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

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What Gerry Alanguilan and Co. are trying to say

"I think nobody ever really said we were doing our comics to "revive the Philippine comic book industry"? Who told everybody to expect this from us?None of us woke up one morning thinking, "Oho! I will revive the comic book industry! To accomplish this goal, I will do THIS. I will do THAT." Wouldn't that be insanely and grossly egotistic of us to believe ourselves wondrously talented, skillful, and knowledgeable enough to dare to make it our #1 objective.... to revive a national industry?. I apologize if we have disappointed you by not living up to your expectations, but they are expectations we never even dared to have for ourselves, let alone strive for.It's an unrealistic and an unfair expectation, and how could anyone to put *that* on our shoulders? We only wanted to write stories and draw pictures because it's fun. And we love doing it. Now all of a sudden we're expected to be responsible for the resuscitation of a whole industry? Get a GRIP. Get a SERIOUS grip! Please!"

Oh, so its all just for "fun" then? Its all just a hobby? A pasttime like cross-stitch? An expression of "love"? (scratch scratch) Well what about this later remark on his "Thoughts about the Komiks Congress":

"To dismiss or ignore what young comics writers and artists have accomplished in the last 15 years, creating a new comics industry amidst the dying throes of an old and much greater one, in an economy that is struggling and unstable, would be terribly unwise. Clearly, the fact that comics are created and read in a time when no serious money can be made in comics can be a case study if one wishes to understand ways of how comics can survive and persist in an environment where it shouldn’t. xxx For a revival of komiks in a wide scale to happen, there are many practices in the old industry that has to be stricken out of the books. I sincerely hope that the people involved don’t believe that they can just continue what they have done before as if nothing happened. xxx" (Emphasis Mine)

Get it? First he claims that "they" are NOT out to revive a local comics industry. THEN in another of his opinionated essays, he ASSERTS that for the last 15 years, a new comics industry was being created by the same "them". Huh?!

Did we read it right? A "new comics industry" was created in this country for the last 15 years? That would be in 1992, right? And it was created by the young comics writers and artists of today (like him, presumably)? Sonovagun. And this is coming from the same guy who hyped that 2006 is going to be a BIG year for Filipino comics?

Well how come many talented creatives are still working in animation and foreign comics companies these days? (He's proud of that by the way because in his mind, its much better that there are more Filipinos working and making waves in comics and animation media abroad, than locally).

And why aren't a lot of people seeing or at least BUYING these works? Just how "industrious" is this so-called industry anyway? How many are these self-publishers? How frequent are their works? Who are their primary audience? How much are they usually sold? What easily accessible places are they being displayed for sale? If the selfless one claims that the comics of this new industry are numerous and popular like his single most favorite example: "Zsa Zsa Zaturnah" (which by the way is allegedly written by uncredited Palanca award-winning humor writer EFREN MARTINEZ, and NOT by Carlo Vergara), then WHERE are they? WHERE and WHAT are these numerous works is he speaking of? Why does he say that they are popular? WHY haven't we seen them last year, 2006, a BIG year for Filipino comics, and in the previous yearS before that?

At the controversial 2006 Manila Film Festival, the Zsa Zsa Zaturnah movie (along with "Tatlong Baraha") was not even a money maker either. That's popular? Where's the "boom" in the local graphic novel market sold in a few bookstores for at least Php 200?

Well, there you have it. That's a komikero for you, making statements whenever convenient. And the sentiment is shared by his compatriot, Gilbert Monsanto, when commenting on the same Komiks Congress, he so eloquently chides:

"I think that the real difference from the komiks of today is that they were mere contributors of a big company then. Komiks today are done by young, dedicated and should be considered heroes of today. Imagine these creators are not getting much from each herculean step they make just to revive a sleeping giant. When the so called masters turned their backs to work on other more profitable jobs like animation and such when komiks was sick and dying on its knees, we fought harder. They never had the courage to self-publish because they know it is suicide, yet we dove in and took on the challenge. We are the komiks of today. We respect them for who they are and how they inspired us. But for them to claim victory to something they did nothing for a long time? PWE!" (Emphasis Mine)

And here, the selfless one was saying that today's "indie" komiks creators did not wake up one morning thinking, "OHO! I will revive the comic book industry!" The brains behind NEO-COMICS gave a similar nonchalant claim just a few months back. Where are they now? After FOUR largely unsold issues, they're gone.

I wonder at this point, who is really insane and grossly egotistic as to believe themselves so wondrously talented, skillful, and knowledgeable enough to make reviving the local comics industry their No. 1 objective. Hey, bro! The world wants to know! What are you guys really trying to say?



Anonymous Ding A. said...

Siguro hindi nalalaman ni Gilbert at ni Gerry ang kanilang mga sinasabi. Kahit noong mga 1980s me mga nagse-self-publish. Wala lang sa radar nila.

PUGAD BABOY compilations ni Pol Medina nagsimula yan ng mid-1980s. Hanggang ngayon patok.

IKABOD komiks ni Nonoy Marcelo. Di lang ako sigurado kung self-published ito.

Komiks ni Bert "Barok" Sarile ng Pacyno Publishing.

Me iba pa na di ko matandaan sa kasalukuyan.

Ano ba ang pinuputak ng mga yan? Binastos ba sila ng Kongreso? Sa papaanong paraan? Kailan?

12:14 AM

Anonymous Avid female reader said...

give it up. In gery;s world, everybody like him is innocent while everybody else is guilty. Same thing with the mangaboys who think the same thing. Ganon din sa mga beteranong nasa komiks congress. Tingin nila lalo lang bumaba ang komiks beause of the kind of japanese and american "indie" types going around. kAHIT na ano pang logic ang itapat mo sarado na at selective ang pag-iisip ng mga 'yan.

You're a much better and firecely independent thinker to be wsting your time on these things, aklas. I think its best that you continue on your analysis of the history of the local komiks industry.

Thank you.


12:06 PM

Anonymous Censored by the Pilipino (daw) Komiks Message Board said...

Why doesn't this guy get it? If these guys making local comics following the "american model" didn't cause the downfall of the industry, then they sure as hell aren't helping make one either. In my opinion, they are just hammering more nails on the coffin with their kind of comics that's affordable and accessible only to the rich few.

Time to wake up.

1:15 PM

Anonymous Bix said...

I've been to Alanguilan's site and saw the articles he wrote containing the statements you just quoted in your blog.

According to Alanguilan, he and some Indie people made a video production intended to be shown at the February komiks congress. Nobody told them to do it. They did it at their own initiative and on their own time.

Its a video, according to Alanguilan, meant to introduce the young indie publishers to the old komiks veterans, and, if you view the video on youtube, its selling the idea that their indie komiks have been largely responsible for maintaining in the Filipino public consciousness of "comics".

Whether he means Filipino comics or GENERIC comics, it is not clear.

Anyway, Alanguilan is griping that the video was not shown at the Kongress for still undisclosed reasons.

Alanguilan views this as a discourtesy without however, first knowing the actual reasons directly from the organizers of the Komiks congress what had really happened.

Without a prior and thorough verification done, Alanguilan then proceeds to harangue the Congress with a litany of complaints charging that it is a dissapointment. He then calls for "self-reliance" by all indie comics creators.

If the above summation is correct, I think someone overreacted at drama king mode based on a grave omission to communicate first and clarify.

Cheers back, Aklas.

9:43 AM

Anonymous Dinah said...

So according to Alanguilan it is insane and egotistical to aspire for the revival of a Filipino comics industry? That its more reasonable and selfless to just do it for fun, love and self-satisfaction?

Boy, you sure learn a new one everyday with these komikeros.

11:36 PM

Anonymous Macy said...

Bakit kaya hindi na lang i-submit ni ginoong alanguilan kung anuman ang mga nagawa na nya sa Mango dito sa grupo ni Caparas. Hindi ba sya welcome dito? Ikaw Aklas, pwede kang magsulat ng ganitong mga analysis sa Komiks nina Carlo. Bakit hindi mo i-try?

12:20 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...


I can't speak for Mr. Alanguilan as I don't know him personally and I don't know what's on his mind. Why doesn't he want to submit to Carlo Caparas? I honestly don't know. Maybe its the money? Unlike him, I don't usually resort to bare conjectures and speculation.

Why don't I try writing articles for Mr. Caparas' Komiks?

Well if I get an official invitation, copyright ownership and the royalty pay is fair and good, WHY THE HELL NOT? :)

To be realistic about it though, I don't think its ever gonna happen.
But who knows? ;)

7:39 PM

Anonymous Kahig ng Manok said...

In addition to bare conjectures and speculation, nakalimutan mo Aklas ang causing intrigues, jumping to conclusion at character assassination.

7:50 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...

Kahig ng Manok: Why what happened?

9:00 PM


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