Dreaming In Stages

I was at the Alabang Town Center last Saturday with the folks of Nautilus Comics for the last weekend leg of the Comics Creation Seminar series. I wasn’t able to sleep the night before for some strange reason, so I dozed off a few times en route to the venue.

The session had a good turn out given the space of Powerbooks-ATC, and the participants were an attentive bunch. Even if my trusty Powerpoint presentation wasn’t available, I did my best to throw in as much insight and information as I could.

There are a lot of young ‘uns and not-so-young ‘uns who want to get into the game, and it’s all encouraging. Hopefully a number of them will be able to see their dreams through. During the seminar, I told the audience my little story of how I, while talking to David Hontiveros on the phone in 1993, bawled buckets questioning the worth of this comics-making crap. It really takes a lot of determination and passion to complete projects, especially for artists, especially since no clear pay-off is clear in the current local climate.

Fortunately, there are a host of services available on the internet for aspiring writers and artists to show off their wares and get feedback, both subjective and objective. Unlike older fogies like me who still find the scent and feel of paper more favorable, the younger folk seem to be more receptive to the idea of making online comics. The reach is relatively wider online, even international in scope.

In all the seminars I’ve helmed over the years, I’ve seen that most everyone has that dream project, epic in scale and loaded with colorful characters. My advice is to start slow, with sure baby steps before making quick strides. The past decade has seen too many casualties, promising stories that have seen print only to fizzle out faster than you can say “Here’s a real job.” While you owe it to yourself to get out there and earn regular income, you also owe it to your readers to finish what you started. At this stage, saying that you’re “just trying out so please forgive us for our shortcomings” may not be as forgiveable.


A special feature on comics creators just came out in the latest ish of the snazzy Bluprint magazine. Apart from myself, the feature also showcases Arnold Arre (After Eden), Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted), Ryan Orosco and Gilbert Monsanto (Darna), Night Shift (Chips), and Culture Crash. Thanks to the kind folks at Bluprint for the opportunity.

So the write-up on me says that I am a two-time Palanca award winner, though I distinctly remember editing that one from the draft. Oh well. . . I guess I’m going to have to do my darndest to validate that.


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