There are times in the year when I get a flurry of emails from students asking to interview me for their projects and thesis. More often than not, they spread out at least 20 questions, many of which are similar between each other, requiring me to sit down and answer individually, typing the same things over and over. To make it easier for me, I have written down an FAQ which answers the most common questions to which I refer to students. Frustratingly, it appears that some students are required by their professors to get personalized anwers rather than answers from a website. Frustrating because as I said, I have to repeat and retype answers over and over.
To be honest, I really don’t have that kind of free time.
Let me explain something about what it’s like being a comic book creator to many of those who may not be aware.
Most professions work on a five day schedule. You go to work at 8 or 9am on a Monday, go home at 5am and you have a nice rest for the rest of the day. You get to forget about your work after you go home. Repeat that everyday until Friday, and OK, perhaps even Saturday. Granted many do go overtime, but even then, you still get to go home, forget about work, rest on Sundays, holidays and so forth.
Students got it made because they only go to school 5 days a week. And sometimes there are long holidays, summer and Christmas vacations, religious holidays, and so on.
And there are those who don’t get holidays most of the time like security guards, nurses, doctors, call center agents, mall workers, etc. But even then they still get breaks. They still go home at some point and get a rest. They have off days. They can collect vacation points and can take off for a while if they wanted.
Now, comic book artists don’t have that luxury at all. We work all the time. We may start work at 8am (some start at any point of the day), and then continue working all throughout the day and well into the night. In my case, since I’m quite an active creator, I start work anytime between 6am and stop work at around 12 or 1am. I sleep, and a few hours later I wake up again. I don’t have off days. I don’t have holidays. Christmas, New Years Day, Labor Day, National Heroes Day, All Saint’s Day, Saturdays, and Sundays… I spend all those days working. Just working.
But I don’t hate it at all. Because I love comics, I love working on it all the time. I don’t get bored at all. I just keep going and going and creating more.
So it’s really difficult for me to find the time to answer 20 questions explaining the state of Philippine Comics, explain how I broke in, explain my opinion on the future of Philippine comics or if I have any adivce to young artists individually to several people a week. It has come to the point that I find it difficult to answer interviews at all. And I’m pretty sure there are some pissed off students out there who feel I’ve ignored them. That may well be true.
This is why I made up my FAQ. The students will be able to get their answers, but at the same time, I still get to work. And unfortunately, this is probably the only way many of them will get answers from me. I apologize for that, but as I explained, answering these questions individually just take too much time. It takes HOURS just to get through one interview. Sometimes it takes half a day. I can finish a comic book page in the time I answer one interview.
So this is really a plea for understanding. If you have questions, please refer to my FAQ which you can find here. And if there is any question you have that I have not answered there, then please feel free to email me again.
Thank you very much.