Thursday, August 11, 2016

Finally! A Bricks and Mortar Komiks Museum in San Pablo!

When I started collecting vintage komiks and komiks art in 2002, it had always been my dream to house them in an actual museum. As I planned and thought of ways of making that happen, I opened the online Philippine Komiks museum which you can still view right here. Right now there are thousands of scanned artworks and komiks you can browse from the 1940's up the 1970s. I haven't been as good at updating it in recent years but my dream of having a real museum never wavered.

Not too long ago, I was approached my our friend and follow architect Bimbo Barte. He and his wife Maryrose acquired a residence near their home that they wanted to convert into an art gallery and cafe, featuring artwork by artists in San Pablo City. And Bimbo wanted to devote an entire room to my artworks. I was extremely flattered of course, but I had to think about it for a while. After a couple of days I responded that instead of just featuring my artwork, why not turn the room into a mini museum of Philippine komiks art? Bimbo was intrigued by the idea, and said that it would be OK with him as long as it features my work and the work of other San Pablo artists. I said that would be great!

We started by choosing what artwork we will be featuring first. Of course, there would be my work, as well as fellow San Pablo komiks illustrator (and my father in law) Rudy Florese. I also insisted on featuring Francisco V. Coching prominently though he's not native to San Pablo, because he's the first National Artist for Komiks in the Philippines.

I also gathered artwork from Nestor Redondo, Alex NiƱo, Alfredo Alcala, Ruben Yandoc, E.R. Cruz, Larry Alcala, Tony Velasquez, Dell Barras, Hal Santiago, Jess Jodloman, Caguintuan, Jesse Santos, Steve Gan,  Elmer Esquivias, and Mar Santana as the first featured artists. Since the space is small, I'll make sure to rotate artwork regularly so we can feature even more artists in the future.

The opening will be this Saturday, August 13, 2016. For more details on the event and location, here's the Facebook event page. See you guys there!

I wish to thank Dennis Villegas, Cristina Martinez, KC Cordero, Matt Caruso, Romeo Tanghal, Tony and Tina DeZuniga, Steve and Simon Santos, Orvy and Elrik Jundis, Fermin Salvador, Deng Coy Miel, the Rudy Florese family, PlsburyDoughboy, and the many other generous people who have donated and/or helped acquire material for the museum. If anyone else donated to me in the past, please let me know so I can include you in the acknowledgements. Thanks guys!

Thanks also to Ar. Laurel Manuel Barte and Maryrose Barte for their friendship and the generous use of their space for the museum!