Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Inking Portfolio #2
Harriers #3
Entity Comics, 1995

When Whilce Portacio came to the Philippines in December of 1992 to do signings for Filbar's chain of comics stores, it became a kind of catalyst that spurred many young Filipino artists to make their own comics. One of them was me. Many artists who had been working indepenently of each other met at this time at any of Whilce's many signings and at the mini convention. I remember meeting Oliver Pulumbarit, John Toledo, Nick Manabat, Augy de Lara, and later on Arnold Arre, Carlo Vergara and many other artists who came together in our shared love of creating comics.

Small groups formed to create their own books, and I became part of LAKAN, along with Oliver, John, Nick, and Arnold. Gilbert Monsanto, Roy Allan Martinez, Lui Antonio etc. became part of EXODUS. Carlo Vergara and David Hontiveros became part of FLASHPOINT. Budjette Tan put together COMICS 101. I felt an energy, an exhilaration about being part of something that was new, and vital, and exciting.

So we were all stunned, and just a little bit envious when one such group, the one putting together ASTER, was able to gain an American publisher, ENTITY COMICS, to release their comic book. But as envious as I felt personally, and although publishing in the US wasn't really part of our plan, I felt it was still something to be truly proud of.

It was actually quite an amazing feat, which hasn't been repeated until many years later when Leonard Banaag, Philip Tan, and Gary Mayorlago succeeded in putting together Taleweaver for release through Image Comics.

I created a 2-page spread fan art of ASTER and gave it as a gift to ASTER editor Billy Lim-It, who was also owner of CATS Collectibles based in Greenhills. It was the closest thing I had to a job application. I did not really ask for a job, but I was sort of hoping that Billy would like my pinup enough to include it in their comic book. (It eventually appeared in Aster Vol. 2, #1.)

When Billy and I met at his store, he asked me to try out inking a few pages on another one of their books called HARRIERS, pencilled by Mark Vuycankiat, currently being inked by Efren "Jay" Anacelto. I inked one of the pages (shown above). Billy liked it enough to give me 8 more pages to ink, and he was going to pay me for it. Fantastic! It was my first true job as an inker on a comic book! Not only was I working in a comic to be published abroad, but I also got a huge discount whenever I bought something at Billy's store. Which was just so cool.

Unfortunately, I was not credited for inking almost half the issue, and although I was disappointed, it did not diminish the joy and confidence I got from being part of it. Little did I know that my name would prove to be such a problem for not only Entity but for other companies I would eventually work with, who sometimes don't put me on the credits, and would often mispell my name if they do.

Being credited for a job I've done is something I consider as important as getting paid for it. When one is trying to build up a portfolio of published work, that credit becomes very imporant indeed.