The one that really started it all. I’m not certain how many issues came out, but the the image above represents the covers to the first 4 issues, 3 of which interlocks with one another. The first issue is the one on the upper right, and I assume that issue #5, if it had come out, would have gone on that spot.
When this came out, we in the Lakan group were taken quite by surprise. We had been striving to be the first independent title locally produced, and this one came out like lightning from the blue. We, of course, just had to check it out.
In many ways, Flashpoint was designed to be different from anything else coming out at the time, “anything else” meant both foreign comics and local komiks, by which time was already already on a rapid decline. Flashpoint looked nothing like any of them. The cover is a case in point. Just a metallic symbol on black background. Nothing else. No title, no credits, no price tag. Plus, it carried with it a disclaimer “Suggested for Mature Readers” in the back. Reading through all these comics, one realizes that they were written by extremely intelligent people who had very lofty ideals about the art of comics.
The writing on the third issue so impressed me that I remember gushing like a little girl when I met the writer, David Hontiveros, several months later.
The artwork for most of the series was a very young Carlo Vergara, who displayed a lot of potential, in spite of the obvious influence Image influence on many of the action scenes in the first issue. The development of Carlo’s art between the first and second issue was quite remarkable in that one can already see the makings of a highly original artist who would one day create Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah.
In issue #3 it was weird seeing Carlo do a riff on Frank Miller’s Sin City, a fact that they do come clean with on the letters page of issue #4. What made this issue stand out to me was not only David Hontiveros’ writing, but the art of Mike Adrao who draws much of the issue, sandwiched between Carlo’s Sin City influenced framework. Mike Adrao’s art is dark and disturbing and in spite of the crudeness of the art, you can tell that a time will come that Mike’s art could knock everybody else’s flat. We considered Mike to be one of “those” artists who were really good, the kind of artist that other felt threatened by, the kind of artist who’s work you looked forward to see regardless.
I don’t know where Mike is now, or if he ever drew more comics. The last thing I remember him doing was a cover for Lakan (or did he?), but like anything that had anything to do with Lakan, nothing ever came out.
Carlo and Mike were, of course, not the only artists involved. Here’s a breakdown of the talents who were responsible for producing this comic book:
Alexander E. Santos, David Hontiveros – Plot
David Hontiveros – Script
Carlo Vergara (also letters, assistant colors, editorial)
Joey Gohu (colors)
Baron Vergara (colors)
Johnson Morco (cover art)
Alexander E. Santos
With special thanks to Kent Bellosillo and Patrick Wu
Flashpoint was published by Straight Lines, International, Inc.
I still consider Flashpoint to be quite an achievement in that time it came out. It was a risk, not only for the creators who were striving to create such a mature piece of work in an environment no one was sure would take it, but for the publisher as well.
I’m very glad that some of the people who worked here, specially Carlo Vergara, found further success in comics later, with David Hontiveros furthering his writing not only for various publications, but in a series of books he is currently doing with Visprint.