After taking a break for one issue, Timawa returns in the APRIL 2008 issue of The Buzz Magasin! You can’t miss it. On the cover you can see Timawa right over a picture of a half naked girl. Timawa will appear on this magazine every month from this time onward, with four pages for each installment.
I saw an ad in the papers a few weeks back about this TV series called “Joaquin Bordado“, apparently an adaptation of a comics series created by Carlo J. Caparas (anyone know who drew the original run of stories?). I saw Robin Padilla as the main character, long haired, and tattooed. Almost immediately I broke into a cold sweat. If CJC created this character, it must have been a long time ago (I now learn it was in the late 70′s), almost certainly pre-dating my character Timawa. I immediately tried to read up on this Joaquin Bordado character, trying to see if there was any more similarities aside from the hair and tattoos. (It was hard to get any hard info from the character’s wikipedia entry because of it’s overt subjectivity.)
I really shouldn’t have worried. CJC’s idea is completely different from mine. For one, Timawa’s tattoos aren’t magical at all. They’re real tattoos that are more symbolic rather than realistic, and that they have been earned through accomplishment, with designs originating from the Philippines’ ancient history. Timawa is the latest in a long and ancient line of “Apolaki Warriors” who have protected the weak and the innocent for centuries. Today he’s considered a myth, a legend, a figment of the imaginations of people perceived to be too weak to fend for themselves. But to those who have seen and felt his wrath, he’s very real indeed. In all honesty, the idea for the character is much more closer to The Phantom than anything else.
And speaking of CJC and my ideas running along somewhat similar lines…
The latest series in Sterling Publication’s komiks have arrived in San Pablo. The new komiks are labelled “VOLUME 2: SERIES 1″. It’s my understanding that Volume 1 had 7 series and that the 7th series was the first to be in full color. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can say about it because they never arrived here in San Pablo.
The above drawing is by Dell Barras for “Blanco Negro”, written by Carlo J. Caparas. It’s one of the drawings in the entire set of new komiks that jumped out at me. Great job Dell!
I have to say, looking at all the titles, that the printing seems to be better overall. The artwork has a nice clean look to it.
I notice that the artists are still aren’t being given equal billing to writers, specially on the covers. I guess I’ll just keep repeating this until I see things like this, but really, I really hope people will realize and understand that comics is a collaborative medium where the writer and artist have an equal stake in. From previous things I’ve seen and read, people do seem to be in agreement (even Carlo J. Caparas) that comics is a collaborative medium. And yet, I don’t see it practiced. I don’t see it reflected in how artists are regarded and treated.
To me this practice is a relic from the old industry that we really should do away with. And speaking of old relics….
This is a page from one of the new komiks and this demonstrates perfectly what I meant about not knowing the real meaning of “collaboration” of writer and artist in comics. The first time I saw it, I thought… “Why bother with comics? Why not just write a freaking book?” It’s as if the artwork was just getting in the way of the words, and space to the art seemed to have been granted rather begrudgingly. Half of what’s written here could have been shown to us in drawings. If space is the issue, then this shouldn’t have been given just three pages to tell it.
It seems I have missed something because Love Notes is already at Series 5. I only have series one. Where are 2 to 4? They never reached San Pablo as well. This particular issue of Love Notes is quite interesting because half of the issue was created by creators from an older generation, and the second half was created by much younger people.
The first story, “Tears in Heaven” is written by Irma V. Dimaranan and illustrated by Ferdee Bambico. Looking at the art I felt a rush of nostalgia. It’s as if Mar Santana had come alive to draw it. The second story, “Chatmate” is written by Jonas Diego and illustrated by Therese Barleta and Christopher Esguerra.
Immediately you will see the different artistic sensibilities between the two generations. The previous story seems a bit clearer to look at while the second seems a little too grey and washed out. Knowing what went on behind the scenes, I have an explanation for that.
As I explained in a previous blog entry, the history of the Love Notes comics is a long troubled one. At some point, Jonas Diego and his group were going to do the entire comic book, and were promised production values which included better paper and better printing, and to create the artwork for black and white reproduction. Having been in comics myself for almost 15 years now, one of the things I learned was to adapt my work to the production values of the publication. If it’s going to be printed on newsprint, you do adjust your work accordingly. If it’s going to be printed on glossy, you do other adjustments.
And that’s exactly what Jonas and his artists did. They created the artwork for book paper quality paper, and for greyscale reproduction. After the artwork had been submitted, a lot of things changed editorially, and now the production values have changed from book paper to newsprint, and from greyscale printing to full color printing.
That means a lot of things. When you draw for book paper, you allow yourself some effects and tones that would reproduce well on the paper. If you print that on newsprint, it won’t look as good. Because the work was originally finished as greyscale with the appropriate tones, when color is applied to that it would have the effect of being a bit muddy. Colors were done outside of Jonas’ studio, beyond their control. The end result doesn’t look too bad. But knowing what their studio can do, it would have been terrific. I’ve seen the original black and white file and what I can say that it’s just an OK reproduction, but it’s just that the blacks don’t pop out as much. I think this could have been avoided, and they could have done a much better job, if Jonas and his group were fully aware of the output, and were fully responsible for coloring it. Their studio after all, has a lot of talented colorists.
As to the art, the figures seem soft and comfortable and nice and easy to look at. The backgrounds, however, need more fleshing out as most of the time they look unfinished, and sometimes there are no backgrounds at all. The unfinished looking quality of the art is partly due to the fact that it isn’t inked and much of the backgrounds and non-figure elements have a sketchy finish to it. Considering they were given so little time to finish all the pages (as I’m told), they did turn out good work, considering.