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The new komiks releases for this week came as a surprise. I knew that a komiks adaptation of the popular TV program Maalaala Mo Kaya?, hosted by Charo Santos-Concio, was coming, but I didn\’t know it was coming THIS week. Further, TWO issues came at the same time, Series 1 and Series 2.

I\’ll digress slightly to note the use of \”Series\” to denote which is essentially a single issue. Series 1 is essentially, Issue #1, Series 2 is Issue #2 and so forth. I have no idea why they chose to number it this way. It\’s slightly confusing, but only when you\’re encountering these komiks for the first time.

Upon opening the first issue, I was immediately struck by how nice the art of Arnel Avetria is. I\’ve talked about him before, mostly about the series he is still currently working with Carlo J. Caparas on for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, To Have and To Hold. I commented how I thought Arnel wasn\’t doing his best and that I knew he could do much better. His work on \”To Have…\” seems to have become much better since I last saw it, and it looks much better in this first issue of MMK. Perhaps he knew that this story would be colored, so he might have pulled back, lessened the blacks and made the art much more simpler. And it looks quite good to me.

Great job Arnel! The artwork above is from the story \”Kwintas\”, adapted by Vic J. Poblete.

The second issue of MMK features the story \”Kerubin\”, adapted by Vic J. Poblete and illustrated by Jim Faustino. This is the first time I\’m encountering Jim\’s work. His art needs work, but has amazing potential. There are a couple of panels where his drawing looks very impressive to me. Unfortunately, I don\’t know what went on during the production of this comic book for them to decide to stretch the artwork vertically as they have here.

Perhaps Jim didn\’t work with the proper proportions when drawing this, but judging by this scan, which represents the proportion of the paper to the artwork, it seems that they still have plenty of space on the sides to make the stretching perhaps unnecessary. It distorts Jim\’s drawings, unfortunately. If I was Jim I\’d raise quite a stink about this. It\’s something I will never allow to be done to my work.

Running as a back up feature to these stories through the two issues is part 1 and part 2 of a biography of Filipino actor and comedian Chocoleit. This biography was done by Jonas Diego\’s studio, and as I\’m told, initially finished and submitted as a whole story in black and white. The publisher decided to do the story in color and cut up the story into segments and serialize it as a back up story to other main stories.

The scan on the left is what the original file looked like, and on the right is how it looked like in print. For some reason, the publisher decided to remove the image of the host, Charo Santos-Concio from the first panel, changing the word balloons into a sheet of paper resembling a page of a letter. Now if the publisher had sound reason to remove the host, perhaps Charo didn\’t like the look of her drawing, that\’s OK. But if I was the artist, I would have liked to have done the alteration myself.

But what\’s truly intolerable about this is that the credits have been removed. To adjust for the removal of the host,they\’ve had to erase the word balloons and do a paste over of the \”letter\”, covering the credits. Now the person doing these digital manipulation seems to be good enough to remove the host, erase the balloons and so forth without much trouble. How freaking difficult is it to SELECT and COPY the credits and paste it over somewhere else? There\’s a GLARING blank space beside the bookshelf right there where the credits could go perfectly.

Since this as intended as a whole story but was instead chopped into several pieces, it would be a simple matter to once again SELECT and COPY the credit box from the original file into the first panel of installment #2. And yet they didn\’t do that as well. Why is this so difficult to do? Likewise, if this was me, and I was the writer and artist involved, I would close this computer, get out of the house, go to Manila and blow up on these people.

Just for the sake of reference, and for giving credit where credit is due, The Chocoleit Story is adapted by Jonas Diego, from a teleplay by Maribel G. Ilag, illustrated by Mannie Abeleda, tones and letters by Sandy Gonzaga and edited by Lawrence Mijares.

Aside from the MMK Komiks, Vol. 1 Series 6 of Joe D\’Mango\’s Lovenotes also came out. This issue\’s material was created mostly by Jonas Diego\’s studio, except for the coloring and I highly suspect, the cover. The cover looks like inked versions of panels from the interior. And sorry to say, not inked very well. NOT a very good cover, sorry.

The interiors look much better. The figures are very nicely drawn and the storytelling easy to follow. But if I can make a suggestion to Jonas, it would be to improve the backgrounds. The figures are OK enough, but they seem to exist by themselves in ethereal to non-existent backgrounds. It\’s like the backgrounds exist in a dream like state with realistic figures moving through them. One minute they\’re there, the next minute they\’re not.

As I always say when I do lectures, comics artists don\’t simply draw figures and backgrounds. They draw environments. European artists are very good with this kind of thing, with emphasis on the whole picture, instead on emphasizing on the figures, like many American and Asian comics do.


18 Responses to “MMK (Maalaala Mo Kaya) and Love Notes Komiks Vol. 1”

  1. jim on March 27th, 2008 5:33 pm

    greetings sir Gerry! thanks for the kind and instructive comments.
    oo nga, it does look like parang nanunood ako ng lumang chinese movies.heheheh.
    eto yung isang sample page na di distorted

    this is my first local mainstream work, and inspite of that technical hoohah, i’m still excited. :D
    my dayjob is drawing porn comics for online consumption and it really gets tiring na. the pay’s good, but it’s not something na maipagmamalaki ko sa anak ko.
    i only hope na magpatuloy itong mainstream works ko to slowly veer away from porn.

    thanks ulit sir! GOD bless. :)

  2. jim on March 27th, 2008 5:40 pm

    oh yeah, i’m not sure kung tama tong ginawa ko, regarding original art, i worked on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ corona paper,yung offwhite. ok kasi yung hagod ng brush or pen dun.
    with 1/4 ” allowance sa sides.
    i’m not sure kung cause din yan kung bakit nahirapan sila iresize, but i cleaned and lettered it in photoshop, and had we been informed about the problem, i could’ve adjusted accordingly without it looking as it is printed now. :) anyways….

  3. Gerry Alanguilan on March 27th, 2008 7:07 pm

    Hello Jim! He.he. Ikaw pala yan. Anyway, congrats on your first locally published work!

    Medyo square-ish nga ang lalabas sa original art mo pag sa 8.5×11 ka gagawa. Pwede mo pa rin gamitin yan, pero kailangnang mas payat ang drawing mo, as in may 1″ space ka sa bawat side, at may 1/4″ ka sa top at bottom.

    Actually, mas bagay sa proportion ng MMK ang Long Bond size na papel. Kung may makita kang same paper na 8.5″x13, mas bagay yan.

    Tingnan mo itong guide na ginawa ko. Yung pink color ay ang size ng 8.5×11, tapos yan ang size ng isang MMK sa loob nya. Yung darker pink ay ang additional space na makukuha sa isang long bond o 8.5×13. Kung po-project mo diagonally ang MMK, makikita mo na mas proportional sya.

  4. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Mar. 26, 2008: This hair is sapping my strength on March 27th, 2008 7:10 pm

    […] Gerry Alanguilan on the first two issues of the Filipino TV-drama adaptation Maalaala Mo Kaya. (Above: detail from […]

  5. gilbert monsanto on March 27th, 2008 10:35 pm

    Bakit kaya dark ang kulay? Pero oks nga yung kay Avetria, saka maganda rin ang flat colors sa work niya.

  6. Rod Samonte on March 27th, 2008 11:40 pm

    Lots of potential in your work, excellent layout (the undistorted one in Deviant). Where can I see your porno work? If it’s as good as your work in Deviant, it should be something to behold and collect.

  7. jim on March 28th, 2008 6:56 am

    sir Gerry! oo nga no? ganyan pala mabilis na paraan mag-scale without the math! it’s very helpful, thank you.:D

    sir Rod, thank you! i provided all the artworks for this paying site: http://blacknwhite.com/
    wala ako free access jan so i don’t know kung faithful reproductions yung pag post nila sa mga pages ko. kasi makikita nyo sa promo page niya distorted din e. :D

  8. Ed on March 28th, 2008 8:16 am

    Masyadong maraming spaces sa word balloons. Pero okay ang mga drawings.

    I think may nakita na akong binebenta sa malls like Filbar’s (Robinsons Galleria) na CJC’s komiks. Marami silang stock. :)


  9. Rod Samonte on March 28th, 2008 8:25 am

    Linshak, mayroon palang mga ganyan comics. Tila magaganda naman ang mga illustrations. Saan nabibili yan? I see that you have to pay to enter the site where the comics are available. Do you use your name in the credits and are the comics actually published or just in the internet?

  10. Reno on March 28th, 2008 9:25 am

    Jim… may kahawaig yung style mo, di ko lang ma-pinpoint kung sino. Pero yung page sa deviantart na nilagay mo maganda ang layout, pati yung mga angles dramatic na hindi OA.

    Siguro isang area din ng improvement ay yung korte ng word balloons mo. Walang consistency. Parang pinlit lang ilagay sa loob ng panel.

    All in all, a very good first effort. Nakikini-kinita kong titindi pa ang drawing mo in the near future. :)

  11. auggie on March 28th, 2008 9:27 am


    I would like to know more info about Arnel Avetria. Does anybody know his track record, bio, resume, history etc ?

  12. Gerry Alanguilan on March 28th, 2008 10:14 am

    Reno, actually Jim’s work reminds me of yours just a little bit. :)

    Auggie… I think Arnel is one of the busiest komiks artists working right now. He’s a regular contributor to CJC’s comics, now MMK, and he also does the daily comic strip at the Daily Inquirer with CJC. I actually don’t know much about him, but someone sent me copies of his work a couple of years ago, which look really good. Magaling talaga sya sa mga simpleng gawa lang. Kaya nga medyo disappointed ako nung una kong nakita ang gawa nya sa To Love and To Hold. Para kasing minadali. Pero alam ko he’s capable of doing really good work with a little bit more time invested.

  13. Randy Valiente on March 28th, 2008 10:48 am

    Si Arnel ay estudyante ni Nestor Malgapo. Mga mid-80s ito nakapasok sa komiks, original Atlas boy ito. ang pagkakaalam ko ay dati siyang sundalo (o pulis). Itanong natin kay Mang Nestor sa PKMB.

  14. jim on March 28th, 2008 12:23 pm

    sir Rod! may plano ang client ko na ipublish yung mga titles jan, pinagaaralan pa niya yung nature ng biz jan sa printing.if ever matuloy, i think sa detroit muna kakalat yun, taga dun siya, assumption ko lang, di ko siya masyado tinatanong.
    credited ako as “customer jim”. i dont know kung nakakatulong sa readership niya thinking na yung artist e customer din ng site.

    sir Reno, gusto ko rin matutunan yung oldschool way na yung word balloons naka layout along with the pix, para di rin masayang yung ibang details na inilagay ko na matatakpan ng words. i’m working on it. :)

    sir Gerry, isa sa influence din talaga yung art ni sir Reno sa akin. among other brush wielding older artists na pinifeature mo sa online museum. i’m really glad na younger artists like sir Reno keeps the classic style alive. madaling makahanap ng inspiration. :)

  15. auggie on March 28th, 2008 1:28 pm


    Kaya naman pala eh. Unang tingin ko pa lang, na impress ako, sabi ko sa sarili ko parang second coming ni NESTOR MALGAPO ah…Yun pala Sensei, niya si Mang Nestor. At may military training pa. Dapat combat stories ang ibigay dito, parang sayang siya kung puro romance/love stories lang. Sino ba ang astig na scriptwriter diyan na Macho magsulat tungkol sa mga giyera, na well-researched ? yung ala Frederick Forsyth o Tom Clancy ? mi kilala ako, pero nasa Call Center, ewan ko kung maiinteres magsulat sa Komiks. Yun ang dapat i team up ki Arnel. Taga saang probinsiya daw itong si Arnel ?

  16. Gerry Alanguilan on March 28th, 2008 2:12 pm

    Auggie… may konting pagka militar ang latest installment ng gawa ni Arnel sa Inquirer…

  17. Robby Villabona on March 29th, 2008 1:33 am

    Apart from the backgrounds (or lack thereof), the drawings have that “traced from Poser” (and/or photographs) look (look at how weird the pose is of the girl in red holding the door). I wouldn’t be surprised if these are actually edited Poser renders. Nothing personal against the artist(s), but this kind of illustration method produces lifeless art.

  18. arman T. Francisco on March 29th, 2008 8:18 pm

    Yung early influence ng drawing ni Arnel Avertia ay mula kay Charlie Baldorado pero nag-shift siya kay Nestor Malgapo. Dahil sundalo nga, umangkop sa kanya ang Rambo pocket komiks noon kaya siya ang gumagawa ng cover dito and here ang kay Baldorado pa rin ang dala niyang estilo.