THE WEB JOURNAL OF JOHN RAY

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.

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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!

Flipgeeks

Red Dot Diva

 

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.”

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.

PICCA

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.

Komikon

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.

El-Indio-cover_final

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.

cochingcoverfinal

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!

Creating Comics 101 at MCC

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

MCC_Presents__Comic_Creation_by_manilacomic_con

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. Fineart.sk, 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.

The Road to MCC School Tour: University of Santo Tomas

Posted in Comics, Events, Podcasts, Seminars by J.R. Bumanglag on July 26, 2009

It was on a Wednesday afternoon, July 22 that I attended the next leg of the Road to MCC at the University of Santo Tomas. I came in just a bit tad late because of other responsibilities but I did manage to record most of it. The panelists for this leg were Heubert Michael, Yuri Timg and Wilson Tortosa and hosted by Ernest Hernandez. It was at this time that the once Manila Comic Con was renamed Metro Comic Con instead. I do not know exactly why but it still stands the same.

MCC

Just like last time, the talk was mostly in Taglish. Another big thanks to the organizers of the Metro Comic Con and the UST College of Fine Arts and Design. Listen well and listen good!

Runtime is 42 minutes.

Download from Mediafire.

Listen online at my Multiply.

Song snippet’s from Bamboo’s “Masaya” and Rivermaya’s “Alab ng Puso.”

Heubert Michael in Deviantart.

Wilson Tortosa in Deviantart and Glass House Graphics.

Yuri Timg in Suspended Animation Media.

Metro Comic Con in Deviantart.

Road to MCC: UP Diliman

Posted in Comics, Events, Seminars by J.R. Bumanglag on July 5, 2009

Road to MCC

From Carlo Pagulayan’s Multiply. I’m so excited for this year’s biggest local comics convention and I’m definitely attending. I don’t want to miss out on a possibly annual comics event. I’m expecting it to be a hit to comic and non-comic fans. See you there!