Tuesday, November 06, 2012

How Philippine Komiks failed us part 2

 Okay, here is part 2. Again I'd like to remind you again before reading this.

  This is ONLY about the Philippine komiks scene, if you are thinking of any titles, situations and successes outside the country, you are reading everything inside this article wrong.

 Okay, where was I? oh, the destruction of the original pages. One this will bother people about this is that, it could have been the only ticket for the artists to get extra money out of the under-paid superstars. Because if they sell this now? I think they'll get more than the 75 pesos per page deal they got from the companies they help build up all those fun years. Another thing is that it could have generated a whole of collectors. I can only imagine how much it could have help the artists financially if only they get to keep those wonderful pages. That is something that we never had, an extra edge. Something to look forward to after publication. This is something that always made me sad.

 There are no royalties, one main reason is that all the published materials are in a Magazine anthology form. It was hard for the accounting to muster a clear and clean computation on how this is going to happen. Plus, it is on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis. A very fast moving in and going out sales of komiks. Plus, they have 80 plus titles a week in a company, meaning the other publications must have another 80plus titles, not including the smaller sister companies having like 5 to 10 titles. it would have been an accounting nightmare.

 Each title has to exceed 30 thousand copies sold each week, sometimes they would show me the list of these titles. If you go under that number it is already up for discussion if they are to cut the title short. They have surveys on which series or novel was a hit among random readers. I can recall getting some incentives every now and then, the voucher reads incentives then the amount. It was not a large amount but an incentive will always be an extra for me.

 Moving on let us re-evaluate the content of some titles. One thing I remember about how they tackle content is with one simple question..." What is IN nowadays? " For short it's a Fad thing. Usually we do come up with really entertaining concepts with fad, but like all fad, they usually fade away.

 They also wants us to use the traditional way of doing things with the pages. The editors doesn't like pen art. They want brush art. Because of this, they don't usually give new artists a shot at those scripts. But things will always boils down to one thing. They have the last say.  I asked someone about the style and why they don't want change. He said that is how they are oriented. I'd say, then RE-orient things. Like that would kill the titles instantly.

 I was about to walk out on my 2nd to the 3rd year because of this. Then when I was walking out, Kick Fighter happened. It was an experiment, a new player was in the house and he wanted something new, finally! The first issue didn't took off quite as well as they'd hoped but then, the second and the 3rd had high buying numbers. It was a hit! This title changed things. It was the age of us new kids. It was action season, and after Kick Fighter's success, new titles sprung out like Kidlat, Terminator, Wrestle Warriors and more. This is the time when new breed of artists came in.

 The normal title line up was like Romance, Horror, Comedy, Fantasy and now Action...Superhero action. Not just on the side but real titles. New readers were coming in. But still these are still Fad.

 During this time, I would usually stay in because of multiple projects that I had to finish and I owe a lot to a company within that complex and our boss. He was tough and people might think of him in a different light, but he is my boss and he did us new comers a favor. Without this opportunity, the likes of me, would have never been.

 Now a few years later. I'd never thought that a thing like the end of komiks as we know it would end. We felt it coming. Slowly but steadily, it was in the atmosphere.

 During this days, work would be slowly dwindled. In fact, an artist once shouted to in coming artist at the artist hallway. " Don't come here anymore! He don't have as much work like before so go some place else!" something like that and in tagalog. It was an indication that business was bad. One by one, titles were being killed off.

 I've heard about some dirty tactics that have been going on against rival publications. the dealers will not get the hot titles if they don't agree to hide the other company's titles. They are to be sold in the afternoon or not at all, only if people would look for them I guess. Distribution was finally collapsing on us. People are not reading komiks as much as before. The price of komiks went up from 2.50 pesos to 5.00 to 7.50 and people just can't afford to buy multiple titles anymore.

to be continued....

No comments: