A candid and personal examination of the Philippine comics scene from a social, cultural, economic and business point of view.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Comics are essentially a MEDIUM of expression and NOT an artform.

By definition, "medium" is a means of communication. It is a vehicle or mode used to express any thought or idea effectively to another. With this in mind, can we say that printed comics are a medium or means of communication? Can we say that comics are an effective vehicle used by a comics creator in communicating his thoughts, ideas and aspirations to another? I believe so.

In 1989, the government-run Philippine Information Agency published a media survey which found Philippine comics or "komix" as having a 54% audience share over and above other traditional media at the time such as newspapers (37%), magazines (33%), movies (45%) and television (53%). Filipino comics were the prime purveyors of the tagalog language. They were avidly read by millions of Filipinos mostly belonging to the class D and E "bakya crowd" demographic. Filipino comics as a mass medium of communication? You bet.

Though there may be some comics works (local or foreign) that exhibit some form of exceptional artistic expression and creativity, these circumstances must be considered as isolated and incidental. Why? Because not all printed comics works are works of art. Since man is imperfect and prone to error, he could not consistently and at all times, create works of art. Even legendary comics artists Francisco Coching, Tony de Zuniga, Alfredo Alcala, Alex Nino, and Nestor Redondo, were known to slack off. Besides, appreciating whether or not a particular comic is a work of art is a subjective affair entirely prone at times to never ending disagreement.

In these isolated and exceptional circumstances then where comics works have gone beyond merely communicating an author's thoughts and ideas that is, by reaching a higher level of human creative skill, that comics may be considered as an artform. By analogy, there are certain movies (i.e., Seven Samurai, The 400 Blows) and television shows (i.e., M.A.S.H., Twilight Zone) that have been recognized as uncommonly creative and artistic. But movies and television per se as a medium of communication are not works of art.

The general postulate still stands: comics are essentially a medium of expression and communication just like television, movies, radio and the internet. A medium simply is. It exists independently of one's subjective impressions but not at all closed to its myriad variations. A paradox if ever there was one.


Blogger Randy Valiente said...

yehey! may blog ka na rin sa wakas. i'm planning to put up another blog about komiks, dyahe yung isa kong blog. puro kalokohan lang laman nun.

5:59 PM

Blogger Jonas Diego said...

Heps! Lawrence, ikaw ba yan? Ha ha ha! :D

7:44 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...

Hi Jonas :)



9:11 PM

Blogger Jonas Diego said...

Nyahahahaha! :D

12:15 PM


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