Friday, July 1, 2011
In commemoration of the “100 Araw ng Komiks”, I’ve decided to share to everybody my very first attempt at making a komiks.
(NOTE: This article is a pretty long read and contains a lot of large images and may take awhile to load, so read at your own risk. Thank you!)
I’m an avid fan of pinoy komiks, growing up reading Funny Komiks and Bata-Batuta Komiks. I was weaned by local heroes made by local artists that opened my eyes to the world of komiks. So, being an ambitious young kid, I told myself that I’d one day make a komiks too (aside from my dreams of making videogames, but that’s for another story…)
1996, I was still in highschool back then, I made my first 10 page komiks entitled “pH2: The Psychic Police”. Here’s a sample art:
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is an updated version of the original art that I did back in college I believe. I lost all artworks I ever made back in highschool because I had no scanner or PCs back then)
Basically the plot was my take on X-Men/Psychic Force 2012, and as to how “psychics” (my version of mutants) formed a taskforce to help find and arrest evil psychics that abuse their powers. It is because of this story, that I met my long-time friends Jon Infante, along with Ria Lu, and the three of us started dreaming of making our mark in the local komiks industry forming what would later become “Komikasi Enterprise”. Technically, “pH2: The Psychic Police” is my “first” attempt at making komiks, but considering that it wasn’t made available publicly and that only my 2 friends had the chance to read it, I decided to give that honor to my first published komiks that was actually distributed and read by other people…
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was the first banner for my komiks which was put online)
Fast forward to 2008, I was a graduate of Fine Arts Majoring in Advertising, but I ended up taking calls at a well-known call center company. Feeling frustrated that I haven’t had the chance to fulfill my childhood dreams and losing a sense of direction in my life (because that’s what working at call centers can do to you… suck the fucking life out of you in exchange of huge amounts of money) I got a call from my friends who asked me if I’m available to go on a meeting with them at SM Bicutan (and by defintion, the word “meeting” is another way for me and 2 other friends of saying “we’re hanging out”).
So I arrived at SM Bicutan, and met up with Ria and Jon at Tokyo Tokyo. There Ria laid out her plan of releasing a komiks for Komikon that year. Considering that all 3 of us were busy with our respective work lives, we decided to do a 1-page komiks, that we will then compile and distribute it for free on Komikon. At the time, to my knowledge, most komiks at Komikon were for sale and only a few artists allow people to see glimpses of their work. For me, giving away free sampler komiks would be a real nice way to introduce most people who are apprehensive on paying for komiks and ease them into being komiks fans themselves. So I went home with renewed hope and started thinking of what kind of story I’ll be working on…
After much deliberation, I ended up working on a medieval themed story, with a vampire hunter as the lead. This choice in story simply reflected my love and passion for a particular game series…
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This fanart is my own drawing around circa 2005)
Yes, I’m a huge Castlevania fan.
And since I’m so inspired and in-love with the series, I decided to base off my story from this game, along with other anime/movies I watched at the time as inspiration for my komiks. And the result was “Knight of Grey”.
The title came about when I wanted a title that would suit a story for a vampire hunter that is also born a half-human, half-vampire or a “dhampir”. I had an idea that since he’s half-good (white) and half-evil (black), he would be somewhere in-between (grey). Thus I ended up choosing that as my title for my komiks. Along with my 2 other friends who also made their own komiks series:
Mars Mag (Ria Lu) & Para Xi (Jon Infante), we decided to take the plunge and went ahead to Komikon bringing along our very first printed komiks. Our game plan was to give away the teaser komiks to people which will in-turn entice them to go to the komikasi website where we will be continuing the series releasing them 1-page per week. Here’s what the site looked like back then:
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is what’s left of the site as it was already taken down. This is an offline version of the site stored on a PC.)
Komikon came along and we finally released our teaser komiks to people. I helped along by distributing the komiks to any passerby who visited our booth as well as distributing fliers at the entrance to let them know they can get free komiks at our booth. It was a very interesting and memorable experience for me, as I kinda felt the feeling of how most komiks creators went thru in going out of their way to make their works known and the amount of work they put into their komiks, even if mine was a pathetic 1-page teaser. I had a deeper appreciation of what a komik artist goes thru each time they go to Komikon, hoping someone would atleast notice them. I also felt my heart break whenever I see people just throw my work into the trashcan, tear it to shreds, dismiss it or see copies of my komiks on the floor being stepped upon by people. It was a mix of sadness and happiness for me; happiness in a sense that I finally have something that people are reading, and sadness whenever people reject your work. It was an experience I will never forget.
As I look back now, while my first attempt at making komiks is pathetic to say the least, it did teach me a lot and gave me a lot of insight in terms of entering the komiks industry. It also gave birth in a way to another project we did at Komikasi; The Espresso Komiks Magazine. And this coming Komikon, I look forward to my second attempt at making a komiks, and not a 1-page teaser. Thank you for reading and long live pinoy komiks!
PS: For anyone interested in reading “Knight of Grey” I uploaded all of the teaser pages on my DeviantART account. You can view them all here: http://diobrando.deviantart.com/gallery/8201614