Kwentillion & Summer Komikon 2012

Posted in Comics, Events, My Art by J.R. Bumanglag on May 30, 2012

Summer Komikon 2012 Every year, I look forward for seminars, workshops, talks or events on comics and design. I find pleasure in learning new things and meeting new people who love comics and design as much as I do. This year’s Summer Komikon was no exception. In fact, it was a bit more special than any other event that I have attended in the past 8 years.

My girl and I arrived at the venue after lunch to avoid having to stand in line. After paying the entrance fee and receiving freebies, we entered the hall and I realized one thing: Is it just me or did the Bayanihan Center become smaller since last year? Believe when I say that the attendees have grown in numbers each year. It’s a telltale sign of support for the local comics industry and I only hope for it to grow even more.

Right at the entrance, a large space was alloted to an upcoming local film – Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, directed by Erik Matti and starring Dingdong Dantes and Lovi Poe. It’ll be an action and horror flick, boasting massive special effects and cinematography. In line with the event, they released a preview comicbook of the film written by Erik Matti and art by Digital Art Chefs. From the get –go, it shares a lot of air with Zack Snyder’s 300, but it’s done well enough not to make me cringe. It looks very promising so say the least. I just really hope, with fingers crossed, that the story carries as much impact as the visuals will. Oh, and did I say Ramon Bautista’s in it?

We made a quick walkthrough of the event. The aisles were filled with chatter and noise, indie creators trying their best to pry you out of the chaos and reel you in to their tables. It was your local market of freshly made komiks. And just as you head straight to your suking tindahan, we went to our favorite creators to snag their latest titles. I said hello to Elmer and Cornelia Damaso and bought a copy of Cat’s Trail Rewind issue 3 and 4. I am stoked that they are still continuing the adventures of Airee and the gang. A graphic novel in the horizon, I dare say, is a must!

After treading through the venue, we found ourselves at the Visprint booth where Budjette Tan, KaJo Baldisimo, Paolo Fabregas, Carlo Vergara, Manix Abrera and their colleagues were tending to their fans. I greeted Budj with a grin and he finally handed me my personal copy of Kwentillion. Right then and there, I wanted somebody to punch me. It was a longtime coming, a boyhood dream to see my work in print, along with other Filipino creators. It was last year when Budj found my comic book thesis in this blog and I was speechless when he said he loved it. Weeks later, he would invite TJ Dimacali and I to become part of a pitch for a young-adult magazine. We responded with a resounding yes and that became Kwentillion.


Published by Summit Media, Kwentillion targets the burgeoning young-adult market and hopes to not only to serve as a place to discuss our existing fandoms, but also to create new ones. Included in its maiden issue are one-shot comics and prose(The Last Datu by Budjette Tan and KaJo Baldisimo; Poso Maximo: A Fair Trade by Robert Magnuson; High Society by Paolo Chikiamco and Hannah Buena; Skygypsies by Timothy James Dimacali and John Raymond Bumanglag; The Secret Origin of Spin-man by Andrew Drilon), exclusive interviews with Manix Abrera and Chester Ocampo, previews of upcoming young-adult novels and other feature articles.

From left: Paolo Chikiamco, Budjette Tan, Sherry Baet, me, Hanna Buena and Timothy James Dimacali

Remember though that succeeding issues will depend on how successful issue 1 will be. I hope you guys grab a copy, share, tweet and talk about the magazine. Follow Kwentillion on twitter and facebook.

National Bookstore also made a buzz when they finally unveiled superstar writer Mark Millar to the floor. Back in February, Mark held a competition where he would attend a signing anywhere around the world to whichever bookstore orders the most copies of Supercrooks #1. It just happened that National Bookstore won and the rest is history. To complete the team, superstar penciler Leinil Yu, inker Gerry Alanguilan and colorist Sunny Gho were there as well. They were promoting “Milla in Manila” that was to happen the very next day.

Summer Komikon 2012 was altogether a successful and massive event and we’re only halfway through the year. The only downside was that I couldn’t buy all the comics I wanted. But come Komikon 2012 in November, I’ll raid all the tables and bring home as much comics as I can. And if things go well, you might get to read another sci-fi story from me and TJ Dimacali. On that note, it’s back to the drawing board.

Batman Sample Pages

Posted in Comics, My Art by J.R. Bumanglag on January 18, 2012

Here are my sample pages of a five-page Batman story by Michael Buckley that’s available at It’s the first time I ever drew Batman. I had this criticized by professionals and they’ve pointed many areas for improvement. I’m going to redo these pages and apply what they’ve taught me so far.





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Vinyl+Splash: The Ultimate Collectible and Comic Convention

Posted in Comics, Events by J.R. Bumanglag on November 28, 2011

On a very beautiful Saturday afternoon, we attended Vinyl+Splash: The Ultimate Collectible and Comic Convention. It was the first ever comic, graphic novel, vinyl toy, street art and pop culture collectible convention in the Philippines. I’ve attended my fair share of comic conventions but an event mixed with toy collectibles was a welcome idea. After a just week of Komikon madness, I was very excited to close out November and possibly 2011 with comic goodness.

We arrived at Fully-Booked at Bonifacio High Street after lunch and headed straight for the fifth floor. The venue was smaller than what I had expected. Nonetheless, people were slowly flocking in to the meat of the event. The usual Comic Odyssey long boxes greeted us from the entrance along with Kidrobot merchandise. From afar, the event was certainly well-organized with vinyl toys and collectibles to the left and comic book culture to the right. We circled the show featuring vinyl toys and illustrations by Sarah Gaugler, Bru Sim, Marcushiro Nada, JP Cuison, Vladimir Grutas, Ungga, Niel Arvin Javier and more. Among them, these caught my attention:

Venomancer by Gabby Tiongson; Captain America by Nemo Aguila; Jumbo Daimos Qee by Rotobox Vinyl Anatomica

Next to the exhibit was a tiangge of collectibles. Postcards, sketchcards, mini-comics, vinyl toys, keychains, t-shirts and whatnot were for sale. At the end of the tables, artists like Nemo Aguila were busy with their artjam piece that was auctioned at the end of the day.

On the opposite side, special guest Tony de Zuniga was sketching for a fan. In front of him were his portfolios of character illustrations, sequential art and nude studies. Beside him was his wife, tending to his art pieces and socializing with her husband’s fans. It was amazing seeing a master craft his work despite his obvious age. Later, Bong Dazo joined the fray and began sketching as well.

The awesome Harvey Tolibao was actively illustrating Psylocke on a huge canvas, part of his Dare-to-Draw challenge. The biggest Filipino comic book artists were there as well – Gerry Alanguilan, Mark Torres, Mico Suayan, Stephen Segovia, Lui Antonio, Jomar Bulda and Leinil Yu. They were also auctioning, selling and exhibiting a ton of artworks. Much to my delight, I flipped through their portfolios and sketchbooks. We had a chat with Gerry and shared some thoughts on how comic conventions have boomed all over Manila and the rest of the Philippines. He was glad that slowly but surely, a lot of people are discovering the local komiks scene, thanks in part of media coverage. Today’s events were vastly different from the littlest and simplest conventions held during the nineties.

We even won ourselves two Family Guy vinyl collectibles! Add to that, I brought home a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1910 and The Dark Knight Returns (thank you Milcon :*) We also saw Sanya Smith, Ornusa Cadness, Kate Abad, Gab Chee Kee and Jiggy Cruz. Small as the event was, the mix of toy collectibles and comic books garnered enough attention. A lot of people were finding out about our local artists and their work which is all good in my book. If 2011 was any sign of what the future holds for the komiks scene, then next year will be better than expected.


Update! According to Gerry Alanguilan’s recent blog post, Vinyl+Splash raised an astonishing 125,000 Pesos for the UN World Food Program. Wow! Better still,  news has it that Fully-Booked is planning to this again next year. Let the countdown begin!

Here’s video coverage of the event by Marvene Rom Munda.

Check out these other blogs that have more photos and another perspective about the event:

Komikero Dot Com

Toys Are Evil

Yo! MC: The Next Jam!


Red Dot Diva


That Was It!

Posted in Comics, My Art by J.R. Bumanglag on February 22, 2010

Thesis. That feels good. Very good! After all the frustrations and struggles, my comic book thesis is finally done. A culmination of almost more than a year’s work, scratched off the checklist. The defense held at school last week, February 17, was the shortest 51 minutes I have ever had. The jury, composed of 2 college professors and 1 guest, were not as stingy as I thought they would be – big thumbs up there. Still, I was  nervous as hell. But nothing felt as good as hearing the jury say that I passed.

The thesis study, entitled “The Combination of the Filipino Traditional Style and Modern Digital Coloring,” was a very personal project of mine. The venture was an intense stylistic adjustment – a challenge I simply took to open opportunities and develop my personal style. Throughout the endeavor, I’ve learned much about the Filipino masters of the old komiks industry. My appreciation of the Filipino style has grown and I would cite Alfredo Alcala as my most favorite Filipino artist. He was a very passionate man, embedded in the details of his artwork.

The story I chose to adapt into a comic book was Timothy James Dimacali’s “Skygypsies,” a short story published in Philippine Speculative Fiction III. It is a sci-fi adventure set in the regions of the asteroid belt, wherein the Badjaos have transitioned from seafaring to spacefaring –  a fulfillment of their destiny beyond the stars. From the very first time I read the story, I fell in-love with it and the story grew on me. It presents an ocean of potential…and I for one wanted to realize that.

Overall, there were a lot of things that I could have done better. I’ve realized now that I have to go back to basics and relearn a lot of things. And in equal footing, there were things I was very happy about as well. Enjoy and cheers to the future!

PICCA Fest – Industry Talks

Posted in Comics, Events, Podcasts, Seminars by J.R. Bumanglag on October 19, 2009

I have this thing for seminars and workshops, especially if they’re for free. Learning something new from writers, artists and industry professionals has been my pet-peeve, a quality I hope to continue living with. To get my learning fix for the month, I attended a PICCA event called Industry Talks held SM Megamall Powerbooks on October 15. The first part was helmed by Gerry Alanguilan, Gilbert Monsanto and Guia Yonzon about the trials and tribulations in comics publishing. The last part was editorial cartooning in Sydney and Singapore covered by Den Coy Miel and Edd Aragon.

Guia Yonzon, Edd Aragon, Den Coy Miel, Gilbert Monsanto and Gerry Alanguilan

At about lunch time, I headed to SM Megamall. The Powerbooks staff was already preparing the area where the seminar was to be held. In the distance, I could already recognize Gerry, his wife, and Gilbert talking among themselves. Curiously, there weren’t any attendees yet. I roamed around the store to browse on some novels and miscellaneous books. It was about 1:30 already and I proceeded to cosy myself to a seat close to the stage. I nodded and smiled at Gerry when he saw me taking a seat. Though we weren’t acquainted, he has such a good guy demeanour. I was getting a little worried because apart from me, only two other guys were filling the chairs. But that didn’t last long as other attendees were arriving and the talk began.

Guia Yonzon, Edd Aragon, Den Coy Miel, Gilbert Monsanto and Gerry Alanguilan 2

In Comics Publishing, Gerry Alanguilan, Gilbert Monsanto and Guia Yonzon spoke about their initial experiences in getting their books to see the light of day. Gerry gave a brief recap of the history of Philippine comics, his forays into self-publishing and the making of Komikero Publishing. Gilbert Monsanto shared how he juggles his different projects, why he doesn’t stop making comics and problems in self-publishing. Guia Yonzon talked about the comics revival of Darna and Lastikman, dilemmas in distribution, production costs and monetary support, and her desire for comics to return as a legitimate medium in today’s modern Filipino society. In Editorial Cartooning in Sydney and Singapore, Edd Aragon and Den Con Miel described their lives as cartoonists in foreign publications and how they reflect the Filipino culture in their strips.

One evident characteristic about the speakers this time was their passion for comics and cartooning. They all shared a desire to raise these mediums as valid forms of art and literature. I really enjoyed this seminar as I was again opened to new possibilities. It’s a great feeling to know that there are people that share my desire for comics. Also, I saw John A. Lent, a prominent figure in the study of the comics industry in Asia. He looks like Santa Claus. Haha!

As planned, I recorded the event and here it is for your listening pleasure. Note! The discussions are mostly bilingual – Taglish.

Runtime is 2 hours and 27 minutes.

Download from Mediafire.

Listen online at my Multiply.

Song snippets from Asian Kung Fu Generation’s “Blue Train” and Bamboo’s “Masaya.”

A Strip About Taxation

Posted in Comics, My Art by J.R. Bumanglag on September 28, 2009

I drew this strip for a taxation class in college. I had little time to illustrate so I had to go streamlined. Nothing special, just a conversation between a cat and a dog about taxation.

Kat and Doug in the Wonderful World of Taxation

Kat and Doug

Upcoming Attractions

Posted in Animation, Books, Comics, Events, History by J.R. Bumanglag on September 18, 2009

October 2009 will a be an exciting month for comics enthusiasts because of a lot of things. Almost two months after the Metro Comic Con, another comics-related event will be happening at the Megamall – The First Philippine International Cartoons, Comics and Animation Festival. PICCA will be held from October 15 to 19 all around Megamall, Poveda, Powerbooks, Megatrade Hall, Makati and Tagaytay. Visit PICCA’s Official Site to learn more about the schedules, contests and more.


Interestingly, KOMIKON 2009 will also be held at the last day of the PICCA Festival. This year marks the second KOMIKON Awards that aims to give recognition to Filipino creators who continually give it their all to a young and promising comics industry. Visit Komikon’s Official Deviantart to learn more about the nominees and their creations.


Among the numerous titles that are to be released this October, the following will probably burn the brightest:

First off is Francisco V. Coching’s El Indio. Published by the Vibal Foundation, this is the first ever collected edition of any serialized komiks title. El Indio was first serialized in the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1953; a time when collecting serialized komiks was still out of the norm. Pain-stakingly restored by Gerry Alanguilan and Zara Macandili with the help of the Coching family, this 177 page graphic novel is a must-buy for komiks enthusiasts young and old. I already have a copy of the book bought from the Manila International Book Fair in SMX SM Mall of Asia and it is just stunning.


The second is The Life and Art of Francisco V. Coching also published by the Vibal Foundation. It is a coffee-table book about Francisco V. Coching, a biographical recollection of the Dean of Komiks Illustrators by numerous writers. It is edited by art critic Patrick D. Flores and will be launched at the National Museum. I’m also planning to buy this book, a healthy addition to my knowledge on the history of Philippine Comics.


Another book about Filipino Komiks entitled The First One Hundred Years Of Philippine Komiks and Cartoons will be launched at the PICCA Festival on October 16, 2009. Published by Boboy Yonzon, it is written by comics historian Dr. John A. Lent and contributions by Beth Chionglo, Aileen Casis, Glady Gimena, Orvy Jundis, Joy Del Mundo and Boboy Yonzon. I’m very excited for this book too but the retail price really cringes my teeth. I don’t know if I will be able to purchase it. But I am very happy to know that finally, there is a movement to promote our rich komiks history that does not limit itself to online discussion.

Trese Book 3

The long-awaited TRESE Book 3: Mass Murders is finally coming to haunt us. Written by Budjette Tan and drawn by Kajo Baldisimo, this new volume will continue the midnight adventures of Alexandra Trese and the Kambal. It will also introduce new characters, one of which definitely shake the mythos – the entry of Anton Trese. If you want to receive a copy one week before the launch of the book, just go to the MIBF and proceed to the VisPrint booth.

All infos were collected from:

Gerry Alanguilan

Budjette Tan

Trese Komix

Manila International Book Fair

Philippine International Cartoons, Comics and Animation Festival


The world is continually turning and changing that I really don’t want to get left behind! My thesis is slowly shaping into its form and am excited to finish it. Knowing that there are a lot of komiks titles out there finally reaching readers hands, I’m so stoked to write and illustrate my own.

Jamming with PNE and Kamikazee

Posted in Events, Photography by J.R. Bumanglag on September 10, 2009

I recently went to a concert along with my Kuya Boom, Ate, Ivy, Ate Charny and Kuya Omi last Saturday, September 5th. Entitled OutJam – A Rockin’ Affair, it was a concert helmed by Convergys at the Araneta Coloseum. I couldn’t remember the last concert that I went to so I decided not to miss this chance. Two of the most popular bands today performed that night – Kamikazee and Parokya ni Edgar.

OutJam - Parokya Ni Edgar

OutJam - Kamikazee

Shooting the event was no easy task. I was only armed with my 18-55mm kit lens which was not made for an action-packed concert. I had to boost the ISO to 800 and had a hard time finding the right settings. Furthermore, I didn’t have any ID to save me and my camera from security. Thank God Ate Charny knew the right people to talk to and I was lent an ID. Luck also struck me when Chito Miranda invited the audience to come closer to the stage. I took a hefty amount of photos but out of almost 500 shots, only 12 survived the cut. Next time, I’m going to be more mindful about my settings and my gear. I really learned a lot from this concert shoot and will never forget the experience. Enjoy!

OutJam - Parokya Ni Edgar

OutJam - Parokya Ni Edgar

Check out more photos here!

To Puerto Princesa and Back

Posted in Family, Photography, Travel by J.R. Bumanglag on August 26, 2009


The last time we had a trip beyond the Luzon area was when I was just but a wee ten year old running around in his short shorts. So when I found out that we were going to Palawan for the weekend, I just had to bend over. But knowing that I still had a lot of responsibilities to finish, second thoughts began to boil. Instead of missing out of the fun, I took my work with me so at least the guilt could melt on the way.

Day 1

The trip lasted for about an hour and we arrived in Puerto Princesa at about 4 in the afternoon. The weather there was warm, as the setting sun was burning brighter than red. Dad’s work acquaintances were already waiting to pick us up at the airport. We proceeded to the Palawan Village Hotel to settle down and get ready for the long weekend. While we were waiting for dinner, dad and his workmates were busily planning for the schedule of activities. I nestled myself in the room for awhile, watching cable TV and setting up my camera.

Day 1a

Dinner came and we were off to Kalui, a Filipino-themed restaurant in the city. The place reminded me of a bahay kubo, albeit better built and lavishly decorated. We had to leave our shoes and sandals by the door, quite the formality I long for in today’s Filipino homes. The ambiance was warm with varnished bamboo walls and wood floors. The decorations were undoubtedly beautiful, full of Filipiniana themes and images of the life in the farmlands.

Day 1b

Day 1c

Behind it all, the food was the highlight of the night. I’m a seafood lover –which is really weird because I grew up in sea-less Baguio – and have always longed for a taste of lobster. That night, I did devour this unique crustacean and was left satisfied. Compared to the usual crab, it was easier to pick off the white succulent meat. The vinegar was special as well, having a sensation of sweetness. I also enjoyed eating our national hero Lapu-Lapu along with shrimps.

Day 1d

After dinner, we went night-seeing at the city baywalk. We rode a tricycle with a less than practical design but way cooler than most of what I’ve seen in Luzon. The nightlife here was alive and kicking, all thanks to the numerous tourists who come here. Arriving at baywalk, the place immediately reminded me of MOA’s baywalk. Unfortunately, the place is still under construction. We learned that the place used be a squatter area but was eventually burnt down in order to give way to modernization. A lot of people were there from different walks of life. There were kids and adults who were making rounds with their rented bicycles and pedicabs. Some were relaxing in the company of friends and family. After we made a round for ourselves, we went back to the hotel and slept like kings and queens.

Day 2

The next day, we woke up as early as we could. After a quick breakfast, we went off to a two hour land trip to Sabang Beach at Barangay Cabayugan, Sitio Sabang. One of the best things about Palawan’s tourism is that it is well implemented and planned. Tour guides and tour transportation are bustling in and out of the city continually circling the visitors around the island. We had a very good tour guide who was full of information about Palawan. Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of total land area. The city has 31 urban and 31 rural barangays, a total of 66 barangays. Recently, Puerto Princesa was declared a highly-urbanized city.

Day 2a

The trip to Sabang Beach brought us into the thick forests and high mountains along a winding road. We would seldom pass by farmlands and rock formations. As we were nearing the beach, a beautiful resort stood over the distance. The place was packed with a lot of tourists like us. Good thing lunch was already served as we proceeded to the huts and ate to our hearts delight. After I ate my share, I toured myself to the beach and took photos and such. I enjoyed the serene seascape and mountain range, the quietness of the moment was more than welcome to a busy life.

Day 2b

Day 2c

Day 2d

After lunch, we went to the nearby port and road a banca. The trip to the underground river lasted about thirty minutes. The scenery reminded me of the movie King Kong, with all the rock formations, blue-green waters and unending jungles. I was trying to be very extra careful with my camera, covering it with my vest because the waters were not very friendly. We landed on another beach, the final step towards the heritage site. We could already smell the stench of the river as we were wearing our safety helmets and vests. One boat accommodated eight people with the front passenger in charge of the spot light. The entrance of the underground cave was already a sight to behold with natural rock formations greeting her visitors. Our tour guide estimated that the round trip into the 8.2 kilometer river would take 45 minutes. Nearing the belly of the beast, a lot of bats and other-worldly creatures were creeping around us. Stunning stalactite and stalagmite structures played images in our minds, creating a scatoma effect. They formed religious icons of Moses, Mother Mary, Jesus’ face and the three kings; animals such as snakes, horses, dogs and bird feet; vegetables such as pumpkins, eggplants, banana hearts and whatnot.

Day 2e

I realized how important nature really is to the human race. These natural wonders will not last forever, not unless we as stewards of this Earth will take care of them. So play your part. Vote the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature at

Day 2f

Reaching the dead end of the cave, the boat turned around and we were headed for the exit. Approaching the light at the end of the journey, we cherished our final moments with the majestic. The experience was definitely unforgettable and probably once in a lifetime. Another photo session at the welcome sign and we were headed back to the city proper. At this point, I was already tired and slept all the way.

We arrived at the hotel at about 5 in the afternoon already. I was just in time to watch the DLSU-UP match and that just made my day. A little shower here and tidy there and dinner time came. We headed to another well known restaurant Kinabuchs. It was like Gerry’s Grill or Dencio’s. I enjoyed my favourite appetizer Kilaweng Tanigue and Baked Tahong (a variation of Baked Scallops). I avoided eating rice again to not quickly find myself full. We walked our bellies off at the baywalk again. Another day done, one more to go.

Day 3

Day 3a

In our last day, the family sans dad went to the middle of the sea and took a peek into the life in the coral reefs. We rode a banca at the port and were dropped off at a man-made kubo-island. I didn’t join with the activity because I just wanted to take photos. If only I had the proper gear for underwater photography, that would have been great. There were still a lot of tourists, with a moderate amount coming and going. With little equipment, you could already look into the underwater world. After this activity, we rode the banca again to our next destination.

Day 3b

Day 3c

We proceeded to another island where there was a clear beach waiting for us. Like any other beach, huts were lined up for tourists to enjoy. But one thing was special about this beach. This time, I joined another snorkelling activity and was stunned. Not far from the shore, there was already a coral reef and marine life was bustling. You wouldn’t really notice it at first, not until you take a look under you. There was a fleeting feeling of flight as I was trying to reach the bottomless abyss. This moment was very inspirational, a feeling of a meeting with God himself. I wish I could stay there forever. What an experience!

Day 3d

Day 3e

Day 3f

Day 3g

Day 3h

We didn’t have to change our clothes and made the wind dry ourselves. Not long after, we were back at the hotel. We took our last shower and readied our things for checkout. For lunch, we went to the Badjao Seafront Restaurant. As soon as we were walking through the bridge, I knew the place was great. Surrounding the restaurant was a gorgeous mangrove forest. The water was clear and tiny fishes were swimming about. The place was welcoming as the afternoon breeze greeted us inside. If I had a house of my own, I would base it on this – with less people and more room of course. The food was great – as I’ve always been saying so far. The view from the veranda was breath-taking.

Day 3i


We went to the Congressman’s house atop a hill over-looking the island. Then we headed to Baker’s Hill, a sort of bakery-theme park-zoo mix up. The houses there were top notch, homes of the kings. Statues of looney toons, animals and pirates inhabited the place. There were some real animals too like a cat-like owl. We bought pastries for pasalubong and snacks. I also bought pearl earings for Joy waiting for me in Manila. After Baker’s Hill, we passed by the Puerto Princesa City Hall and then headed to the local tiangge. And after a very long weekend, we all headed back home to our lives. Back to Manila. And back again.


Check out the photos below!

Puerto Princesa Food Trip

Puerto Princesa Part 1

Puerto Princesa Part 2

Creating Comics 101 at MCC

Posted in Comics, Events, Seminars, Workshops by J.R. Bumanglag on August 21, 2009


Excited as I was the night before August 9, I couldn’t help but wonder what awaited us in the Comic Creation 101 at the second day of the Metro Comic Con. I woke up as early as I could that Sunday morning and wasted no time preparing my things. I left the house at about 9am, after a teasingly weird episode of Beauty and the Geek. On the road, my mind was set to learn more of the medium I love the most – comics! Breakfast at Jolibee was the only fuel I needed to jumpstart my day. I was giddy-silly, albeit restless to attend a comics-related seminar. The past seminars by Glass House Graphics, unfortunately, were not on top of my list back then. But now’s not the time to waste opportunity. Once the gates opened, it was only a few steps towards the Conference Hall where the seminar was to be held. I passed by the Megatrade Hall where the Metro Comic Con was also preparing to begin their second day.

I was one of the first to enter the conference hall. Some of the organizers I saw way back at the Road to MCC UP leg were setting up already. One of them recognized me and asked if I was the one who posted the podcast. She was wondering why I didn’t attend their leg at CSB-SDA. Regrettably, I was not informed about that. The hall itself was very welcoming, conducive to learning. A few minutes later, Gerry Alanguilan arrived with his trademark clothes – clothes that he always wears whenever I see him in-person. Carlo Pagulayan followed and the moderator decided to begin the seminar.

Gerry Alanguilan

Gerry Alanguilan is a comic book artist, writer and publisher and known for his inking work on Wolverine, X-Men, X-Force, Superman, Batman, Fantastic Force, Iron Man, Wetworks, Grifter, High Roads and Silent Dragon. Locally, he has illustrated his own comics such as Wasted, Humanis Rex, ELMER, Timawa, Crest Hut Butt Shop and Johnny Balbona . I’ve been a fan of Gerry ever since I found his Komikero Komiks Blog and Philippine Online Komiks Museum. For one man to give so much effort into the local comics scene is a sight to behold.

Gerry began the seminar with a discussion about story and idea creation. He describes himself as a good observer, ever so curious about his surroundings. He takes not the importance of two words – WHAT IF – as the beginning of any story. For his work on ELMER, he started off thinking “WHAT IF CHICKENS COULD TALK?” and continued from there. He suggests that having a BLACK BOOK OF IDEAS a must for creators in order to formally collect every idea that he may think of. A small notepad can be of great help to write down the fleeting ideas we get from everyday life.

In a question and answer portion, I managed to ask his opinions about the local writers and their stories being released in the mainstream and independent comics scene. He said that most of the local comics are still very young, amateur and really needs a lot of work. But he can’t blame them for this because most of them make comics as a hobby. He also noticed that there are more Filipino artists than writers, to which I also agreed. His next work will be a take on our national hero, The Marvelous Adventures of Dr. Jose Rizal and inking Leinil Yu on Ultimate Comics Avengers.

Carlo Pagulayan

The next speaker was Carlo Pagulayan. He is a penciler working for Glass House Graphics. He began his career through Dark Horse Comics, illustrating the World Trade Center Twin Towers Tribute Book written by Doug Petrie. Since then, he has done sequentials for Marvel’s Elektra, Emma Frost and Planet Hulk. He is currently working on Agents of Atlas.

Carlo Pagulayan

For his part of the seminar, he explained the ins and outs of anatomy. He described the perfect proportions of the male and female human body, how to draw them and how to move them. Referencing books by Andrew Loomis and Burne Hogarth, he was able to perform a live sketch session on how he envisions the human anatomy. He also exclaims that once you master it, it will follow through with character designs., Terragen and Curious Lab’s Poser were some of the resources he gave to us as reference materials in our artistic endeavours. But he advised us that we should not rely on these programs too much as it will deaden our artistic vision. He tells us to only use them in the direst of needs, especially on deadlines.

Harvey Tolibao

The next artist in-line was the ever-so-humorous Harvey Tolibao. Like Carlo, Harvey works for Glass House Graphics. He has made sequentials for Marvel’s Avengers: The Initiative and Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Kotor. He is also known for his Bumblebee Pinup that made waves in the interwebs for the sheer details and draftmanship of the artwork. He is set to illustrate Psylocke for Marvel Comics so watch out for that.

Harvey Tolibao

As great as an artist Harvey is, he is also a great speaker. Using is down-to-earth humor, he explained the intricacies of comic book story-telling and why it is more important that being able to draw well. He is also a paper junkie and a sketch addict. In his free time, in travels or whatnot, he finds time to draw even in the harshest of conditions. He is as resourceful as he is uncanny, taking any kind of paper and drawing on it anytime, anywhere. In his latest sequential work, he describes his work from the time he first reads the script to finally setting down the pencils. As he reads the script, he envisions the scene in every conceivable angle, mood of setting and pose of character. He then creates thumbnails of the best depictions he could think of and sends it to his editors for approval. After the go signal, he searched for references in movies, internet and books to give life to the panel. He justifies this use of reference, quoting his father that in today’s age, nothing is original – only God can create the original.

Edgar Tadeo

Next up was Edgar Tadeo, a comic book inker and sometime colorist. Like Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Yu, Gilbert Monsanto and Philip Tan, he came from Whilce Portacio’s school for comic book art. He has worked on X-Men Legacy, Silver Surfer and District X.

For his part of the seminar, he listed down the best materials for inking, why and how to use them and what an inker must have in mind when doing his job.  He listed down the tools of the trade – crowquills, templates, inks, brushes and more – each requiring a decent amount of getting used to. He also noted that inkers have distinct styles – dominant and transparent inking. An inker is also the final step (or semi-final if there is a colorist) to reaching the light of the comic book vision. If need be, he corrects some mistakes of the penciler like incorrect anatomy and such. Way back then, Edgar used to correct Whilce’s hands because the latter admittedly had a weakness drawing them. Although Edgar confessed that he came unprepared, I still learned a lot about inking.

Jay David Ramos

Last in the list was Jay David Ramos. Jay is also a workhorse from Glass House Graphics and has graced his colors in Ultimate X-Men, Iron Man and War Machine. He is also a long-time collaborator of Harvey Tolibao. For his part of the bargain, he described coloring as more than the reds, blues and yellows. It entails an enormous amount of speed and patience because on average, a colorist should at least submit 6 pages a day. Now even for a guy like me, that’s freakingly fast. A colorist should also have vast knowledge of the color theory, color wheel, complimentary, supplementary and a knack for deadlines. He is proud to say that he has never missed a deadline. Ever. As a treat, he did a coloring demo using a panel from Harvey Tolibao’s Avengers. He gave some quick tips on how to color, shortcuts and all. For a photoshop that didn’t have his brushes, he did great work.

All in all, the seminar was a blast! I left very inspired and satisfied. I do wish though that there were more seminars like this. Also, an in-depth seminar for comic book writing would really make my day. But I’m going to have to do the best with what I have.