Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tan & Morrison: Dynamic Duo

Filipino comic book artist PHILIP TAN will be working with Grant Morrsion on the upcoming "BATMAN AND ROBIN" title

IGN Comics: So Frank [Quietly] is handling the first three-issue arc, and then you have Philip Tan handing the second three-issue arc…

Morrison: Philip is doing the second arc, and then we're still negotiating the artist for the third arc. And then Frank will be back for the end.

IGN Comics: Will you be changing your style up at all for Philip Tan and the other artist coming in?

Morrison: Completely. I'm trying to write all these arcs individually for the artists and push them to do the best stuff they can do. Each one has been tailored specifically for the guy who's going to draw it. I'm having fun with it, and it also keeps the books fresh by changing their styles around a little bit.



And from the NEWSARAMA interview:

GM: I’ve just started on my arc with Philip Tan and looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do with the Red Hood story. I’m encouraging him to do the really moody, high-contrast noir-ish stuff he’s so good at.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TRESE reviewed in POC's Booklat

Aswangs turn noir in Trese, Written by Mighty Rasing

Manila has a dark side we know nothing about: where white ladies, tikbalangs and elementals roam the streets; where “tabi tabi po” is more than just a superstitious mantra; where superheroes and superstars meddle with forces that prove too great for them.

In this metropolis, supernatural beings are not immune to death or damage. And “just as the universe seeks balance, so does the underworld.” Right at the maelstrom where the universe and the underworld seek balance, Alexandra Trese is there following the trails of crime and events involving the supernatural.


Friday, May 22, 2009

POC's article on Philippine comic books

Komiks renaissance hails old and new
Written by Ofelia T. Sta. Maria

The Komikon Summer Fiesta 2009 in UP Diliman last Saturday was a gathering of both lovers and creators of the craft. It proved that rumors of the "death" of komiks have been greatly exaggerated. At 9 am crowds were already starting to gather outside the venue, forming a long line which eventually filled the UP Bahay ng Alumni with costumes, comic book bargains, autograph signings, games, and of course, perpetual discussions of alternate worlds, parallel universes, and characters that you won't hear about every day.


Monday, May 18, 2009


Here are links to the Sunday Inquirer Magazine's interviews and articles about Filipino comic books and artists.

"Comic Book Hero", an interview with Leinil Francis Yu

"The Balut in a Superhero’s Underpants", a compilation of instances when the Philippines and Pinoys appeared in American comic books

"Meanwhile, fresh from the drawing board… ", a review of the latest Filipino comic books

"Reinventing Rizal", an interview with Gerry Alanguilan and his latest project

"The Golden Age Cometh", puts together a list of Filipinos currently doing projects for American comic book companies

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ruel's Love for Comic Books

Comics Stylings By Ruel S. De Vera, Associate Editor
Sunday Inquirer Magazine

"And the comic books from the Philippines took me by surprise, and are now beloved. Gerry Alanguilan’s “Wasted” really disturbed me, making an indelible mark. Arnold Arre’s “The Mythology Class” charmed me. I consider comic books and komiks to be iterations of the same substance in different styles, and so I revel in the legacy of Mars Ravelo’s Captain Barbell as much as I do in the spooky seeking of Budjette Tan’s Alexandra Trese."


Read all about the joy of comic books in the May 17, 2009 issue of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Inquirer report on FCBD at Comic Odyssey

Celebrating Free Comic Book Day
By Oliver Pulumbarit
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – May 2 was a Saturday, but it wasn’t a day that many comic book fans spent zonked out at home. Only a few local shops were set to give away freebies during Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), so readers and collectors who knew about it got up early (well, maybe earlier than the usual Saturday), patiently lined up, and got rewarded some cool stapled goodies.

Free Comic Book Day started in the United States in 2002. Held every first Saturday of May, FCBD aims to promote the comic book medium, as well as literacy.

Fans, old and young alike, trooped to participating shops and got free comics, which had been created exclusively for the event or were reprints of previously published stories.

People also tried out new books, met fellow devotees, and bought items at discounted prices.

Among shops that gave away free comics were Planet X in Glorietta, Druid’s Keep in Gateway Centre, Magallanes, and Comic Odyssey in Robinsons Galleria.

A long line of visitors—hundreds of them—waited to pick from a selection of comics piled on a table inside Comic Odyssey. Shop owner and manager Sandy Sansolis was pleased.

“We get the whole range of comic fans, from the diehard fan to the casual reader, and the passerby who is curious to see what the long lines are about,” he said. “Almost all comic genres are represented in the comics, so there is something for everyone.”

The earliest visitors got comic loot bags. They also got their choices of three FCBD titles and even an FCBD lollipop. Sansolis added that preparing for the fun annual event was challenging.

“I get ready for FCBD approximately three months ahead of time,” he said. “Pre-ordering the FCBD comics is the toughest part of planning. As there are product and freight costs for the free comics, I have to be very careful in ordering. I make sure I order enough products without going over budget.”

Back at the Comic Odyssey line, people held on to their stubs, as Marvel and DC compilations, sourcebooks, variant edition comics and other collectibles were raffled off. Other comic book fans checked out back issues, or queued up to have their Pinoy-drawn titles signed by artists like Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Francis Yu, Wilson Tortosa and Carlo Pagulayan.

“Creator appearances are a great draw for FCBD,” Sansolis said. “It’s a great time for the fans to meet their favorite artists and have their comics signed. We also run a sale where customers can save up to 50% off selected items.”

Sansolis considers Free Comic Book Day important to the business. It helps create new readers.

“FCBD has been a great tool in promoting comics to the general public,” he said. “I would say about 25% of the people that show up on FCBD, they’re potential new customers. Many of these new customers are kids who get exposed to comics for the first time. Hopefully, the FCBD comics will help spark a love for comics and reading in general.”

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jaime Bautista interviewed in Philippine Star

The case of a curious comics creator
By J. Vincent Sarabia Ong
May 02, 2009
The Philippine Star / SUPREME section

The millennium has ushered in the media age for the world of comics. Superheroes have outgrown their four-walled panels and are striking out into bigger mediums such as TV and film. Their lore is expanding into a broader audience through the multimedia machine. Yet, is there more to comics today than sticking your character’s face on lunch boxes and even a pair of undies?

Filipino comic writer, publisher and Iron Man follower Jaime Bautista is trying to solve this mystery of where our beloved strips can go today. He’s doing it by plotting his comic career outside the usual lines of capes and tights. He is exploring what comics as a medium in itself can do before making his stories jump into other media forms. Today, he and renowned artist Arnold Arre are exploring how to teach kids and maybe even us adults how to save in these trying economic times with a project called Private Iris. This comics funded by Blue Cow, the publishing arm of Pioneer Life Insurance, features ultra-tech girl Iris Able who’s rather antisocial because she is too smart for her age and height. Yet, her wits get the best of her as her only friend Danton convinces her to use her smarts to solve crimes in school and teach her peers subtly to save their allowances too.

The Secret Origin Of Jaime Bautista

Before teaching us how to save our wallets, Jaime’s super secret origin as a comic writer is that he taught comic book theory in his alma mater Ateneo de Manila during the summer. One of his students, Elbert Or, challenged him that he couldn’t teach comics unless he made one. As his mutant powers of luck peaked, Jaime discovered that his uncle Choy Cojuangco owned a publishing company called Mango Textbooks. So, Jaime quickly collaborated with Elbert to create his romance comic Cast to be published under Mango in his own imprint called Nautilus Comics.

The story of Cast, which has a fan following, is about the romance behind a high school play. According to Jaime, writing about relationship-driven stories, despite being an Avengers action reader, was natural for him because of his fascination with the profundity of human interaction. Jaime says that he was always intrigued about solving the mysteries of life with stories and that to have readers answer their life problems by reading his stories.

This is why it was logical for Jaime to choose his crime busting partner for Private Iris to be artist Arnold Arre for his penchant for love stories too. He calls their duo the Lennon- McCartney of local comic book teams because they like to make silly love songs.

An Eye-Opening Comics

The creation of Private Iris was its own puzzle because Jaime didn’t like and did not know how to write mysteries when he was pitching it in 2006. It was because he was more absorbed with giving birth to a character with spunk and ironically didn’t want to solve mysteries in the first place. Later on, Jaime says, he gobbled up all kinds of detective stories from japanese comics to TV series to get a clue.

Jaime says that he jumped into the project because he was intrigued by a comic book promoting financial intelligence and insurance. He saw it as a challenge and a way to broaden what comics can do aside from sell their own merchandise. Moreover, it was a way to help readers with a real problem today, which is managing money.

Private Iris was also a test on his writing skills because he couldn’t be too preachy or dumb down the story for his young audience. Jaime cites Archie comics as his model as he remembers a storyline where readers learn that Archie has a college fund. He says that it played out well because Archie had a natural dialogue with Veronica who wanted to use his fund for a date. The story ends with Veronica’s dad, Mr. Lodge, shaking Archie’s hand without making a big spectacle of his good example.

After reading every issue of Private Iris so far, I can see how Jaime is trying to weave these elements into his story by putting out issues such as parents who mismanage funds to how Iris saves her allowance for her Batman-like gadgets. Yet, each issue feels rushed as some plots are introduced in a clumsy manner like its kidnapper in Case 5 whose motivation is still a mystery to me. Also, the wordiness per panel can make me rather flip through Astro Boy-like manga illustration than read it. Yet, Private Iris has the potential to be an overall eye opening experience as Jaime injects some quirky science facts into his story and these facts are further explained in the fun page at the end of each story for the boys.

Private Iris just needs to keeps its plots simple and introduce mature or complex themes only when they can be smoothly told in a single issue because its title character has enough rebel attitude to keep readers looking for the next case.

Solving The Mystery Of The Local Industry

Jaime’s Private Iris, although still young, is at the very least a pioneer in moving the comic medium into new directions such as increasing one’s financial IQ. To join Jaime’s movement, we just need more writers like him who are willing to jump into new projects and of course research as much as he did. Then, of course, the crucial portion, which is to simply write away.

And when asked when will there be a truly Filipino comic book, Jaime says not worry because these values will come out from the writer whether or not his character is wearing a barong tagalog. We just need to develop the skills first, write, and we will give to something great, original and definitely Filipino.

* * *

Did you know buying a Private Iris can help save your younger brother cousin, kid or nephew P100?

Learn more about Private Iris at


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