Every once in a while I would receive an email from an individual, company or group asking if I would be interested in creating a comic book for them. The projects would be what their group’s advocacy is. And nearly all of those advocacies are respectable, admirable and worthwhile. It could be anything from animal rights to awareness on poverty, awareness on education, or awareness on health issues. Sometimes its to champion the cause of one church or to champion the cause of a political candidate or party.
There’s nothing essentially wrong with that, and indeed, if comics are used to educate, raise important issues and save lives, that is an admirable thing indeed. And the fact that the medium of comics is being used to do it (as opposed to or perhaps in addition to TV, radio, broadsheet), then it’s a great thing for comics overall. And any comic book creator out there who chooses to be involved in projects like this has my admiration and respect.
However, I do have an advocacy of my own, and unfortunately, it’s an advocacy that takes precedence over anything else. Now let me just be clear that this is a personal choice. This is a decision that I have made only for myself. My advocacy is the pursuit of recognition for comics as a legitimate form of art, and not simply “cheap entertainment for the masses”. As such, I need to pursue my own stories, and create my own comics in the best possible way that I can, without limits, without censorship. I want to create stories purely out of my own imagination that I hope would have substance and intelligence that would push the boundaries of the medium. All this in the hopes of completely erasing the automatic “CHEAP” reaction whenever Philippine Komiks are mentioned, and to help elevate the impression people have of what Philippine comics are capable of.
Because of this, I only have time to pursue stories I choose to tell. Each project may take years, but that’s only because I take great care to come up with the best possible work that I can.
So if you or your group has a comic project in mind, know now that my own projects would keep me busy from doing yours, but if you like, I have a lot of people, talented, able and willing to do those projects for you, and I’ll gladly refer you.