Monday, April 25, 2005

Rudy Nebres

Rudy Nebres

Rudy Nebres' profile/bio along with a gallery of artwork has just been uploaded at the museum. Artwork includes covers and interior pages from comics published by ACE Publications and GASI in the Philippines and CrossGen Comics and Warren Publications in the United States. Click Image above or Click Here.

Detail from Rudy Nebres' ANGEL from 1984 #1, June 1978, Warren Publications.

Jessica Soho Reports
GMA 7, 8:30PM

The Komiks feature was aired tonight and it featured komiks collector/historian Dennis Villegas, comics writer Gilda Olvidado, illustrators Lan Medina, Hal Santiago, myself, cartoonist Pol Medina and a Darna featurette with Angel Locsin on the set of the Darna TV show.

The show was actually shorter than I had thought, clocking in just over 30 minutes, but I was glad that the depicted comics in a good light, celebrating the medium and giving due credit to the greats like Hal Santiago. They did not focus on the collapse of komiks as I had thought they'd do based on their initial questions.

The show did give the impression that the komiks industry isn't as big as it was before. But it's something that's true and pointless to deny. To deny that the industry has diminished would be to deny history. One cannot really try and convince people that comics is still as big as it ever was when they can see with their own eyes that comics can no longer be bought off the streets.

I'm glad that the purpose for the comics museum was mentioned, and that made it worthwhile. It's also nice to see due attention was given to someone like Lan Medina and Hal Santiago, who both have contributed a LOT to enriching Philippine comics.

Hopefully this show, shown as early it was, would give the impression that comics is still very much alive and I can only hope that some interest in the medium is once again directed this way.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Fighting Filipinos!

A poster I saw in "Brave New World 1945-1970" published by Reader's Digest. It's not really comics related, but I had this for a long time and I keep coming back to it. It looks like artwork done circa 1945 during the 2nd World War. It's a fascinating piece of vintage art. Unfortunately, the artist is unidentified. Can anybody hazard a guess who did it? The color palette and technique seems Amorsolo-ish, but it could be anybody.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Francisco V. Coching, writer and artist
Pedro Penduko
April 5, 1954

Liwayway Poll

It's great news to hear that Liwayway Magazine will continue, even though Liwayway Publications will indeed close. The magazine will continue under Manila Bulletin. As to what Bulletin has in store for Liwayway I have no idea.

But keep in mind that people working for Bulletin, and indeed a member of the owner's family is reading this blog and this may well be your chance to express in our own little way what we would like to see in the magazine. Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Personally, I sincerely hope that they do hold on to an extensive comics section. In the magazine's golden age, the comics section comprised some 25 percent of the magazine, and at one time even had a separate comics section that one could detach. I think the magazine would be the lesser for it if the comics section was reduced dramatically or removed altogether. The magazine is after all the birthplace of the Philippine comics industry, and the birthplace of such immortal characters like Kenkoy, Hagibis and Pedro Penduko (graphic above).

I would also would like to see a little change in the format. Better paper maybe, and better printing. They don't really need to go to a Fudge Magazine- like quality, but something a bit better than the current format.

How about you guys?

Join the discussion too at our message boards in a thread solely devoted to this topic!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Liwayway Lives!


"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." - Mark Twain

Apparently, mourning for the 82-year old venerable magazine Liwayway have been premature. I have since heard from several sources that while Liwayway Publishing itself will close, the magazine will continue to exist under Manila Bulletin.

This is great news! One hopes that they will not only continue it, but update the format and content to better connect with current audiences. I despaired at the thought that this magazine will discontinue and now I can't wait to see what Bulletin has in store for it.

May, June July will still be designated as Liwayway months on this site in honor of the body of work and the history behind the magazine.

Jess Jodloman

Jess Jodloman
The Sunken Pearls of Captain Hatch (Panel Detail)
Weird Mystery Tales #10, DC Comics
Feb-March, 1974

The work of Jess Jodloman is one I'm familiar with having seen his works numerous times on various DC war and mystery titles (such as the one above), but he's an artist I don't really know much about, aside from the oft-repeated trivia that he's the father of one of the Philippine's more popular singers, Lilet.

Jodloman's stye is very distinctive in its detail and sometimes other worldly quality. I enjoyed his work a lot when I was younger and I still do today whenever I see his old stuff and see art of his I've not seen before. I'll be featuring him again soon.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Liwayway Magazine 1923-2005

Liwayway Magazine 1923-2005

Hal Santiago passed on some sad news to me today. Liwayway Magazine, the birthplace of the Philippine Comic Book Industry when Kenkoy by Tony Velasquez debut on its pages in 1929, will cease publication in May 2005.

The cancellation of Liwayway will include its regional translations Hiligaynon and Bannawag. Liwayway enjoyed 82 years of much sucess and endured trying times including the Japanese occupation in World War 2. Aside from Tony Velasquez, it also made a super star out of writer artist Francisco V. Coching with his popular serials including Marabini, Hagibis and El Vibora (featured in 2004 in a stamp released by the Philippine Postal Corporation).

It was also a venue in which the talents like Alfredo Alcala, Fred Carrillo, ER Cruz, Federico Javinal, Jun Lofamia, Mars Ravelo, Nestor Redondo, Ruben Yandoc, Alex Niño and hundreds more artists flourished.

Liwayway has been a repository of some of the greatest comics art ever published in the Philippines and I'll be designating May, June and July as Liwayway months as I feature artists and artworks published in Liwayway on this journal and on the online museum.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jessica Soho Reports on Komiks

Jessica Soho Reports

On Komiks!

An upcoming episode of Jessica Soho Reports on GMA 7 (probably the next episode) will be featuring Philippine Komiks and the people behind them. I had been contacted by them for an interview and I helped them get in touch with other people knowledgable in the industry. I think they got to talk to people like Dennis Villegas and Hal Santiago. Maybe Steve Gan, maybe Gilbert Monsanto. I've actually been avoiding interviews like this because it's becoming uncomfortable each time for some reason.

I do make an exception when it's not my own work that's going to be promoted but the comics museum and classic Filipino art. It's specifically what they had wanted to talk to me about so I agreed.

I had initially been put off by their advance questions, questions about formerly huge and prosperous comics companies that are now closed, questions about formerly popular writers and artists and now don't have work. I started to see a kind of trend in the questions the kind of angle they were going for. I made no secret of my misgivings to them but I was assured that they were in fact honoring comics and the people who work behind the scenes.

Well, let's see. I tried really hard to say that although the industry has indeed fallen on hard times, a new comics industry had been born due to the efforts of a talented group of comics fans who decided to do their own comics. This small effort has since has grown and has spawned a whole new industry with new sensibilities that takes komiks in all kinds of directions.

But even then, I did sense a sincererity in their intent on honoring komiks. After all, this is Jessica Soho Reports, and I do attribute a huge amount of credibility to them and their show. I'm fairly confident that they won't give an unfair slant or one sided view. And I am grateful to them for putting the spotlight on what I believe to be a nearly lost, almost forgotten, but important part of Filipino culture.

They did segue into discussing my own comics work but I've always tried to put it back towards the museum and the several projects attached to it.

I don't know exactly when it will be shown, but I will announce it here when I have a definite schedule.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nestor Malgapo

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Nestor Malgapo
Fantasy Illustration, 1984

Nestor Malgapo's profile has just been uploaded including bio and artwork. Nestor worked on titles like Flash Bomba, Ang Huling Lalaki Ng Baluarte, Wanted: Perfect Mother and Kaibigan Kong Sto. Niño in the Philippines, and GI Combat, House of Mystery and Unexpected for DC Comics.

The main site has also been updated with a continuing feature on Comics on Stamps, this time focusing on a stamp of Francisco Reyes' popular creation KULAFU.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Alex Niño

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Alex Niño

This is one of more remarkable drawings by Alex Niño I've seen. I've already seen it before on the pages of Satan's Tears but it wasn't until I saw it again on the pages of an American made fanzine called DESTINY did I fully appreciate it. The brushstrokes seem so effortless, so seemingly haphazard and yet upon study they're deliberate and not lacking purpose.

Destiny is a fanzine published in 1974 and edited by Paul Hugli. Comic Odyssey's Sandy Sansolis was gracious enough to send it to me along with some stuff I bought at his store. Thanks Sandy!

The fanzine is remarkable in that it has a considerable feature on Filipino comics artists, including many illustrations and interviews with Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Alex Niño and Jesse Santos conducted by Orvy Jundis.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Franc Reyes

Franc Reyes
From Tarzan #244 from December 1975:

"This page is not only a poster, it's the VERY FIRST group of illustrations of TARZAN drawn by ace Filipino artist Franc Reyes. On the basis of these and other illustrations, Franc landed the assignment of illustrating the adventures of the ape-man. Note the strength of character present even in these out of context sketches.

Although Franc is no longer drawing TARZAN, we still receive many letters commenting upon his fine work, and thought his many fans would appreciate seeing these drawings."

This issue of Tarzan with Franc's poster is the very first time I saw his work. I was very young, maybe around 8 or 9, but when the poster mentioned Franc was Filipino, I was filled with pride and hoped to see more of his Tarzan comics. It wouldn't be until early this year that I actually did get to see a whole comic book with his work which I found in a practical shop in Los Baños. All his pages in that comic are terrific, and I'm posting the 2 page spread at the museum, linked below.

Franc's Tarzan work is currently featured on the main page of the Museum and will remain there for a week.

For a direct link to a Franc's Tarzan spread, click here.

I've also begun featuring stamps released by the Philippine Postal Corporation spotlighting Filipno Comics Illustrators and Cartoonists. The first featured is Nestor Redondo and Darna. Also on the main page.

Tarzan Copyright 2005 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

Sunday, April 03, 2005



I'm back from a 4 day UAP Convention in Manila. If you've been emailing me during this time and I haven't written back, this is why. I hadn't had a chance to drop a note here before I left because I was trying to finish as much work as I can before I left. I did lots of inking for Silent Dragon and finished the first installment to Humanis Rex. I've set up a new blog for all news and updates about Humanis Rex which you can find here.

While in Manila, I managed to pick up some stuff!

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Marco Dimaano's K.I.A.
Kai: Indomitable Assasin

KIA is a 160 page digest sized anthlology of comics stories about Marco Dimaano's (Angel Ace) newest character KAI. I've always thought of Marco as a very talented writer and I've enjoyed his stories for Angel Ace for a long time. His storytelling and art have vastly improved and he really has come a long way from that young nerdy kid with huge glasses drawing robots whom as I saw shortly before passed out drunk in the basement of their house many many years ago, but that is another story.

PS. I did a pinup for this Anthology. :)


Press Release:

K.I.A. - Kai: Indomitable Assassin

She has no memories of her past, no friends to count
on and no fear of death. She's the Unkillable Agent K,
and her targets have no chance to escape. From the
pages of Marco Dimaano's Angel Ace comes Kai,
the tough and sexy femme fatale in her own stand-alone

Some of the finest names in local Filipino comics come
together to bring the bikini-clad superninja to life.

For action-packed adventure laced with dark humor and
manga-style sex appeal, look no further than K.I.A.

K.I.A. features the work of the following comic book
creators: Taga-Ilog, Gerry Alanguilan, Arnold Arre,
Wilson Tortosa, Jennyson Rosero, Dean Alfar, Nikki
Alfar, Jeremy Arambulo, Elbert Or, Jon Mallari, Karen
'Katch' Cheung, Michael Seludo, Joel Chua, Honoel
Ibardolaza, Chad Cabrera, Michael Banting, Carlo
Vergara, Anthony Yap, Marvin del Mundo, Edgar Tadeo,
and of course, Marco Dimaano.

(K.I.A. Vol. 1, 160 pages, B/W, Php 195.00. Available
at Comic Quest branches this April 2005)

Follow the adventures of ANGEL ACE

Read the ravings of a MAD man.


I attended a gathering of KIA Contributors yesterday at SM Megamall where Marco treated us all to some pizza and chicken. mmmmM! Chicken! Thanks Marco!

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Vin Simbulan, Marco Dimaano (standing), Dean Alfar, and Arnold Arre. This pic is screaming for a hilarious caption but for the life of me I can't think of one.

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ME! Nikki Alfar, Camille Portugal, Karen Cheung, Elbert Or and Dean.

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by Reno Maniquis and Carlo Borromeo

A *FREE* tabloid-like comics pamphlet which you can get at some branches of Filbars and at Comic Quest. It contains Reno and Carlo's "The Witness", a story they had shown me a while back that I found very impressive. Reno's art here is very good and Carlo's story is simply told but packs a punch. It contains another comics story and a short prose story by Carlo as well. Great job guys!

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And at last the last issue of Superman: Birthright comes out in DC Superheroes #12. The issue also concludes Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's Batman: HUSH. Editor Reg Ting asked me to write a sort of retrospective on working on Birthright and it appears here as well. Available at all your favorite book stores and DVD pirate!