Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Video Reaction, ELMER

The reaction to the video I put together for presentation at the First Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards has been rather surprising. I've received a lot of positive feedback, some from Filipino comics pros both here and abroad. It's so far been mentioned at Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter, and has been featured at The Beat, a Publisher's Weekly blog by Heidi McDonald. Thanks guys!

One of the most common feedback I got was puzzlement as to why so and so artist wasn't included. It's a reaction I had been expecting, even as I was putting it together. I had been scrambling during the couple of days before the Graphic/Fiction awards to gather as many photos as I can from the Internet, my own books and photo albums.

There were many I wanted to include, specially PZ Marcelo, Fred Alcantara, Lib Abrena, CaGuintuan, Gregorio Coching, ER Cruz, Rudy Nebres, Jess Jodloman, Carlos Lemos, Emil Rodriguez, Hermoso Pancho, Bert Sarile, Ruben Yandoc, Oliver Isabedra, Mark Vuykankiat, Cedric Nocon, Noel Tuazon, Marlo Alquiza, Jonathan Sibal, Gary Mayorlago, Augy De Lara, and possibly hundreds more. The problem was I had none of their photos, and had no further time to search. I could have included a few more, but there was simply no way to include them all in just six minutes.

As it is, although not completely comprehensive, I believe I got a nice overview of many of the major players in the 120 years of Philippine comics and Filipino Comics Creators.

"Comics" being the operative word. In the museum, as well as in this video, I try to make a distinction between those who do comics, and those who do comic strips for magazines and newspapers. This is not to say that cartoonists don't deserve to be in the museum or the video, but it's simply because I choose to concentrate on comic book artists alone. I get the impression that the "comic book" world and the "comic strip" world are two different things but sometimes one or two would cross over.

It's a touchy subject, and it's one I myself am trying to figure out. I do know that in the case of American comics, when they hold comics conventions, you can hardly see any personalities from the comic strip world like Ted Rall, Bill Watterson, Scott Adams, Gary Larson, or Jim Davis attend or be invited as featured guests.

Here in the Philippines, the activities of the Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas, and the activities of the defunct comics groups like the SPIC have been separate. I really don't why, but I would welcome any thoughts on the matter.

With respect to the many cartoonists of the comic strip world, many of whom I truly admire like Nonoy Marcelo, Roni Santiago, Norman B. Isaac, Boy Togonon, Ben Alcantara, Manix Abrera, Steven Pabalinas, etc., I've had to make the decision to concentrate mostly on comic book artists. I have probably featured only a fraction of all comic book artists in the Philippines so far, and I think it's something that will take a long time to fully catalogue. It's already much more than I can handle so it would simply be beyond my capability to try and catalogue all comic strip artists as well.

I really wish somebody from the comic strip world try and do a site that celebrates the best that Philippine comic strips have to offer, the same thing I've been attempting with Philippine comic book artists. I think that would be really great!