Tuesday, March 20, 2007

On The Philippine Comics Industry

I want the Philippine comics industry to succeed. Really. I dream of a time where the Philippines will rank among the United States of America and Japan as makers of top-rank, first-rate comics.

Filipinos have the talents, no one can deny that. We have certified world class artists. And the ideas in Filipino comics are good. We have good writers and artists. Sadly, success in the comic book industry is dependent to one’s economy. Look at the US and Japan, they have good economies, thus good comic book industries. In the Philippines, the talents cannot find much money in the local comics industry, so they work abroad where they can be find their talents and abilities paid handsomely (another case of “brain drain” in the Philippines).

* * *

I read a lot of comics since I was a kid. And back then, part of my reading was of Filipino comicbooks like Bata Batuta, and Funny Comics. Sadly, most of my Bata Batuta comics are gone now. However, I still have my Funny Comics with me. They have some decent stories there, satisfactory to kids. The only problem, like other weekly comics books, is the lack of art quality – I guess it’s because of the lack of time production and budget. If only the coloring is improved. I don’t care if they raise prices or it will take a longer time to produce one. Tinay Pinay, Combatron, Tomas N’ Kules, and the other children-loved characters deserved to be appreciated by Filipino kids like they appreciate foreign characters like Archie.

* * *

I also have Pugad Baboy compilations in my collection. Now in all the cartoon strip franchises that I know of, for me, Pol Medina Jr.’s Pugad Baboy is the best there is. Pugad Baboy has good art and has good entertaining quality. Now that’s Filipino talent!

And there’s Lyndon Gregorio’s Beerkada, another great Filipino comic strip. Only second best next to Medina, but Beerkada also has its own appeal.

With guys like Medina and Gregorio, Filipino comic strips stood up with the foreign comic strips in the newspaper comics page.

* * *

I was sad when Culture Crash stopped publishing because of – probably – financial problems. It was a very promising Filipino comicbook. Yup, it has Japanese influence in the art – but it was still very Filipino. The art was good, and so are the plot and the stories.

I was in my late elementary when the first issue of Culture Crash came out, and since then I promised to collect each single issue (sadly, I missed two issues). I did not mind of their irregular schedules of releasing issues. I really wanted Culture Crash to succeed – thinking it would start the revolution in Filipino comics. I was wrong. Culture Crash has its ups… but it cannot fully become paramount.

Culture Crash never finished the stories. I do not know if I would ever know the ending of One Day Isang Diwa, Pasig, Cat’s Trail, Solstice Butterfly, and Kuburi Kikiam. All I can do now is reread the past issues.

* * *

Well, there are decent local comicbooks out there. Like indie comics (mostly manga influenced), and those published by Mango.

But I guess it isn’t enough. Filipino comicbooks are not very popular. Captain Barbell and Darna cannot be Superman (or is Captain Marvel?) and Wonder Woman.

It would be really cool if finally the Filipino comicbooks will be proudly put beside the foreign comics on the stands and racks.

I will never lose faith in the Filipino comicbook industry. I will never lose faith in Filipinos. Someday, my dreams about the improvement of the comicbook industry may come true.

1 comment:

Miyon Emorej said...

I hope so too.. ^_^
Too bad CCCom, Funny Komiks and som other comics stopped publishing..