine market starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov. Starting with Tagalog Klasiks #91, Quo Vadis, as adapted by Clodualdo Del Mundo with art by Nestor Redondo began, ending in the next issue, for a total of 16 pages all in all.

(color tint mine)

Quo Vadis turned out to be one of the most stunning comics storytelling ever to be produced in Philippine komiks history. Many agree this to be Nestor Redondo's masterpiece, an accomplishment that he has never surpassed. MGM was so impressed by Redondo's work that he was immediately asked to fly to America to work for them exclusively as an artist. But Nestor refused, believing himself to be too young at the time.

Stay turned for a full gallery of artwork from this Nestor Redondo Masterpiece.

Thanks to Dennis Villegas and Hannibal.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Elpidio Torres

Elpidio E. Torres may not be as well known today as Nestor Redondo, Alex Niño, or Alfredo Alcala, but his talent and accomplishments were by no means inferior. In fact, he was one of the most popular komiks illustrators of his time. Incredibly prolific, Elpidio, in collaboration with legendary writer Mars Ravelo, created stores like Bondying, Mambo Jambo, Zorina, Dobol Trobol, Dyesebel, and Jack and Jill. Many of these were made into motion pictures which were made and then remade as time went on. Such is the universality and timelessness of their creations.

Some consider Elpidio as the Fernando Amorsolo of Philippine comics. He passed away in 1973.

For another sample of Elpidio's work, check out the cover he did for Tagalog Klasiks #97 in 1953 on the front page.

Friday, May 21, 2004

I have a PHLOG!

Thanks to Arnold and Cynthia for telling me that I don't need a mobile phone to have a phlog! Thanks guys!


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

If you load this blog and some of the images are not loading, specially the image pic on the left top, that means is down. But that's only for a moment so check back after an hour or so. This is still here because the blog itself is hosted at another domain,

Fred Alcantara 2

Here's 2 more pages from Fred Alcantara, both from Tagalog Klasiks 94, February 7, 1953. Taken with the first image of Fred Alcantara's art I posted a few days ago, these pages comprise one complete story. Page 1 and Page 2 has some significant damage on the lower part of the pages. While the damage on page 1 is repairable, the one on page 2 is not. I hope to find a better condition of this sometime in the future.

If you wish to see HIGH RES scans of these drawings click below:

Illustrated by Fred Alcantara
Tagalog Klasiks, Feb. 7, 1953




Monday, May 17, 2004

Wilson Tortosa is probably the nicest comic book professional I know. Scratch that. He's the nicest person that I've ever met. It always surprises me how happy he is to see happy he is to see everyone. He's always willing to help out anyone asking for critiques on their work, and he offers such assistance with enthusiasm and expertise. Yes, Wilson is VERY good. He worked with Alex Ross as he drew Battle of the Planets, and he is currently working on Tomb Raider.

This year he was given the opportunity to attend a comics convention in Detroit, the Motor-City con. He was given a Visa by the US Embassy here in the Philippines and when I last met him he was both very nervous and very excited. He said he would be travelling alone. I told him not to worry. I was travelling alone when I first went to the US and it turned out great! It's very nice there this time of year and the people he will get to meet are generally friendly. Specially when they see how friendly Wilson is. I felt really happy for the guy. I mean, he's the kind of guy that never really leaves home. It was tough trying to convince him to go to the San Pablo Comics Festival. But when he did go and saw that it was great there, he was practically brimming with glee. And that's how I imagined he would be when he finally gets to the US and attends the convention.

He even texted me a message saying he was off to the airport right before he left. The other day I imagined how thrilled Wilson must be to be at the con, and how thrilled he would be at some of the sighseeing that will come after.

Well today, I got a text message from Wilson. I thought it wow, he can text from the US! But no, he was texting from the Philippines. Upon arriving at the US, he was denied entry and was sent back. To tell you the truth, I could feel his disappointment. I could really feel it with him. What must it have been like, making another excruciatingly long plane ride after you just finished one, and all you have is the time to think about what went wrong.

You know, America, I did and still do sympathize with you at what happened in 2001. And it was perfectly understandable that you would increase security. I would too if I ran the Philippines. But it's one thing to be cautious and another thing completely to be paranoid. So paranoid that you would bar this nice kid from entering your country who wants nothing but to attend a comics convention. A COMICS convention for God's sake. He'll be there two weeks. That's all, two weeks. Was it just too much to give?

Friday, May 14, 2004

Fred Alcantara

Fred Alcantara may well be the greatest unknown Filipino comics illustrator. Most people have never heard of him, but komiks illustrators who were working at the time Fred was around cannot forget him. And each and everyone of them easily admit to Fred's talent and are all unanimous in their praise.

Sa Ngalan Ng Pag-Ibig, Page 1 of 3
Tagalog Klasiks 94, February 7, 1953

Very little is know about Fred aside from stories told about how Tony Velasquez saw Fred's work in an advertising ad and he invited Fred to work for comics. Fred worked on very few stories because Tony could not long afford his page rates. Fred's heart was more into advertising anyway so after illustrating a few stories in a span of a few years, he went back to advertising.

Fred has a well known brother named Ben Alcantara who was famous as the creator of the Gorio and His Jeepney cartoon strip.

Do you know something about Fred? Please let us know.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Vicatan Passes Away

Veteran Filipino Comics Illustrator Vic Catan Jr. (Vicatan) passed away today after suffering from a heart attack, his second in several years. He was brought to Maharlika Hospital in Taguig and confined in critical condition but he did not linger long.

Below are some of the things that he worked on.

TANI: Ang Anak ng Dagat
Superyor Komiks, circa 1960s

Robin Snyder's Revolver
Renegage Press, 1985

More of Vicatan's work on the Front Page.

Help Vicatan

Lan Medina just sent me a message telling me that comics veteran Vicatan has suffered a heart attack (his second) and is currently confined in critical condition at the Maharlika Hospital in Taguig.

Just posting this here in case anyone wants to help them out in this time of need.

Anyone know where his hospital is?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Alfredo Alcala Gallery

Pilipino Komiks #259, May 4, 1957
ACE Publications

Just uploaded is an Alfredo Alcala art gallery of his works, mostly artwork done for Philippine publications, as well as some for those he did for US companies like Marvel and Warren. There are 8 clickable links to large images with descriptions.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Vengadora part 2
Kidlat Komiks, 1968

Manila Boy Special COVER
Kidlat Komiks, 1969

Buhawi Part 5
Tagalog Klasiks 201, March 16, 1957

Boksingera Part 19
Tagalog Klasiks 181, June 9, 1956

Tres Ojos Part 1
Pilipino Komiks 175, February 13, 1954

Just some original art and komiks I've managed to put together in the last month. I haven't updated the blog in a while as I was dealing with a Superman deadline. Once we put Birthright to rest, this site will be totally redesigned and the Filipino Komiks Art and Artists Online Museum will finally be launched. :)

For a Fred Carrillo cover, check out the front page.