Old pal Ferres left a comment a while back:
“But Gerry looks cute. You kinda want to pet him… until he starts ranting that is. ;P”
He.he. I actually laughed at that. Thanks man! I actually know Ferres from waaaay back. He’s one of the very first people I met in comics, long before I met guys like Leinil or Whilce or Budjette. I met him probably at the same time I met Jaime, who also posts here and sends me drawings once in a while.
This isn’t really a response to Ferres, but rather a jumping off point of something I wanted to talk about. I’ve been doing this online journal thing since 1997, and I really haven’t stopped since. And somewhere within those things I’ve written are quite a few hard rants about things that really concern me.
I guess I really just can’t help it. I considered not doing it anymore and not care anymore, but I found I just couldn’t. I have to talk about what I want and what I think about, and I will say it the way I want to say it. Yeah, I get a lot of hard replies back, and I’m sure some of you (and don’t you deny it), roll your eyes, and say to yourself, “There he goes again!”, shaking your heads in amusement, maybe frustration.
Do you think I enjoy being contradictory, sometimes even combative? Do you think I enjoy engaging in heated debates with people? I really don’t. I’m the last person who cherishes confrontation of any sort. I’m one who want people to be friends and get a long, have a beer and sing a song.
But when I see something I don’t like, specially in the local comics industry, something I feel is unacceptable, and hardly anybody or sometimes NOBODY cares enough to speak out about it, what am I to do? By my silence I go along with it, and by my silence I support and promote it.
As an example… It’s hard to ignore the proclamations and pontifications of Carlo J Caparas with regards to “The Return of Komiks!”. The impression his entire crusade has given is that Philippine Komiks is dead, and that he blames himself for it, and now that he is back, Komiks is back and is alive again.
I’m sorry, but it’s hard to ignore things like that, specially when these are statements plastered on gigantic billboards a hundred feet tall, proclaimed on nationwide newspapers, broadcast all over the country by radio and television. He reaches millions of people with this message. MILLIONS.
Does anyone go to Carlo J and tell him, hey, komiks are NOT dead, don’t you now? That it never was. That in fact, komiks is very much alive long before you came back? That maybe you could ease up saying that because it disrespects a whole generation of young Filipino comic book artists who have created comics out of their own initiative?
No, these people go to ME, and to THIS BLOG, which has a readership of maybe less than 300 people a day. THREE HUNDRED, and tell ME to shut up. Wow, how fair. How democratic.
To be fair, I get the feeling that somehow our message is getting through and change is in the air. I get the feeling that they’re becoming more open to younger people, and that the idea that “komiks died” is a notion that is fast disappearing. I hope!
I don’t WANT to be combative. All I really want is for Carlo J. Caparas and all other like minded people to see and recognize our accomplishments and that in their absence, we have taken up komiks on our own and tried our best to keep it alive. We aren’t here to say we’re better than you or we can do it better than you, or that we’re here to REPLACE you. We just want to be accepted and our accomplishments recognized and given due credit. And that as young artists, we have a LOT to contribute to the evolution and continued existence of Philippine comics.
And if this blog and the online museum hasn’t made it plain enough, I can speak for a lot of people that we do remember, respect and celebrate the accomplishments of those who came before us, and it would be our extreme honor to be working with you to continue the revival of Philippine comics.