Saturday, December 31, 2011

WIPforIT interview!

i was this month's guest on hub pacheco and teddy pavon's WIPforIT podcast, the one and only podcast show covering the local pinoy indie komiks scene.

we talked about the creation of ang maskot, indie komiks' 'growing pains', manga in malaysia, and my chinese descent (?). also we read out a few of the more entertaining answers to a komiks survey i did several months back (which i haven't properly tabulated yet).

check out the podcast here, and the award-winning webcomic for which it is named here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I always think about how unhealthy the life of a comic book artist is, especially when you reach any level of success. You basically spend all day in a room, having fun drawing pictures, and then a lot of your social interaction comes when you go to a convention and people stand in line to tell you you’re a genius. I can’t think of a better way to turn someone into an asshole. 

- Brandon Graham

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i have a short comic

coming out in the second issue of the quarterly bathroom companion comics compendium, an indie comics anthology edited by a group of extremely talented and physically attractive people with impeccable taste. if you want to see the bleeding edge of philippine comics, this is where you'll find it.

the launch party is on saturday at sputnik comics in cubao!

Monday, December 12, 2011

trese, kalayaan & filipino heroes' league on GMA news tv!

THIS VIDEO IS JUST SO AWESOME BECAUSE IT BEGINS WITH three words you  never hear the mainstream media say about the pinoy komiks industry: "buhay na buhay."

one thing i don't understand about the video, though, is why the voiceover person sounds like a 12-year old girl and calls everyone "kuya". do they mean to imply that this stuff is for kids?

another thing is why as of writing the video only has 124 views. spread it! spread it for the love of komiks!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

naruto fanart by famous mangaka

turns out masashi kishimoto's manga naruto is turning ten this year, and a bunch of popular mangaka made some tribute pin-ups to celebrate. 

from the ones i've seen i like this one by toriyama the best:

but eichiro oda's version kicks ass too:

tite kubo's piece just looks like ichigo cosplaying as naruto...

and this one by hirohiko araki, i guess, is "drag queen naruto."

Friday, December 9, 2011

ang panday 2, ang plagyarista

is GMA even trying?! seriously.

two years ago, it was this.

in 2011, we have these:

yep, it's the motherlovin' wicked witch of the east.

also: the sand ninjas. still there.

i'm pretty sure GMA films didn't intend it, but those sand ninjas are a perfect representation of their production philosophy at the moment: they keep trying the same old tricks over and over, hoping maybe this time they'll finally score a hit.


since this post is getting so many hits, i decided to add some more of the "borrowing" that people have noticed.

also, if you're familiar with the "marlboro man" theme from way back, you'll probably hear it in the trailer below at around 1:45. i don't know how much swiped music made it into the movie itself. my guess is that people immediately noticed, and that's why the producers had ely buendia rush out that awful theme song. "flavio 'wag kang matakot"? you gotta be kidding me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ang maskot fan art by carlo clemente

sweet mother of micron pens just look at this maskot drawing by carlo clemente.

now say something about it, because i can't. i am speechless.

5 things i know about alodia

1.) her name is alodia, not aloida. her parents wanted her her name to be different from all the aloidas, but not different enough to not be confused with aloida.

2.) she dresses up for a living.

3.) she used to look like this: . now she looks like this:

... makeup.

4.) she used to date luis manzano. 

5.) she wakes in the morning fully made-up, and spends the next fifteen minutes immediately after making cute faces at no one in particular.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

komikon 2011 reads: crimefighting call center agents by pascual & bernardo

one thing you should know about this book: very little actual crimefighting takes place in it. second: the fact that the protagonists (sandra, charlie, "double-taking" koontz and "chopped liver" noel) all work at the same call center doesn't really affect the story much. third: it is awesome.

writer noel pascual's sendup of the scream-type horror formula is pitch-perfect in its sardonic glee. it begins with the standard setup: friends on a road trip pick up a gruesome-looking hitchhiker, the hitchhiker turns out to be a psycho killer, he chases them into an abandoned house, they are trapped and must find a way to escape and/or defeat him.

in one of my favorite moments, the heroes pile every available piece of furniture in front the door to make a barricade to keep the killer out. suddenly one of them has a burst of inspiration, reaches into the pile, and locks the doorknob. the book is littered with random,occasionally surreal, comedic gems like this.

a.j. bernardo's art fits the dark, humorous tone to a tee. lots of dramatic perspective shots to accentuate the bursts of action and heighten the comedy, but also some really great sculpting of shapes using light and shadow to remind us of the story's pulp-horror roots. the spectacular finale alone, a two-page spread that is perhaps the most bizarre montage/splash page/plot resolution you will ever see in a local comic this year, is worth the price of admission.

i can't wait for the second issue.

rock and roll and cello wars

i've never been sure about cellos.

they're like huge, unwieldy violins, and you play one by holding it between your legs and rubbing a stick across it.

but i do admit yo yo ma does some pretty awesome things on the cello, and in the hands of a capable jedi, well...


Saturday, December 3, 2011

komikon 2011 reads: windmills no.4 by josel nicloas

josel nicolas' windmills is a multi-volume collection of autobiographical vignettes detailing the life and thoughts of the author's anthropomorphic alter-ego, simply named "bear". this fourth and latest issue, i'm gonna be-ar, opens with a touching farewell at NAIA, setting up a bittersweet romantic separation between bear and his girlfriend mimi that informs the rest of the book.

on the visual side, i'd say nicolas' stuff has never looked better. he's taken to mangastudio like a duck to water, and his excellent use of screentones and varying line widths has given his art a new richness and tonal depth. plus, the digital prints photocopy very well--a crucial factor in making good-looking indie comics.

my favorite bits in the book are the slice-of-life stuff: bear on his daily commute; bear rubbing his smelly feet at the end of a tiring day; bear staring at the stringy potted plants he's placed just under the outdoor faucet for maximum watering laziness; the look on bear's face as he inhales the aroma of that first cup of coffee at work. this newfound emphasis on bear's external (as opposed to his internal) life, plus the romantic angle, gives be-ar a much greater emotional scope and relatability than the previous issues. it's his most accessible issue yet, and i don't mean that as a disparaging remark. it's still art comics, or at least artful comics. the essence of an author's experience as seen through the filter of his craft.

i can't recommend windmills #4 enough. i think it's some of josel's best work so far.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the man on the cover of esquire philippines' "genius issue" is a tycoon.

why does that make me depressed as hell.

could be worse i guess, could've been a businessman-politician.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wishful thinking: school run tv show dream cast!

at komikon a couple of weeks ago, my tablemate josel nicolas asked me what i would do if a local tv network offered to turn school run into a series.

my initial reaction was to blank out for several minutes.

and then i asked, "which station?" because frankly i think 7's teleseryes are crap.

so channel 2 it is. "what if...?" hm....

the role of maki would without a doubt go to xyriel manabat.
why? because she is awesome, that's why.

pipoy would be aaron junatas:

makisig morales as kulot:

aaliyah benisano as gwen:

 john manalo as robert:

and finally, baron geisler as mang karl.

yes, baron. because there is no way i am hiring this guy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i hate fungi.

A stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani, grows out of a "zombie" ant's head in a Brazilian rain forest. 
The fungus species can infect an ant, take over its brain, and then kill the insect once it moves to a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread their spores.

that thing.

growing out of its head.


from national geographic's top ten weirdest life-forms of 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

alan navarra blogs about maskot and operasyon!

sez the author of girl trouble and dumot:

Ang Maskot was crisp and clean. A man uses his own frustrations to bring happiness to others, which eventually sets himself free from his own problems. Also: the parts without dialogue are quite magical.

was my favorite. The creator makes the statement “mga hayop tayong lahat” very clear in my opinion: a fable to take to heart during these media-saturated and “I-was-left-with-no-other-choice” kinds of times.

his full list of fave komikon 2011 reads is here. check it out!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

post-november komikon 2011 komikon post

photo by katkat munoz
for comics people, there is no high like a convention high. it's such a high that sometimes it takes a week for stuff to sink in and one can actually think about the experience objectively. so, that's my excuse for this late post.

some personal notes:

- record number of indie komiks participants: 42 groups, some 100+ new titles (i failed to get my hands on a catalog so i'm not sure about the exact number)

- sales on an individual level seem to be down compared to last year, judging by the lack of "sold out!" remarks from comics creators, although this could be due to the increased competition and better inventory management on part of the creators.

- my own sales were decent but not as good as last year's.

- realization: if you want to make money as an indie komiks creator, release new stuff. pretty obvious, yeah? my sales during summer komikon (when i had no new releases) were about a third of what they were this time around. this year's best-selling group, meganon comics, debuted two new ashcans and a GN. coincidence? i think not.

- on the other hand, weak back-issue sales suggests that the bulk of komikon sales comes from repeat business, a devoted core fanbase. this is good because it means we have a core fanbase :D but it also indicates that there is room for improvement regarding komikon's ability to attract new customers.

- more about back issue sales: i have a theory. let's call it the "back issue by half" rule. if i release a new comic, say #1, and it sells 100 copies, by the time #2 comes out, #1 will sell about half as well as #2. to put it another way:

convention 2009
issue #1 - sold: 100 copies

convention 2010
issue #2 - sold: 100 copies
issue #1 - sold: 50 copies

convention 2011
issue #3 - sold: 100 copies
issue #2 - sold: 50 copies
issue #1 - sold: 25 copies

and so on. i don't really expect the drop to be linear. it will probably be a hyperbolic slope... you know, because people will occasionally buy a full set. hopefully.

still, that's how i judge my stocking numbers for now. bring 100 copies of the latest, fifty of the second-to-the-latest, and maybe 30-20 of the rest. it would be interesting to compare notes with other indie komiks folks about this.

EDIT: gio paredes posts his own back-issue sales experiences, which are quite different from mine.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

november komikon 2011 new indie komiks releases! (constantly updated)

november komikon 2011 is next week! the list of new indie komiks titles is said to be around 100, which blows my mind. here are a few that i (hastily) grabbed from the indie komiks manila facebook group. enjoy this sampling of what to expect in a few days!

WIP 2 by hub pacheco & teddy pavon

UP Syndrome by Edward Jener 
B.A.T.A. by Amjie Love
My Love Is A Stapler by Toni Jayne
Buang by Cyrus Romanes
Magusta by Fredirick David
Greywing by Lex Jordan

prologue & weather-weather lang by norby ela

various titles from ice cream indie manga

various titles from inkjinks

curtains for hire by joanah calingo

kanto inc. #3 by calingo, calingo & kilayman

various titles from revel circle

various title s from hyper comics

starstruck (game) by komikasi

patintero #5 & #6 by kai castillo

kulas compilation by freely abrigo

boink! #2 by core studios

juan manga by juan tamad

bruho barbero #1 by omeng estanislao

kubori kikiam presents the melancholy
of edward cordero

various titles from i-rawwrr studios

bayan knights book of origins by bayan knights

kalayaan GN vol. 1 by gio paredes

kalayaan #12 by gio paredes

atomic underground special issue #3 by atomic underground

komikero anthology #8 by komikero group

high society by paolo chikiamco & hannah buena

maktan 1521 GN vol.1 by tepai pascual

maktan 1521 #6 by tepai pascual

mark 9 verse 47 #7 by meganon comics

windmills 4 by josel nicloas

Segovia Solutions # 1 by Jerald Uy and Jether Amar

bathala apocalypsis #4 by david hontiveros & ace enriquez

crimefighting call center agent #1 by noel pascual & a.j. bernardo

hellsword by gilbert monsanto

sanduguan #10 by ner pedrina

mukat #3 by mel casipit

team tag team #2 by benj

pasig book 2 chap 1 by taga-ilog

palagdas by jb casacop

big fat ben by gerald asbucan

stories vol.2 by rob cham

drop dead dangerous #2 by chad cabrera & mike banting

game over!!! by omeng estanislao & aileen casis

talaan ng aparisyon by takemaru101

under the couch by tuks oil

hukbong adarna: ang simula by allen geneta

btahala #1 by jon zamar & judd abuniman


and that's not all of them!
for a full listing, watch out for the official komikon catalog--

--which will be available at the event.

if i got any info wrong, or if i missed your indie and you'd like me to add it to the list, let me know in the comments. 

see you at komikon!
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