Friday, July 01, 2011
One Night in Purgatory: 10 Years
It was towards the end of the year 2000, when everyone's lives had normalized after that big hoohah that was the Millennium Bug. I was employed full-time with the Metro Manila Skyway project, and on the side had been handling art chores for David Hontiveros' Horus comic book. I had also been secretly harboring the desire to make my own comics after seeing the success of Arnold Arre and Marco Dimaano with their own projects.
Since I had close to zero knowledge about writing comics, I had gone about it instinctively, planning the story and writing the script after work at Angelino's restaurant in Robinsons Galleria. The entire process from cradle to grave took me about four months for the 56-pager, and had it printed through a printing press in Mandaluyong. In 2001, Purgatory was launched in Comics Quest Megamall. Unfortunately, all the digital files are gone. Recordable CDs were still expensive during the turn of the century, so I couldn't make enough backups.
My inspiration stemmed from that question often asked within gay circles: Can a straight guy fall for a homosexual? I had a friend who had gone through such a situation when he was in college, and I thought the idea had enough juice for me to work with. It was also during the process of making this book that I realized that I was more comfortable depicting the action that took place in interpersonal dynamics, as opposed to external action. An example of this "action-packed dynamic" is the dramatic exchange between the two leads. In this page, nothing physically happens, but I was gunning for the impact and bite that only words can make. I don't know if I succeeded. (click on image to enlarge)
The best part about making this book is receiving feedback from readers who had struggled with their sexual identity, or had issues about coming out, and telling me how Purgatory had helped them in some small way. I think that's one of the big bonuses about being a storyteller--making a difference in the lives of other people.
Anyhoos, if all goes well, maybe One Night In Purgatory will once more see distribution via digital format. Maybe. :-)