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Beyond Komikon: Young creators bring komiks to life

Just a few years ago, many people were stumped on how to revive the Komiks industry. Here on this blog, I said that we should stop dreaming of ever expecting komiks to go back to the old golden days where komiks sold in the millions and it was everywhere to be found. Sadly, unless someone with millions of cash invests in publishing and distributing komiks nationwide, those days are never gonna come again.

But that doesn\’t mean Philippine comics is DEAD.

Never believe any idiot who will tell you that today. Pinoy Komiks is alive and well. Their number may pale in comparison to how it was in the old days, but they\’re there, nevertheless. And it is an industry that is growing with each passing year. The resurgence of Philippine made comics was not some brainchild of some guy who thought, \”HEY, I\’m going to revive the komiks industry!\” It was not planned by a committee or any komiks congress. It didn\’t come from legislation, directive or any kind of help at all from the Philippine government.

It came from a generation of comic book fans who love comics, and who love creating comics.

Do you think most of those who create comics in that link above do it primarily for the money? Because they thought comics was going to make them rich? Hardly! These comics are coming out because these guys are passionate about comics. Passionate about creating their own comics. I\’m sure none of them had the primary goal of \”REVIVING THE KOMIKS INDUSTY\”. They just wanted to create comics. And so many creators wanted to create comics that a lot of new comics are created every passing year. And every passing year, the quality of these comics are improving and improving.

And along the way, the Komiks Industry was revived without people even realizing it. And that is how it should be. Never make it a goal. Just create comics, GOOD comics, and these things will follow.

I remember one idiot who said that komiks cannot be revived through love. Hey, look at me. This is me, LAUGHING AT YOU.

Over the years I\’ve had so many detractors and naysayers. It\’s all right to have an opposing opinion of course, I don\’t mind that. But I\’ve also come to realize that it\’s probably better to ignore people who are out to do nothing but put me down. It\’s no use debating them, it\’s no use talking to them. Whatever I say, they would say anything back just to contradict me. Yeah, ignoring these people did me lots of good and guess what?

I was eventually proven right.


17 Responses to “Saving the Komiks Industry Should Never be the Goal”

  1. Tepai Pascual on November 4th, 2012 11:16 am

    Yes, I’ve encountered a bunch of people who said that komiks is dead and there’s no way it can be revived.
    At first I was so defensive because I’m one of these passionate artists and writers who make komiks for the love. I kept on saying “no you’re wrong” but like what you said, it’s never ending debate. So after that, I just continued on improving my craft, helping other indies and sharing others’ works. Now, here we are. Alive and kicking. And here I am now, smiling to my heart’s content. :)

    Thank you for this entry Sir Gerry! It’s an inspiring one. :D

  2. Gerry Alanguilan on November 4th, 2012 11:25 am

    Thanks Tepai!

  3. Auggie on November 4th, 2012 11:27 am

    What can I say Gerry? HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST! Yes, I still remember those heated arguments a couple of years ago….

  4. Tepai Pascual on November 4th, 2012 11:39 am

    Sorry for the typos. XD hahaha!

  5. Ray Vidal on November 4th, 2012 11:50 am

    Ang sarap sa pakiramdam basahin nito sir. Namumunga na iyong pagmamahal sa Komiks na ibinahagi sa amin ni Kuya Orvy, Sir Jun Lofamia, Sir Danny Aquña, Sir Yong Montano at noong iba pang mga batikan mula sa mas-naunang henerasyon ng Filipino Komiks! Hindi ko makakalimutan noong unang sinabi sa akin ni Kuya Orvy na ‘wag akong matakot na lumikha pa ng sarili kong Komiks!

    Maraming Salamat Sir Gerry! Isa ka sa mga batang Artists na inspirasyon naming susunod na henerasyon.

  6. RH Quilantang on November 4th, 2012 12:15 pm

    I’ve seen and read a lot of komiks veterans and rookies say those lines “i/we must revive the komiks industry”, i always wanted to say they’re wrong and explain to them how wrong the mentality is. but i always stop and ask myself will they ever listen to me? i guess not so i went on komikating na lang.

    thanks sir gerry! u always inspire us :D

  7. Jon Zamar on November 4th, 2012 12:32 pm

    This is so true. Creators should create for the love of the medium and to tell their story. Any creator whose goal is to revive the comics industry and gain credit for the revival should have their heads examined.

  8. Jo Ivan Llaneta on November 4th, 2012 1:55 pm

    Hear, hear! There is no death for the sublime.

    More power to your pens and inks!

  9. Carlo Valenzuela on November 4th, 2012 3:12 pm

    Well I do know some people who makes comics because they wanted to revive the comics industry and wanted to be rich. I just look at them and say “ok…” ,but for me I make comic because i want to make comics and i love what i’m doing. =D

  10. Reno on November 4th, 2012 7:26 pm

    Haha. I remember that one “who said that komiks cannot be revived through love.”

    Nanahimik na siya, ano?

    On another note, I love how every year there’s new blood coming in, creating their own comics. Very encouraging.

  11. Jose Mari Lee on November 5th, 2012 3:17 am

    My only advice to the younger set who are just beginning to make comic book is this: Read, read, read. Learn, learn, learn.

    Writing and/or drawing comics encompasses a lot of things: sciences, the arts, philosophy, social sciences, literature, and even political science. Drama and Literature are also extremely important for you to master your craft. These days, when the world is getting smaller and smaller (hmm, sounds like Neil Sedaka’s MY WORLD IS GETTING SMALLER EVERYDAY, LOL), the more you should be aware of all these things because if your knowledge is as thin as onion skin, then it would be to your disadvantage.

    During the heated debate, I read messages from young comic book aspirants saying how they hated Shakespeare and other traditional things that they were supposed to be learning. Little did they know that even up to now, Shakespeare and company are still as applicable and as true in our lives – even as we keyboard our messages here. Fact is, almost all the expressions we use in English today have originated from Shakespeare’s works. In short, stop being a smart aleck. Learn, learn learn. The more you learn things around you, the more effective and professional your work will surface.

    Lastly, I beg of you to find balance between visceral and cerebral. If you choose to be visceral, then you’re just repeating the old komiks industry’s creators’ faults, and you’ll end up creating MELODRAMATIC works and nothing will be left on the minds of the readers afterwards. Remember, character development is crucial! If you go headlong with being purely Cerebral, you might as well write a textbook.

    Therefore, just like in our very own existence, we need balance. It creates harmony, panache, gentility, and the most important of all: beauty.
    To make a long story short: your work should have the so-called: splendor of order. Without it, start thinking how you become a MAGTATAHO or TUKNENENG vendor. And I’m not trying to demean these above-mentioned occupations. If you make the best taho or tukneneng, then you become a happy person for you’ve found your calling here on earth. And that’s very important as well – being happy.

    As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr quoted
    Douglas Malloch before the former got assassinated:

    “If you can’t be a highway,
    then just be a trail,
    If you can’t be the sun, be a star;
    It isn’t by size that you win or you fail-
    Be the best of whatever you are.”

    So, boys and girls, pause and reflect, and listen to what’s going on around you, and be the best of whatever you are.

    Good luck.

  12. Jerry on November 5th, 2012 7:45 pm

    Thanks sir for linking the article here.

    Actually, I wrote the article to set aside the overused angle that komiks is dead, where in fact as you said it, it’s alive and well. For a sec, I thought my editor would edit this line, “Media coverage always tends to go back to the Golden Age of Komiks, the heydays of Darna and Pedro Penduko on the newsstands in the 1950s. While it may be true that the current local comics industry suffers in comparison to the hefty revenues generated before by publishers Gasi and Atlas, the new generation of Filipino comic book creators is still a force to reckon with.”

    It also helped na I have immersed with the community for a year now. and in spite of the lengthy debate I had with a certain “Talka Orbil,” online, it also got me thinking if media are really portraying the comics industry/community correctly.

    thanks sir Gerry for this. :-)

  13. Paul Garcia on November 7th, 2012 1:38 am

    I am part of the tail-end of the great Philippine comics era where comics could be bought virtually everywhere I go (kariton, bangketa, etc.). I loved Funny Komiks (yeah, Planets of the Apes, Niknok, etc). But I never ever believe a culture is DEAD per se unless it NEVER existed at all. The problem with others that they are NOSTALGIC for the so-called glorious comics past, the so-called GOLDEN AGE. Let’s live and go on with our lives, and as what Shakespeare would say it best, “make the best out of the worst situation.” Yes, I know who are some of the naysayers mentioned here, but in the end, they really don’t matter at all. Of course, I personally like to witness the grandeur that was the 1970s and 80s, but as of now, I am happy and gratified that Philippine comics is in great hands now! One step of the time, ika nga! Great insights, master GERRY!

  14. Dennis A. Linis on November 7th, 2012 3:08 pm

    You’re right Sir Gerry, the goal should not be to save the Filipino comic book industry. In my own humble opinion, I think the goal should be to evolve it into something that could compete in the international market. You might say that’s even more delusional haha! :) but why not?

    I mean, as a third world country, we cannot compete in the international market with first world countries when it comes to automobiles, computers, gadgets, or movies, toys, video games, software and pretty much most of the shit that’s sells huge internationally! BUT WITH COMICS, we could be on the same weight class with these wealthy countries.

    But then again, Filipino comics competing in the international market? That’s something that might only happen in COMICS! haha!

  15. Gerry Alanguilan on November 7th, 2012 8:55 pm

    Hello Dennis… we might not be able to compete industry for industry, but there have been independently produced titles that have competed internationally and won. I really hate to toot my own horn, but it has happened with my Elmer (twice in Europe) and was even nominated for other things in the US. I hope that this would set an example for other Filipinos to reach for things like that as well, that those things are possible.

    But even then, here in South East Asia, our local industry is actually much more vibrant than many of our neighboring countries. This is the feedback I got after visiting STGCC in Singapore, that our local independent komiks industry is far larger than what other countries in our region and even in our countries, have.

    I think it’s all right to dream, and to dream big, but the secret is to just shut up and do it. Do great work. Everything else will follow.

  16. JM Lee on November 7th, 2012 10:49 pm

    Dennis: A Filipino can compete in anything! In the field of Comics, that’s peanuts. LOL. Have we forgotten the 1970s/80s when the western nations welcomed almost all the Filipino illustrators to make comics for them? A lot of young people in that decade, comics collectors, who couldn’t even pronounce right the names of these Pinoys, but they tried anyway. I even had a white friend whose house had a huge room dedicated for comics alone and he can identify the drawings of Pinoy’s like his ABC. When I examined his collection, I’d say almost 75% of the books were drawn by Pinoys. A good sampler would be: “I love the drawings of ROMEO TANGGHAL (like TANGGAL, as in, Tinanggal) He-he.

    You’d be limiting yourself if you don’t believe you can do it. So, be positive, and work hard to perfect your craft – not because you want to compete, but because you want to do the best you can. In the old komiks industry, sad to say, too many creators left behind in RP when the likes of Redondo and Alcala left for the US, became too contended by doing QUICKIES, that the komiks deteriorated like hell when the 1980s came. My God, some of them were like drawn by chicken feet (with apologies to Elmer, of course he-he). The late DODGE SANCHEZ (a Rico Rival clone), created a style that only DIMSUM fans could appreciate. Yet, what puzzled me was why the publishers have tolerated such shabby work. Not even one editor told the guy to clean up his act. You could see his work everywhere in Gasi and Atlas. And when the industry collapsed, everyone was asking: WHY? Therefore, you guys should learn from the lessons of the past. Pick up the good ones and discard the bad. And never, ever under estimate yourself or your capabilities. Work hard, and deliver the best work to the world at large, and you’ll certainly reap the fruit of your labor.

  17. hershy on November 24th, 2012 7:52 pm

    Well said Gerry ! Inspiring article.

    Nakakagising ang mga sinabi mo (Very positive)
    Mabuhay po ang ating Filipino Komiks.