Friday, April 27, 2007

Hate The Local Comics Industry

I got this from a deviantart account. Wht do you guys think?

I Hate The Local Comics Industry
Evil Princess Laura

For someone who is working in the comics industry, I don't like the things that are going on, or nothing that is going on. Someone really needs to say it, but a lot are scared to do it. So let me be the first to say it.

My industry pisses me off real good.

There, I said it. I frankly don't care anymore if I gather a lot of flak for this statement. But I do care much for the local comics industry, as to make a very bold statement. I have no stake in this article and the situations I will tell, and I am not putting myself on a pedestal here, making myself holy or something. So why should I care very much? Because the local comics industry is hurting itself and my reputation.

Everyone is responsible for what the Filipino comics industry is in its sorry state right now. In just my short stay in the comics industry, a lot of things happened that is making me pissed about our comics industry. From publishing houses to comic artists, from comics distributors to comic buyers, their actions have pissed me off.

Let's be brutally honest. The Filipino comics industry was already on the deathbed ever since the “exodus” of many great Filipino artists to America. A few heartbeat is shown in the era of Funny comics and the Filipino comics industry was finally declared clinically dead after the crash of the Culture Crash Comics. Any comics that published after the Culture Crash Comics is nothing but a feeble CPR attempt. But we will discuss that in another day.

A lot of comics tried to bear the mantle of the Filipino comics industry, but failed. A lot of comics enthusiasts have been telling me that the industry is revived again, with a lot of comics are coming out. Sadly, these comics never last a year or three issues, whichever comes first. Or if I ever see one that is doing well, it is usually a graphic novel format made by an artist that made his/her name internationally. Unfortunately or rather fortunately, that is not what is making me pissed off.

I have encountered publishing houses not doing enough and not supporting the comics enough for it to sell. I have encountered publishing houses using the same distribution channels that are used to distribute sexy magazines. I have encountered opportunist coworkers who are scheming to gain control of the comics. I have encountered comics editors that they don't know what they are doing. I have encountered comics editors that thinks that comics should always have something that readers can learn. I don't know about him, but comics are always entertainment first. If I want to learn something, I read books, I don't read comics to gain IQ points. I have encountered editors that are quick to jump sinking ship when the comic's future is grim, leaving the writers and artists to fend for themselves. Sadly, this is still the tip of the smoking gun. I have encountered artists that only wants to make a quick buck, drawing 10 minutes sketches of characters in various poses on a piece of paper and call it a comic. They never put an effort in making a coherent story, just slap some drawings together in many panels with those characters saying stupid one-liners and call it a comics.

I have encountered artists that are very egotistical, when I criticize their work, they keep saying to me “You can't draw, so shut up and appreciate my drawing.” I have also encountered stupid arguments from artists on both sides. There are those old artists that thinks that "Komiks" should always be made in Tagalog/Filipino and put in cheap paper and sold cheaply. These are also the same type of people who are quick to dismiss the efforts by the people who are publishing manga-esque comics. And there are these new people and younger artists that think that the world revolves around them. They don't study the history of comics in the Philippines and learn from it, they just publish comics based on gut feeling and basing it on how well the anime and manga are doing in the Philippines. Both sides have fair share of idiots.

There are comics distributors that will put local comics in a very low visibility shelf in favor of foreign comics and manga. That puts the local comics industry in another disadvantage when battling against foreign comics and manga when your comics can't be virtually seen. There are also comics distributors that want their logos in the comics or paying them with boatload of money just in order for you to sell your comics through them. A lot of comics publishing houses knows what comics distributors I am talking about, so I am not going to name names. And there are other comics publishing houses that treat other comics publishing houses as competitors. While that is true in business sense, that kind of thinking will hurt the industry much more. In amidst in the sea of pirated anime DVDs, foreign comics and manga, what is needed is all of the local comics is to band and complement each other in order to stay afloat against all odds. Because anyone who thinks their comics will single-handedly revive the local comics industry is stupid. Okay, maybe not stupid, its extremely stupid.

Then there are those kinds of people that read comics only on newsstands. They take a perfectly good copy of a comic, tear apart the wrapping, read it thoroughly, making big creases on the pages, putting oily fingerprints on glossy pages of the comics. And after all that use and abuse, these kinds of people will just put back the comics to the shelf. Unsold. And to make matters worse, if someone also wants to read the comics while someone is reading it, he will grab another copy, tear open apart the wrapping, messing up another good copy. After all is done, they will put back those messy copies to the shelf. And those copies will never be sold. Because, let's not kid ourselves, any kind of person that will buy a messy and ruined copy of a comic is a big idiot.

And there are those kinds of people that will keep complaining that the comics are either too western or too anime for their taste. They kept lashing out at comics publication for not publishing comics with the distinct “Filipino” art style instead of buying comics and supporting the local comics industry. Sheesh, I don't know what these kinds of people have in mind when they are thinking of Filipino art style for comics, but I tell you its not going to be pretty. Even with the local comics boom in 1960's to 80's, the art style used in those kinds of comics are distinctly western. Well, bad news for them. There is no Filipino art style, period, end of discussion. If these kinds of people want “Filipino” art style, they will have to look at Aeta cave drawings.

Sadly, I'm not making this stuff up.

I don't know what exactly needs to be done in order to revive the Filipino comics industry. But if you do care about the Filipino comics industry, then every one of us need to do something about it. Because doing something about it is better than only discussing how to revive the comics industry. That is the only way to fully revive the local comics industry.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The proof of RAMBOL 2

One more week, we got caught up with Holy Week and we had to fix some typos. Also been busy setting up a new business at Marikina Riverbanks Center. Anyway here is a pic of the proofs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007