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!


How Old Is Old?

Posted in Comics, My Art, Technology by J.R. Bumanglag on July 9, 2009

Sample Page

Some things never grow old like the enthusiasm I have for comics. For years, I have pondered long and hard to why I give much interest in a medium most people see as children’s entertainment. It’s a somewhat search for the truth, the purpose and the reason why I love comics so much. Everyday is a new discovery as I read the many thousands of work being churned out by great artists and writers. And it’s a journey one page at a time.

Surprisingly, I never thought I’d be so inspired by being exposed to the works of the old Filipino masters. Anime, manga and all other foreign influences have been my primary influences for the most of my artistic endeavours. I could imagine asking my younger self to enumerate Filipino comic book artists and hearing only a few. But the names Alcala, Redondo, Coching and Nino have permanently found a home in my heart as great artists. I would have wished to see them stroke their brushes one more time – sans Nino who I had the pleasure of such.

It has come to a point that I give them a nod, a pat on the back, a shout that their styles are, in my sincerest belief, have become more relevant and meaningful in this day and age. In as much as we drown ourselves with the modern styles of our foreign counterparts, an opportune moment has presented itself ever so silently. There is a Filipino style of illustrating komiks and the fact of knowing that is great.

Here I present a sample of what I want to play around with. The meeting of old illustration techniques and digital editing skills placed into one piece. The juxtaposition of conformity and modernity will be the biggest challenge in the proposal. This is where I skew the timeline and create an alternate reality – that’s the idea anyway.

Here’s the process that the art went through. A many thanks to Joel Chua from Pixel Pintura for giving plentiful advice given to the piece. I also added the logos that were based from old scans of Pilipino Komiks. I’ll probably trace other old komiks logos and converting them to vector and uploading them to this site for others to use sparingly to their own artwork.



Artist of Two Worlds

Posted in Books, Comics, Manga by J.R. Bumanglag on February 10, 2009

“I have always been strongly of the opinion that the writer and artist should be in one person. Failing that, and in the absence of any prior agreement between artist and writer, then I come down in favor of the dominance of the artist. This is not to free him from the obligation to work in service of the story originated by the writer. Rather, I expect him to shoulder this burden with the understanding that the so called ‘freedom’ will come a greater challenge – that of employing or devising a wider range of visual devices and composition innovation. He should contribute to the ‘writing.’”

– Will Eisner, Comics and Sequential Art

I’m definitely on the same wave as Will Eisner on this notion. I have grown to admire artists that are able to write and illustrate at the same time. The ability to draw is already much a burden to some, but writing the story that goes with the illustration is an entirely new world on their shoulders. It is in this idea that I true believe in the ambidextrous ability, in balancing out the weight of justice given to the crime of killing two birds with one stone.

If I were to deconstruct this belief, I think the artist is able to write because he is a visual master. He paints a picture in his mind, trying to see the overall story. The characters, objects, scenes and places may jumble restlessly in his mind. Through insistent molding, he lays out everything, hoping all of them can fall unto the right places, at the right time. As he truly sees the painting from beginning to end, he simply translates it into words, adds illustrations (albeit again) and the rest is history.

I’m simply astounded reading a line which says ‘Story and Art by …’ or ‘Katha’t Guhit ni …’ It is a simple connotation of how personal the comic book is to her creator and vice versa.


El Indio

Francisco Coching



Story and Art by Gerry Alanguilan



Story and Art by Katsuhiro Otomo



Story and Art by Takehiko Inoue


Indeed, how many of us can look left and right at the same time?