Friday, April 27, 2007

Finding a Tagline for Comics

Before walking home, I stopped by Cafe Breton at the Podium for a late dinner and a cup of coffee. It was after eating my serving of Chicken Run--chicken strips on toasted bread with asparagus spears-- that I found myself thinking about the answers the kind folks offered in response to my previous entry.

The consensus boiled down to the marriage--or synergy, as jac put it--between art and words which for many comics enthusiasts would be that defining benefit of comics, with art contributing significantly to the experience. It can be as simple as "kasi may drawing lalu na kapag maganda, nakakaakit" as how James described it, or as analytical as "I love the amount of control comics gives me as a reader...I can scan through a comic quickly to get a quick feel of a story, or I can spend minutes pondering a single panel" the way Jaime explained it.

Reno also suggested the ability of comics to "speak to the child in us, since that's how kids start to like reading, by perusing picture books." So there's an element of innocence in there, suggesting how exciting reading comics can be. Comics can evoke a sense of anticipation and wonder--you read and see stories unfold. And in a relatively quicker pace, I should add--"the imagination is backed up and interpreted powerfully by the art/drawing, which any novel would complicate," according to ten e.

So as these answers swirled in my mind in between sips of brewed coffee, I thought of this...

"Comics. Stories beyond words."

It's a two-fold tagline. Firstly, it describes the medium, comics being vehicles for stories told not just with words, so it's literally "beyond words." Secondly, the tagline describes the emotional experience when reading comics. Well-made comics are able to engage a reader in different ways through learned application of the word-image synergy, to the point that explaining what goes on becomes, well, indescribable. It makes the medium more personal.

When it comes to translating this tagline into Filipino, however, I'm stumped. In developing a tagline for Philippine comics, we may as well try a different approach.

But what do you think about "Comics. Stories beyond words." Does it fit? Does it stick? Can it be improved?

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Also in the comments page of the previous post, Joel Chua also offered a 12-point list on the physical advantages of comics, a great set of ideas for anyone who wants to try alternative routes in creating and marketing comics.

To everyone to posted their comments, thank you!!!

6 comments:

Jamie B. said...

I love it! Short, simple yet clever; all the while encapsulating the essence of what comics are.

My question is, though: where and how do we use it? Should the various publishers contribute to a fund to have stickers or ads made and placed in strategic areas like near bookstores and magazine shops or given out? Should the various local publications run a free ad using it or allow space for it (designed as a logo or something) in their covers? Should an independent body of comic fans (not necessarily publishers, so it stays an impartial body) do all this instead?

If Carl's the creative team creating the tagline and campaign, who will be the media department who will do the placement of the ads?

ten e. said...

Agree with you on 'beyond words'. emotional experience is also a good angle to explore...ang hirap nga pala to capture it in Filipino terms.

Budjette said...

works for me :)

but do you really need to translate it to Filipino?

or do you need it in Filipino for the comic books and graphic novels written in Filipino?

Carver said...

jamie... ideally, it would be nice if anyone making comics (here or abroad) could add a label with this tagline, alongside any other awareness activites that can promote it.

But this is really scratching the surface. The best scenario would be to develop an advocacy of some sort. This requires developing a statement for comics, supported by its history, development, inclusion and involvement in educational programs and other advocacies--all nicely presented in a website.

In the Philippines, it's a greater challenge because there's not enough published material to push. How many comics have actually been produced here in the last 10 years, and how many of them have reached a wide enough awareness?

The good thing is that there are book publishers who are becoming ore open to publishing comics, so this should serve as a call to creators to produce. For now, those who want to use the tagline can do so, but we have to come up with a graphical stamp in a hi-res or EPS format that can be used by all, as well as a guideline as to where this stamp ought to be placed (for consistency purposes).

ten e. ... korekek ka diyan. Puede bang gamitin ang "Komiks...bonggang-bongga!!" But I guess not. :-)

budj... Translating it into Filipino, or at least developing a similar tagline, would really help speak to a wider audience. 'Di ba maraming Pinoy tagline ang naging memorable...

"Komiks... love ko 'to."

"Komiks... langhap-sarap." (especially with the fresh-off-the-press smell)

"Komiks... kahit itanong mo sa doktor." (Ay, mali!)

"Komiks... pasalubong ng bayan!" (sana)

"Komiks... Talagang trip kita!"

Joel said...

"Komiks... Mabuhay ka!! (sana...)"

On the matter of a "unique selling point," I don't feel komiks is the only medium that goes beyond words. The tagline is acceptable but faint.

"Real People Real Comics"
"Tunay na Tao Tunay na Komiks"

If you're up against the cultural and marketing impression that comics are for children, then the tagline has not only the job of defining what comics are, but also what makes comics relevant to the everyman.

"I read Komiks."
"Nagbabasa ako ng Komiks"

The other side of the coin. I have a hunch that if we do something like the "Drink Milk" campaign for komiks, it would be pretty effective especially in our country! Carlo should know a lot of celebrities by now... hint hint. Such a tagline would go nicely on a button pin.

"Komiks - better than XXX."

Okay that tagline's just there for fun. ^_^

Carver said...

Joel... Thanks for those suggestions! I really like the second one--"I read comics"-- over the first one. I'm wary about the expression "Real Comics" because I'd be quick to ask what "fake comics" looks like, but that's just me.

On the other hand, "I read comics" would require an endorsement, and I don't know who among our celebs would be a fitting representative for the medium. (Are there any other celeb comics fans like Michael V. and Bobby Andrews?) And, no, I'm not chummy with any celeb at all. :-)

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