Monday, September 24, 2007

On Quality

I have yet to get myself copies of the new P10 comics, released barely a couple of weeks ago by Carlo Caparas and Sterling. But the initial feedback I've read isn't so encouraging, particularly in the area of production values.

Pricing a publication at P10 brings us back to the old days in both good and bad ways. On the good side, the product becomes affordable. It's slightly more expensive than standard jeep fare, but affordable nonetheless. Bring prices down and you're almost always sure to get an initial killing.

However, to get the price down to that level, dirt cheap paper is the way to go. And this is where the bad side comes in. We're back to the good old days when comics were throwaway entertainment. Worse, when they were the proverbial "pambalot ng tinapa."

Some of you might have obscure hard-bound books at home published in the 50s or 60s but still occupy shelf space. How about those empty perfume bottles neatly arranged on your grandmother's shelf, or battle-scarred vinyl 45s in the bodega? Even though I was never a serious comics collector, I still have a few comics issues from over a decade ago tucked away.

But if you've purchased a publication with production values similar to those of tabloids, or newspapers at most, what kind of keepsake instinct does that publication encourage? Would it occupy your magazine rack for a few years, just like those old issues of Newsweek or Time?

Part of the whole scheme of reviving comics doesn't just involve creating the product, setting an acceptable price point, and placing it on the stands. To me, a greater part of the whole comics revival campaign should include measures to ensure its longevity, that comics meant more than ink on paper. The new Philippine comics should have the built-in mechanisms that can intrigue the reader enough into saying, "I want more."

To do that, we go back to the issue of perceived value. The P10 comics should be seen as worth more than that price. If the production values won't do it, the stories (both writing and art) ought to.

4 comments:

Randy P. Valiente said...

Hi Carlo, Sorry di ko mahagilap ang email mo kaya dito ko na lang idinaan hehehe. Ito pala ang article na gusto mo http://carverhouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/philippine-comics-revival-my-view.html

Gusto ko rin sana humingi ng short biography mo, kahit 3-5 sentences lang para mailagay sa likod ng book. Thanks :) Ito pala email ko rpvaliente(at)yahoo

Anonymous said...

inconsistent ang quality ng art work. some are really good. some are awful. pero man! the story is sooooo old! nakakatamad basahin.tsaka sana mas konting stories na mas mahaba kesa maraming stories na super bitin. i was also very disappointed with "super funny komiks". i was expecting something like niknok, mister n misis, etc. napaka-korni!!!

Carver said...

randy... email kita. :-)

anonymous... kaka-sad naman. :-(

hxero said...

sana marami pa feedbacks para nmn me mapulot sila criticism para ma-improve ung komiks nila...

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