When I set about to do "Where Bold Stars Go To Die", I had many objectives in mind. One objective that I haven't talked about until now is the nature of collaboration I had with Arlan Esmeña, and how I wish it would set an example of how "collaboration" in Philippine comics could be accomplished. I wrote the story, and Arlan provided all the designs and illustrations. Please bear in mind that "designs" and "illustrations" are two different things. Those two are often confused, and the confusion and misunderstanding often lead to artists getting taken advantage of.
"Design" is the act of coming up with the look of the characters and settings. This takes a lot of brainpower and patience to achieve. "Illustration" is the act of drawing those designs.
It is because Arlan was responsible for the designs of the characters and all the settings, I consider him a full co-creator of "Where Bold Stars Go to Die", and not simply a peon which I pay a page rate to draw my story.
Because I consider Arlan a co-creator, I have agreed to give him 50% of all profits made by Bold Stars, and today, I handed over 50% of all money I made from Bold Stars to Arlan's wife. (Arlan passed away in February 2010.)
I believe that to be the nature of collaboration in comics. It’s by no means the only kind of collaboration. It really depends on the creators involved, and how each creator contributes to the creation of the work.
I hope CJC and other komiks writers take this as an example of how a *true* collaboration is done in comics today: Writers and artists share in the creation, in credit, as well as compensation. I make it a point to say this because I just feel utterly bad for all their past “collaborators” who did all the designs and illustrations, and only got a page rate in return. They got none of the credit, and none of the further compensation those properties made and still continue to be made today.