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There have been rumblings in the industry about individuals planning to save Philippine komiks through the passing of a law concerning comic books.

Long time visitors to this blog would remember two bills that were submitted by former Presidential candidate Manny Villar to the Senate in 2007 that would be beneficial to the industry of komiks in the country.

You can download the PDF version of the bill here.

Senate Bill 1934: KOMIKS INDUSTRY ACT OF 2007
You can download the PDF version of the bill here.

I don\’t know if these are the same bills that are being revived, but as readers to this blog would recall, I had a mixed reaction to what the bills propose.

The positives of the bill include ensuring employment to many comic book creators by making a certain percentage of education material used in schools mandatory in comic book form. Publishers will also be given a chance to profit through certain tax breaks.

Now all this is good news. I would welcome it even more if the bills also addressed the consideration of komiks as an art form worthy of government support in the form of museums (archiving and preservation), festivals, awards, grants to promising creators. The government can provide new venues of distribution or crack down on the corruption strangling the systems already in place. This would help elevate komiks from the decades old reputation as nothing more than \”cheap entertainment\” to something more artistically worthy.

What I find ironic is that these bills were proposed by Manny Villar, the same man who proposed The Anti Obscenity Bill (Philippine Senate Bill 2464) which in its current form when it was submitted contained provisions that prevented the free expression of artists.

My feelings about these issues have never changed. If they are going to serve the same old eggs, then I can\’t stand by and say nothing. I\’m all for anything that would put more komiks on the shelves, give jobs to our creators, but I think it\’s about time we thought of komiks more than just THAT.

Philippine comics can mean so much more.

And I sincerely hope that whatever action the government takes, that it would involve the younger generation of creators. Excluding them from previous attempts only ended up in disaster. If these people would only take their blinders off, they would see an already vibrant community of young comic book creators producing comics WITHOUT their help. The Philippine comics industry is alive and well, thank you very much. I think these young guys are now sick of being ignored and set aside. They are the future of this industry, not that tired old massacre hack with delusions of national artistry.

For more of my thoughts on this matter, click on the link below.

Twin Senate Bills for the Revival of Philippine Komiks

I Oppose the Anti-Obscenity Bill (Senate Bill 2464)


10 Responses to “Komiks Rumblings”

  1. Michael on September 20th, 2010 1:39 pm

    Comics as a vehicle for literacy is a very powerful strategy for making comics a MUST read again and can give a tremendous boost to genre fiction writers and artists.

    Hope they create something like the institutions that supported art films during the reign of Imelda Marcos…except that they support comics and graphic novels

  2. Duy on September 20th, 2010 2:31 pm

    As you’ve said before, such bills seem to promote komiks as a business, while not making any moves to see komiks as art. In fact, I would argue that if komiks were to be made into textbooks, it would make the fight for it to be considered art that much harder. But that’s a whole other discussion.

    I am not a komikero, merely a guy who loves comics, but while such bills definitely have their enticing aspects, I can’t help but feel that you guys are indeed being shortchanged by it. Coupled with the anti-obscenity bill, it’s like saying, “Hey, we’ll give you this and that, but in exchange, we get to have a say in it,” which I don’t think is really good for any medium.

  3. Josel Nicolas on September 20th, 2010 2:35 pm

    It certainly is a confused set of ideals that could come up with contradictory bills, the sad thing is it’s certainly not an original happening.

  4. Lico on September 20th, 2010 6:26 pm

    Exactly my thoughts, Gerry. EXACTLY. We don’t need a savior in the comics industry. All of us are doing our best in what we can do.

  5. frbarba on September 22nd, 2010 11:52 pm

    “If these people would only take their blinders off, they would see an already vibrant community of young comic book creators producing comics WITHOUT their help. The Philippine comics industry is alive and well, thank you very much.”

    sup sir Gerry, just a question…with the spelling of letter “C”, are you referring to the creators working for the American market or our local market?

    btw, I think Villar is trying to rectify his previous actions

  6. Gerry Alanguilan on September 23rd, 2010 8:05 am

    Ferdie… well, if we are talking about the Philippine comics industry, it would mean people working in Philippine comics, not American comics.

  7. Gerry Alanguilan on September 23rd, 2010 8:14 am

    For those who may misunderstand my post, I am by no means advocating that creators of the older generations to NOT be included in any new efforts to revive komiks. Of course not. I think any regular visitor to this blog would know and understand that I have nothing but respect for our veterans and that there’s nothing I want more than to see more work from them. I truly believe that a combination of older and younger creators is the key to creating new successful comics.

    But I guess you can say I am very disappointed that the younger generation was pretty much shut out from the Komiks Congress of 2007, as well as the Sterling Publication effort of the same year. And see how that turned out.

    The only exception I was making was ONE particular veteran. If you are not a massacre hack with delusions of national artistry, then I’m not talking about YOU. :)

  8. Robby Villabona on September 23rd, 2010 2:32 am

    Re: alive and well: “Alive” is true, but “well”, that depends on your point of view.

  9. Gerry Alanguilan on September 23rd, 2010 9:46 am

    I know very well what you think of our efforts Robby. You’ve said it often enough over the years. I must admit, it has greatly disappointed me because I see otherwise. I sincerely think that you simply don’t see it, or you refuse to see it, or are in denial. I’m very sorry, but you are. It’s not even up for debate anymore. That train has already left the station, and you have to keep up. But no, you always feel compelled to step on us whenever you deem it worthy to pass your occasional attention towards us from your comfortable perch and pass judgment and then go off again doing what you do, confident perhaps that your opinion still means anything to me. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t. I suggest that you waste no further time offering any more.

  10. frbarba on September 23rd, 2010 5:36 pm

    about these ppl trying to pass bills & such regarding Phil. Komiks industry, best way for them to undrstand mor hw things are goin for d industry IS for them to attend in one of our conventions or at least sum1 invite em so that they themselvs could witnes whats up or whats down or anythng in between & then they wud undrstand