Monday, February 20, 2006

Romeo Tanghal's Sariling Atin Komiks

Romeo Tanghal's Sariling Atin Komiks

Many of you DC fans might be familiar with Romeo Tanghal's inking on various titles like Robin, Green Lantern and of course... TEEN TITANS! Who can forget his collaboration with the great George Perez and Marv Wolfman in telling some of the best superhero stories ever made?

But if you thought he only inked and went off to retire to enjoy the fruits of his labors, think again! Romeo Tanghal is back, not just as an inker, but as a writer, penciller, colorist and publisher on his own upcoming comics series "Sariling Atin Komiks"! And these are not just comics, these are comics celebrating his Philippine roots and are created with some of the best art I've seen him do.

What is with all our earlier-generation artists? Tony de Zuniga, Alex Niño, Hal Santiago, Rico Rival, Jun Lofamia, and now Romeo Tanghal... they're still going strong and are still pushing themselves, and are doing better work now than before.

I'll shut up for now and just let Mr. Romeo Tanghal talk about his project himself, and his reasons for doing it. Take it away, sir!!


It was year 1976 when I first arrived in the U.S. and resided in Detroit, Michigan. It was no artist haven. Every advertising company that saw my portfolio told me to GO TO NEW YORK!!! After a month of inhaling the air in the Automobile City, I moved to NYC. The first day there I showed my samples to DC Editor Joe Orlando, who gave me my first job! It was a Batman Christmas story. I was the penciller. Then Joe saw that I could also ink and he encouraged me to be an inker. Even Vince Colleta, the art director, told me there's more money in inking because I'm fast! And FAST became my 2nd name!

Whenever a lazy inker was in trouble, they pulled out pages and gave it to me. I could handle 3 to 4 books a month that most American artists wondered how I did it?!! And I told them, "WELL, I'M NOT DOING ANYTHING, I JUST DRAW!"

When DC gave me THE TEEN TITANS to ink and it became the best selling book, Marvel started to offer me jobs. When DC learned about it, they gave me an EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT. They doubled my page rate plus the fringe benefits of a regular employee and ROYALTY! Although I couldn't work outside DC without their consent, how could I refuse? And so I stayed with DC and the contract lasted up to 6 years until the popularity of the TEEN TITANS diminished. They pulled out the contract and gave me GREEN LANTERN. The ROYALTY and the Medical Benefits remained, but like an employee, they have to deduct a certain amount. That's the time I started accepting offers outside DC and my name was all over the comics stand. I worked with so many publications that I had to hire help.

When my family decided to visit the Philippines in 1986, I had with me 3 comicbooks to do, so I hired Nestor Malgapo, Abe Ocampo and Jomari Mongcal as inkers. I also tried working in animation in California but at the same time doing my regular comicbooks. Money was really GOOD!!! And I loved doing TWO JOBS! Sometimes it became THREE when i also accepted freelance storyboards. Imagine me erasing my finished pages inside the toilet of the Animation Studio, then sneaking out so I could mail my pages in to meet the DEADLINES!!! This went on for a long time until I couldn't bear to be away from my family anymore specially since my KIDS were growing up. So I decided to go back to New Jersey and worked only in comics.

My career as a comicbook illustrator lasted for 25 years until I finally decided to retire. When my wife died ( one and a half years ago ) I started to work on an old dream, and that's to publish my own komiks...SARILING ATIN KOMIKS!! Coming very soon! I'm very proud of this project.

Back in the Philippines when I was still there, I wrote and illustrated some short stories for Atlas Publication and For Pablo Gomez books. I WISH some collector will find and POST them so I can see them once more! I remember I have a regular series in one of Pablo Gomez' komiks titled "ME AND MY FIRST LOVE". I was recieving fan letters when it was published, specially among teenagers! I knew ever since that I'm a writer too!

So now that I have the time, I started to write. I'm sure you will LOVE my FIRST novel the "MALIGNO". It's my FANTASY as a KID!

Well, I was born in Paombong, Bulacan and as a KID, the river, forest, and fields were my playground. At night, We gathered around our lolo and listened to his stories about TIKBALANG, MANANANGGAL, ASUWANG, DUWENDE, TIYANAK,KAPRE, MULTO MANGKUKULAM, SIRENA AT SIUKOY AT KUNG ANO ANO PANG MALIGNO! And those stories stayed in my mind and even at my young age, I started to draw them.

When we moved to the city, I studied at F.Benitez Elementary School in Tondo. Then my High School years were at Torres High. Across the street was a comics stand that rented American comics. I skipped my recess just to rent and read THE VIKING PRINCE by Joe Kubert. Paulit-ulit kong inaarkila iyon and I was so impressed with the artist. That's when my desires to be a comicbook illustrator began. I never had any idea that someday, I'll be shaking hands with him! That's one unforgettable memories.

I also have happy thoughts of once living with Nestor Redondo, driving everyday with Fred Carillo, watching Alex Nino draw, and I lived next door to Rudy Nebres. I bet no artist could top that! One thing I regret though was I did not have the courage to visit Francisco V. Coching when I was living in Pasay city. I was still a young illustrator and a student of The LYCEUM of the Philppines, and I've been hearing rumors that my IDOL was just living nearby. I should have visited him and met him face to face before I migrated to the U.S.

Pasay City was called the SIN CITY of Manila, and that's where I learned the ropes of life. My BUDDY was Ading Gonzales, my mentor in almost everything my father wanted to teach me but can't say the words! And so from Ading, I learned not only of drfawing but also of women! With all the women in my life, I married Aurora C. Lintag and we had three kids, two boys and a girl. They are all grown up when she died but none were married yet. They are all TALENTED ARTISTS. My genes must be really strong!

Last year, 2005 I decided to moved back to where WE started, my first house. HERE, I want to re-start my life and this time...AS A WRITER/ARTIST/PUBLISHER.

-Romeo Tanghal, 2006


Thank you sir! I personally can't wait to see your new comics!

Check out Romeo Tanghal's NEW official site below, with preview pages from SARILING ATIN KOMIKS!

Romeo Tanghal Official Site