Monday, February 23, 2004


***PRESS RELEASE***

MEDIA LAUNCH OF "SIGLO: FREEDOM" COMIC BOOK

WHAT: LAUNCH OF SIGLO:FREEDOM COMIC BOOK

We introduce you to Mango Books, a company with the objective of publishing noteworthy materials. Mango Books released its first project, one of the most ambitious graphic novels ever published locally, entitled Siglo: Freedom.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Siglo is an anthology of ten stories by acclaimed writers and visual artists. Chronologically arranged, all stories are set in different parts of the Philippines with the common theme of freedom. Each story revolves around a particular character, historical or fictional. Never before has a group of the country’s best comic artists and writers collaborated on such literary artwork.

WHEN
Inclusive dates February 25 to 27, 2004

WHERE
Glorietta II Activity Area, Makati

CONTACT PERSONS:
Marj Soriano
Nautilus Comics
4F, 818 Bldg, 818 Pasay Road., Makati
Trunkline: 892-1191 or 39
Fax#: 810-3123

PROGRAM
25 February
1. Ingress
2. Exhibit of Original Drawings w/ Artist's Profiles
3. Selling Booth

26 February
1. Exhibit of Original Drawings w/ Artist's Profiles
2. Selling Booth

27 February
10:00am: 05:00pm- Exhibit & Selling
05:00pm: 06:00pm- Tech Set-up & Soundcheck

07:00pm -07:15pm-
a) Intro
b) Announce Availability of Press Kits
c) Announce Mechanics & Start of Silent Bidding
d) Sale of Limited Edition Hard Bound Copies
e) Introduce 1st Performer 07:15pm-08:15pm-
1st Acoustic Performer: 08:15pm-09:00pm-
a) Introduction of Siglo Publisher & Creators
b) Panel Interview & Photo Op
c) Book Signing
d) Close Bidding
e) Announce Winning Bidders
g) Cocktails

What is SIGLO: FREEDOM?
Siglo is the Filipino term for century.
SIGLO will be an anthology of ten sequential art pieces (10 pages each), presented by ten authors and illustrators. Majority of the creators are award-winning writers and artists.

What will SIGLO: FREEDOM be about?
The common theme linking all pieces is the Filipino experience of freedom, given context by the prevailing spirit of a specific decade. Each story is set in a selected decade from 1910 to 2009, and focuses on one person in that decade, whether real or fictional.

Stories focus on the presence or absence of freedom, the yearning for or squandering of freedom, the struggle for or the accomplishment of freedom, as befits the particular character or the creator's intent.

Freedom (and the character's involvement) is interpreted in many ways-personal, religious, political, societal, or from the marginalized perspectives.

All stories are set in the Philippines, and each story's title will follow this convention: Place name, year or range of years. (e.g. Mindoro, 1914; Pasig, 1982-1985).

What is the purpose of SIGLO: FREEDOM?
SIGLO is intended to state two points:

First, it is about how precious freedom is. About how, through the past century, there have been stories big and small about it, all seen through the eyes of the Filipino.

Second, it is about the power of the graphic novel format to comment about the human condition.

What is exciting about the roster of creators?
SIGLO will be the first of its kind in the Philippines, an anthology of sequential art by top-caliber talents from the literary and visual arts.

Most of the writers have been recognized by award-giving bodies for the quality of their literary works, including the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the National Book Awards. While most of the visual artists have been recognized both locally and abroad for their works.

Who are the artists involved in SIGLO: TEN DECADES?
Each creator has been invited on the basis of the value of his or her vision in terms of quality contributions that speak stronglyabout the human condition and of freedom as Filipinos.


CONTRIBUTORS (alphabetical)
Alanguilan, Gerry -Artist for DC, Marvel and Image Comics. Work includes Superman: Birthright, Wolverine, X-Men. Creator of Wasted and Timawa.

Alfar, Dean Francis- 5-time Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature, most recently for The Onan Circle (2003). Creator of The Lost and Ab Ovo. Founder of Kestrel Studios.

Alfar, Nikki-National Book Awardee for Isaw, Atpb. Creator of KC Strange and several other properties. Anvil Award winning editor. Kestrel Studios.

Arre, Arnold- 2-time National Book Awardee for Mythology Class and Trip to Tagaytay. Latest book is After Eden. Tala Studios.

Banico, Jason -Creator of Baylans.

Dimaano, Marco- Award-winning writer and creator of Angel Ace.

Drilon, Andrew- Likha Awardee for comics. Creator of Subwhere. Youngest of the creators at 18 years old.

Ibardaloza, Honoel- 2-time Carlos Palanca Awardee for Literature. Creator of many online manga properties.

Medina, Lan- Eisner Awardee for Fables. Artist for Marvel and Image.

Or, Elbert - Creator of Two-Color Theatre and other works.

Simbulan, Vin - National Book Awardee for Isaw, Atpb. Creator of Twilight Empires.

Vergara, Carlo- National Book Awardee for Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. Creator of One Night in Purgatory.

Editorial and Art Direction
Dean Francis Alfar and Vin Simbulan - SIGLO Editors
Carlo Vergara - SIGLO Art Director


GERRY ALANGUILAN is a licensed architect who chooses to write and draw comic books for a living. Perhaps the creation he is best known for locally is Wasted, which has received acclaim from such renowned comics writers as Warren Ellis and Steven Grant, and is currently being shot as an independent film. His other personal comics projects include Timawa, Crest Hut Butt Shop, Dead Heart, and the upcoming Komikero, a portfolio of his sketches, illustrations and comics. He has contributed inks for international titles like X-Men, Fantastic Four, Wolverine, X-Force, Darkness, Stone, and High Roads, and is currently inking Superman: Birthright for DC Comics.

DEAN FRANCIS ALFAR has won several awards for his writing, most notably five Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Literature. He is a playwright and fictionist; most recently, his internationally-published L'Aquilone du Estrellas was selected as one of the best fantasy/science fiction short stories for 2003. He has served as a judge for the Palanca awards, and was a fellow at both the Silliman and U.P. Creative Writing workshops. He wears two hats professionally as the General Manager of Kestrel IMC and the Publisher of Kestrel Studios. His writing for comics includes The Lost and ab ovo, and he was the creative and motive force behind both projects. He also contributed to the award-winning comics anthology Isaw Atbp.

NIKKI ALFAR is a two-time Anvil award-winner for her copywriting work, and has also won Seventeen magazine’s international fiction-writing competition. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Kestrel Studios, and has worked in various writing and editorial capacities for the magazines Stuff, milk, and Stroke. She was the Editor-in-Chief for the National Book Award-winning Isaw Atbp., and was a contributor to that anthology as well. Her other comics work includes The Lost, Hainaku, ab ovo, Txtmen, and the upcoming Weird Sisters. She is also internationally sought-after as the creator of several online comics titles for adult audiences.

ARNOLD ARRE is the Creative Director for the self-owned Tala Studios, which handles comics publishing as well as design work for a number of creative and commercial fields. Among his many artistic capabilities, he is a painter, whose work has been exhibited at the Crucible art gallery. He is a back-to-back Manila Critics Circle National Book Awardee for his comics titles The Mythology Class (1999) and Trip to Tagaytay (2000). His latest work, the graphic novel After Eden, published by Adarna Publishing House’s Anino, was a finalist for the 2002 Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards for Best Comic Book.

JASON BANICO graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with degrees in Physics and Computer Engineering, and has since become an important figure in local I.T. management and consulting circles. He also runs Dynatica Comics, possibly the most active independent comics studio in the country, which produces creator-owned comics, commercial comics on behalf of other companies, comics strips for local periodicals, and has had a hand in some cinematic endeavors as well. He has written for the cyberpunk mini-series Baylans, the bishoujo manga Cherry Blossom High, and the Filipino mecha story Mystic Machine Maharlika. He is currently polishing the updated and extended story of Baylans as a graphic novel.

MARCO DIMAANO is an Associate Creative Director for a major advertising firm. He has worked in advertising since graduating from Fine Arts at U.P. Diliman, and has won several industry awards for his copywriting. He is one of the most consistent creators in the local comics industry. His manga-style title Angel Ace has seen seven releases and is still going strong, with the latest release, Angel Ace Next, slated for December 2003. He has also contributed writing and art for Hainaku, Cherry Blossom High, the award-winning Isaw Atbp., and more.

ANDREW DRILON has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer for his children’s story, Moo Moo, The Ghostly Cow, and has written and drawn for various publications such as Ateneo’s Hilites, Pugad Literary Magazine, and Grafic. An avid supporter of the Filipino indie art industry, he has also written songs for various bands such as Panky! and Killer Kikiams. He recently won first prize in Grafic magazine’s 2002 Likha Comics Making Contest for his short comic story, White. He has self-published two comics ashcans, The Germinator and the critically-acclaimed Subwhere. Future projects include the ashcan Crossword Girl and a novella, Pop Monster.

HONOEL IBARDOLAZA has won two Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Literature, including this year’ s Short Story for Children first prize-winner, The Greediest of Rajahs and the Whitest of Clouds. He is a writer and illustrator for Philippines Today, a newsmagazine published monthly in Japan. Hai’s sequential work has appeared in the pages of ab ovo, Psicom’s Hainaku, Beach Blossoms, Angel Ace, Carpool, and the American Yuri Monogatari anthology; as well as Wirepop.com, a subscription-based webmanga site. Hai is also the concept design artist for a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game currently being developed for the PC platform. He founded and operates www.homanga.com, an alternative manga site offering absolutely free fake manga for the poor otaku. Hai is based in Silay City, Negros Occidental.

LAN MEDINA is the first Filipino to have won the prestigious Eisner Award for comics, in recognition for his work on the Vertigo Comics title Fables. He has also worked for the international comic books Aria, Stone, and American Flagg, and is currently illustrating the most emotional alien to explore space in Marvel Comics’s Silver Surfer.

ELBERT OR is finishing his fourth academic year in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University, while simultaneously working as a freelance writer and illustrator for various publications and organizations. As Editor-in-Chief for the Comic Collective, an independent student organization, he has spearheaded comics advocacy programs such as Comics Awareness Week, comics art exhibits, participation in International Free Comic Book Day, and the publication of Grafic 2003, an anthology of student works. He is currently working on a number of comics endeavors, including Cherry Blossom High, Cast, and his own pet project, Two Color Truth Theatre.

VIN SIMBULAN is the co-founder of Quest Ventures, which is both a small publishing house and a loose coalition of several luminaries of the local comic book community. He is also the General Manager of the comics store Comic Quest, and a regular freelance writer for Guide magazine. He is a Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Awardee for his 2001 comics anthology Isaw Atbp., and is currently working on his science-fantasy comic book opus, Twilight Empires. He has also written for the bishoujo manga anthology Cherry Blossom High.

CARLO VERGARA is the Art Director for an integrated marketing communications company. He also moonlights as an actor, teacher, lecturer, and freelance writer/artist. Among many other projects, he has done book illustrations and design for the novel Ruin. He is a Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Awardee for his 2003 comic two-parter, Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah; and was a finalist the year before for his first self-published title, One Night in Purgatory, which was also cited in the Sanghaya Yearbook of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. His work has appeared in, among others, Angel Ace Again, Isaw Atbp., The Lost, ab ovo, and The Philippine Daily Inquirer. He is currently working on art for the science-fantasy epic Twilight Empires, as well as some top-secret plans of his own creation.

REIA VERGARA-SIMBULAN only started creating botanical art in the latter half of 2003. An artist at heart, Yang was active in the art-oriented organizations in college, specializing in watercolor and charcoal pencil, and even helming the liturgical choir of then Maryknoll College. It’ s only recently that she’ s begun again to explore her artistic calling after over a decade of pursuing a career in retail management for major establishments. Apart from scouring the urban countryside for weeds, leaves, seeds and flowers for her art materials and doing the bazaar rounds, Yang is a busy mother to two children.

Thank you very much and we hope to see you there.

Yours sincerely,
Joseph Aries J. Saludo
0918-9011127

Thursday, February 19, 2004

+

Seriously Comics
by Carmela Fonbuena
from Newsbreak, March 1, 2004


It's a comic book. But it's nothing like Spawn or Batman, much less the Japanese manga. Readers are not to laugh at or be amused by fictional scientific advances. They are to feel, think, and reflect.

SIGLO is a collection of 10 comic book stories bound by one general theme, freedom. It shows how freedom is longed for, how it is achieved, and how it eludes many.

Although it is also fiction, SIGLO defies the escapist trend in comic books. The stories are based on reality and are depicted in a literary style. It's all Filipino, has Philippine settings, and Filipino issues.

It's real, serious, and gripping. And it's in black and white.

For these, SIGLO will likely get mixed reviews, but it's good food for the Filipino mind and soul.

SIGLO is available at Comic Quest branches for P250.


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