Sunday, April 13, 2014

Summer Komikon 2014

Photo by Jonas Diego

I think I’m still feeling a little dazed from Summer Komikon. It was probably the most physically stressful time I’ve had at a Komikon. My allergies were pretty bad that it’s embarrassing, specially since I had to talk to people a lot and do a couple of interviews. My bad knee also didn’t spare me and I had to walk around with a cane. People started calling me “Don Gerardo”. I hope it doesn’t catch on. I think I will be using that cane more often from this time on. It’s also embarrassing that I forgot the names of a couple of people who were, at some point, closely acquainted with me. I feel really bad about it.

Bad vibes out of the way, it was also one of the most spiritually rewarding Komikons I’ve been to because we launched “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby” and we sold a lot of copies. At a rough estimate, we sold around 300 copies, plus 100 copies of Wasted. The early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It feels just great knowing Rodski came alive in the minds of people. That’s what I really take away from this. That things I create find a life of its own outside of me.

Rick Olivares reviews Rodski for the Philippine Star. Thanks Rick!

Bad knee notwithstanding, I did try and manage to snaggle up a few things from other creators, a few of which was given to me (thanks very much!) The output this year has been very impressive. The quality of writing and art, and the quality of formats just keep increasing with each passing year. Here are the stuff I got, which is only a fraction of what was available at the event.

I post comments on titles I’ve already read (or are currently reading).

“K8″ by Jay and Jim Jimenez, published by Black Ink.

I’ve only read like 15 pages of this so far and I’m really liking it. Jim’s art is very impressively detailed and the story by Jay is very easy to follow. Unlike a lot of the Black Ink titles available, this one seems like it’s complete in one book, which makes it a nice, compact package that can stand on its own.

“Time Machine” by Apol Sta. Maria
“Kuatro Kanto 2″ by John Nano

“Abangan” The Best Philippine Komiks 2014

Edited by Rob Cham, Adam David, Carljoe Javier and Elbert Or
Published by Visprint

“Best Philippine Komiks” is a pretty bold claim. Thankfully enough, with names like Manix Abrera, Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo, Bong Redila, Emiliana Kampilan, Paolo Fabregas, Elbert Or etc contributing to this book, it more than lives up to it. This collection is definitely some of the truly best Komiks to come out of the Philippines in 2014. I haven’t read it through and through, but the variety in this book makes it a perfect cross section of the best the Philippines has to offer.
“Sumpa” Chapter 1 by Paolo Herras and Brent Sabas

“BuhayHabangBuhay” and “Noodleboy” by Paolo Herras and Tepai Pascual 

“Adventures Inside the Glory Hole” by Carlo Valenzuela 

“Enter the Dragonfly” by Noel Carlos N. Caragay

“Alamat ni Manila Man” by Mike Ignacio and RH Quilantang

Frequency One” by Andrea Catrina Tolentino, John delacruz, Tyrell Tan, Nate Piekos

“Lagimbal: Saving the Messiah” by Rawwrr Enrique
“Caution: Drugs/Sex/Rock ‘N Roll” by Rawwrr Enrique
“Komiks!! Atbp. Ultimate Edition” Edited by Jon Zamar, Artists: Various
“#CheesyFit”, by Mel Casipit and various artists.
Not strictly a comic book but a joke book with artwork that accompanies each joke. It sports a really nice Bong Redila artwork on the cover (Bong is fast becoming one of the most excellent Filipino cartoonists around), plus other art by guys like Macoy, Freely Abrigo, Randy Valiente and Mel Casipit himself on most of it. It’s actually very funny.

“Puso Negro II Part 1″ by JP Palabon

JP continues to offer some seriously uncomfortably funny stories, plus a character that will probably sear into your memory and haunt you in your dreams. I’m still going “OMG” whenever I see a visual image of it.

“Minkowski Space Opera, Chapter One” by Aaron Felizmenio

This is a very surprising comic book because it’s so different from anything else other local creators are currently doing, and it’s a huge departure from Aaron’s previous work, Gwapoman. This universe seems well thought out and very complex. Presented in full color, this is a very ambitious piece of work that’s a pleasant surprise to witness in local comics. I knew early on Aaron had the potential to be one of the big talents in the future of Philippine comics, and with this comic book he starts to fulfill that potential.

It’s also worth noting that the last two titles presented above have been printed and in full color. Local comics is definitely leveling up.

Public Facebook Summer Komikon 2014 Photo Gallery by Jonas Diego.

Thanks and congrats again to the organizers of KOMIKON. In spite of the bad traffic, in spite of many Manila residents have already left for the provinces for Holy Week, I think this year’s Summer Komikon still pulled off a decent sized crowd. The event itself seemed to have proceeded without any visible problems. Security has been vastly improved. Great job all around!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Komikon Day

It’s 4:22am as I write this. The Wasted Box sets are not yet done, but they will be at some point in the day. Rodski books are all set downstairs. We’ll be bringing 600 of those, 100 will go to Comic Odyssey for them to sell at their stores. I know 500 copies is optimistic, but that’s how I prefer to be, just in case! I’ll also be bringing 150 more copies of Wasted, along with a bunch of original artwork for sale.

I slept at around 10:30pm and woke up at around 1:30am. I’ve been drawing the Wasted sketches for the box sets as well as doing the letters. I printed out the list of Rodski pre-buyers as well as the Komikon ingress form. I’m still trying to think of what I may have forgotten… I’m sure I’ll forget something.

I still have to do a Wasted commission I’ve owed to someone since November. I still have to price more original artworks, cut the certificates of authenticity for the box sets, look for the reserved copies of Batch 72, and maybe a blog entry. Oh yeah, here it is.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two Days to Summer Komikon

All of a sudden, I’m nervous. I have absolutely no idea what kind of reaction “Rodski Patotski: Ang Dalagang Baby” is going to get at this Summer Komikon on Saturday, TWO DAYS FROM NOW! I’ve always said I have strived to satisfy myself first and foremost, and if I was able to do that (satisfy myself), then I’m sure it will find satisfied readers as well.

But Rodski is a huge, HUGE risk. It’s the first full color book I am self publishing. At 2000 copies on it’s first printing, the cost of printing it was extraordinarily high. I could have bought a new car with that kind of money. Thank goodness the printer allowed me a deal that would make paying it much more easier. Would I break even? Would I make enough money to actually pay Arnold? Would it make enough money to pay off all my other debts?

I’m relatively confident that we will sell all of that eventually and if we do, I’ll be able to fulfill a lot of my financial obligations. I’m confident because it’s Arnold who’s drawing it, and he’s done a spectacular job. I think people will see that.

The book arrives here at the house tomorrow, and I’m very excited to see it.

While Rodski is a huge risk, I think RIZAL would be a much higher one. But that’s a story for another year. I’m already psyching myself up for that one!

Right now, Ilyn and I are busy putting together batch 2 of the Wasted Box Sets. Ilyn more than me because I also have an inking job to think about. So I’m inking, and doing the hand written letters and Eric sketches. Sara is helping out with the reproduction of the photographs and Wasted extras booklet.

Browsing Facebook I see a lot of other comics folk burning the midnight oil trying to finish their own books. It’s amazing to see such creativity and drive over something that’s driven by the love of something. So much new Philippine comic books coming out this Saturday. It’s truly a great time for Philippine comics. I’m so glad to be part of it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New at Summer Komikon: Rodski Patotski, Ang Dalagang Baby

Arnold Arre and I will have a new book coming out at Summer Komikon on April 12, 2014. I wrote and lettered it, and Arnold Arre illustrated and colored it. Arnold’s wife Cynthia Bauzon-Arre provided us with the title design.

It’s eight inches by eight inches (yes, it’s a perfectly square book!), full color, and a hundred pages.

Arnold and I will both be at this coming Summer Komikon to launch it and sign copies.

I will be there pretty much the entire day from the opening at 10 am up to 7 in the evening, just to make sure everyone who drops by who would like to get a copy would get a copy. I have no fears of copies running out because we printed a lot. Ok, Komikero Publishing is printing 2000 copies!

I was scratching my head about how to fund this book because everyone knows doing a full color book in print is insanely expensive. Kickstarter isn’t available to project creators based in the Philippines so I thought about just asking online for people who wanted to buy the book before it even came out, as a kind of pre-selling thing. Lots of people did, thank goodness, and we were able to raise something like P20,000 from that. But that is just a small fraction of how much the book cost to print. Even when we added the money made from selling the Wasted Box Sets, it was still a fraction of what we needed. Hair fell off, my BP shot up, but in the end, the book is finally coming out!

Nevertheless, I am thankful for those who bought the book without having it in their hands, without knowing a single thing about it. I am very grateful for that trust and appreciate it very much. I hope I don’t disappoint you guys!

I’m really excited for this book because it’s a rare thing for me to have an all ages book out there. It’s not by far my first because Arnold and I collaborated once before on Lastikman. That wasn’t published by me though, but for me and Komikero Publishing, RODSKI is definitely my first all ages comic book!

People have been asking for previews but I’ve been hesitant to post any because I want the book to be a complete surprise when it comes out. Nobody has an idea of what to expect from this thing. I like it that all my projects are wildly different from the other. Wasted is nothing like Elmer and that is nothing like Bold Star and Rodski is nothing like any of those. People always come with some sort of expectations based on my previous work, that can’t be helped, but still, I hope people get that I don’t do things twice.

But anyway, as a small preview, as in very small, here’s a video ad created by blossoming animator and filmmaker Arnold Arre (who also happened to draw this book!):

All right, then! See you guys at Summer Komikon at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig on Saturday, April 12, 2014!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gerry Alanguilan and Summer Komikon (April Fool’s)

Hey, this is my April fool’s joke for 2014. It’s simple and a bit obvious, but I couldn’t believe I still got a few people! Until next year!

I’ve mentioned it several times in the past, but there is, in fact, another “Gerry Alanguilan” who resides here in San Pablo City. He’s in fact my cousin. He’s a construction worker, a mason, specifically. Right now he’s working on building this house just next door to where I’m living.

Perhaps it’s fortuitous for him to be in easy access right about this time. You see, It’s starting to look like I might not, unfortunately, be able to attend Summer Komikon this April 12. I’m sorry I can’t say why, except to say that’s it’s purely for personal reasons and it cannot be avoided.

However, my cousin Gerry Alanguilan has agreed to go in my place. He will occupy my table, sell Rodski, Wasted and original artwork, and he can even sign your books for you. I mean, he’s also Gerry Alanguilan, and in many ways, he’s more officially qualified to use that name because that’s the name that appears in his birth certificate. Gerry isn’t really even my name. It’s Doroteo, as you all may know. So yes, he’s more authentically Gerry Alanguilan than I am, so he isn’t exactly lying when he signs your books. And he’ll be very glad to, I’m sure. Say hello, take pictures with him, and just generally be nice. He’s kind of sensitive.

I’m truly sorry for my absence, but you can count on me to be around on Free Comic Book Day. See you then!