Blogging is something I hadn’t planned on doing again so soon, but there are a couple of things I wanted to write about that just can’t wait.
But before that, no apologies for my earlier post. I meant every word. I still feel the same way now, and even more so, specially in the light of recent events.
Anyway, in the coming weeks and months you most likely will see the return of “masa” komiks on your local newsstands. What I mean by this is those inexpensive Tagalog komiks which appear on a weekly basis. And when they appear, they will appear in the hundreds of thousands. As the middle to upper class troop in the coming days and weeks to buy their expensive hardcover Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book, the masses will troop to their local bangketa and palengke for their weekly komiks fix. This may well herald the big return of komiks in Filipino pop culture.
Let me say upfront that this is a GOOD thing. Anything that brings employment to our talented writers and artists and brings komiks back into the hands of Filipinos and Filipino culture will always be a GOOD thing. And anyone who is involved in bringing this about must be congratulated. And that is what I do so now.
But let me also say that the ends does not always justify the means. And the means which will bring us this particular end is something that fills me with disappointment and disgust. Yes, comics is a business, specially big time nationwide comics like this. But a business that is conducted in the manner that it has been, is something that ensures I decline my participation.
I was part of this project in the beginning, and proudly so. I was glad that I would be able to further contribute to the betterment of Philippine komiks. This was when Mango Comics was still part of the project, and I agreed to be part of it because of them. That’s because I knew that with Mango’s involvement, they would ensure a certain standard and level of quality, and that they regard their writers and artists with enough respect to grant them rights to their work, and pay them well.
I was to do my Miko and Jec-Jec for one of the titles, full color, 10 pages a month. I was in the middle of preparing this when I learned that Mango was no longer involved in the project. When I learned why, it came as a terrible blow. It showed me how dirty the local comics industry can be. It was rather demoralizing, but also sobering. Perhaps this is the way it really is, and the way it will always be in this country. With Mango out of the picture, I withdraw my involvement as well.
I will not discuss specifics, out of respect for the good people who I know are involved in the project still, and I can’t blame them for continuing. It is after all, a job, and it’s a project that will bring back komiks in a big way to the Philippines. As much as I detest how things came to pass, like I said, anything that brings komiks back to the Filipinos is a GOOD thing. And I will not take that away from them.
As for Mango Comics, whatever they do next, they can always count on my continued support in contributing in our own little way, to Philippine comics.
AUGUST 8 UPDATE
The Return of Philippine Komiks
The past 6 months, and the events that have occurred in that time taught me a lot about how komiks business is conducted in this country. From the Komiks Congress to the things happening currently. I have to be honest and say that it was a completely sobering experience. It made me stop and reflect about just where I stand in all of this.
For several years you’ve all read me yap about the “komiks industry” and what I thought was good for it. I simply could never run out of suggestions. Because I could just never stop talking, and because of the things I’ve done with komikero.com including the message board the online museum, I started to be pushed into a position that made people expect things of me, making me out to be a person that I never intended, nor wanted to be.
I thank those people who have put their trust in me, but I’m not the guy you’re looking for. I’m just another artist who wants to write and draw comics. I just happen to have a site where I just love sharing the works of our greatest artists. And that’s the only thing I will continue to do.
And there was never a lack of attacks as well, from people who simply didn’t understand what I was saying, or they simply disagree. To disagree perfectly all right, but to attack out of ignorance is just idiotic. And there’s lots of those out there.
All I really wanted was for Philippine comics to be great again, and be uplifted as an art. I wanted Filipino artists to be respected and known as excellent and original artists.
That’s all it really is. Every word I ever said about comics on this blog is based and grounded on that statement. Why did I even want that in the first place? What made me talk about it and pester people about it incessantly? There are hundreds of artists out there just perfectly content to keep their thoughts to themselves and just create ART. Why don’t I just do that? All I have to do would be to just stop being concerned and stop caring about what other people do. That’s all it is. And that’s probably just what I’m going to do.
I will just concentrate on doing my own work as I have always done, and even more so now. I may have lost faith in a lot of people in the komiks industry, but I will never lose faith in Philippine comics. I still care enough about Philippine comics to publish my own comics here, and to continue contributing to local magazines. But after more than a year of taking a stab at making a living exclusively at local comics, I realized that I simply CAN’T. Not at this point, and not under current circumstances. Next year I will further concentrate on getting more jobs abroad. I have declined lucrative inking and illustrating jobs left and right which could have brought me lots of money because I wanted to do my own thing exclusively here in the Philippines.
But because my parents are old and they need me, and I need to stabilize my own family, I will have to start declining those jobs less. From now on, taking care of my family will be the most important thing I will care about, and they will be my utmost priority in anything. As it really should be.
I have received a lot of feedback about the things I have written here about the local comics industry from local komiks to Filipino art. Most of the questions could have been answered by the things I have already written. So what’s the use of answering? All that I could possibly say about comics is already here, and I will make no further comment. And all that is within those articles are the only answers you will get from me. If you find this unsatisfying, feel free to visit my message board (linked on the top left column). They’re a helpful bunch out there and at least one would have a proper response for you.
Thanks to all of you who continue to visit this site. I will have news about ELMER and Dr. RIZAL shortly.