Friday, February 06, 2004

this week was heck full of deadlines and most of the work are rushed, even had to stay an hour late waiting for revisions and other stuff. this week also, i was invited by ate rita to be one of the speakers for the comic speaking engagement at the vargas museum at up diliman. so i was trying hard to fix my sked so i will be available on feb 5.

thursday, feb 5 the day of reckoning. i was in the office early because i needed to finish another revision and some other stuff requested. lucky for me i was able to finish them all around 10. then i brought my leave paper to my superior and mentioned that, dumadalas ata yung leave mo i just replied, sir it was necessary, di ko mahindian. and was surprised to see the reason why i'm filing for leave. he said sikat ka na, and i just replied, di naman.

i was back on my seat ans pent the remaining hours reading my favorite boards and some online papers when another officemate ask for a design for a new chatroom, and i was, whoa, wait, half day lang ako. so i negotiated that i just finish it the next day, and lucky for me, the deadline was in the afternoon. damn, really hate this system i'm stuck with.

so by lunch time i was off to sm west to meet mike v, another speaker for the event but he was running a bit late 'cause of traffic. so i ate lunch at mc do and spent my time roaming around esp at national. he arrived really late based on our agreement then we were off to the museum. mike was peeved when i said i forgot my camera, because he also forgot his, mumbling no pictures of the event for the album. arrived at the museum, and saw it was only small,there were some students and was wondering why the place is so small and there are only a few people. i only recognized ate rita among the crowd and a when i was ask if i was ready, i asked if it's ok if i was not to speak anymore. i noticed that there were seven seats in the front and realized that if all these people gives their speech it will be a long one and the audience wil shrink furthermore. they said ok, since they have several speakers already. lucky for me i was able to take a seat in the front while ate rita and mike are in ther panel ofr the speakers, sitted at my back was vincent kua, who was introduced by ate rita a bit earlier. and then the program began. the guy ric gave a short speech and what the occassion was for and i was shock

when i heard what the title is.....

........we are all here to commemorate the 75 years of the comic book industry. i was surprised and i

couldn't believ what i just heard. 75 years of the comic book industry, what on earth? bakit?pano? di ata tama to. really couldn't believe it. this occasion was dedicated on the comic book industry but so far i can guess that there are only about 50 people in the audience and most of them students who were probably forced by their teachers to attend as part of a special project or a plus on the grades. and after the realization and facing reality, i fix my attention to the speakers who are being introduced.

first was, virgilio aviado. haven't heard oh him but he he said he was one of the pioneers of philippine animation and that he worked closely with the comic book people way back from the 50's to the 90's. told of the projects he undertook and his desire to see a cartoonist to be included in the national artist award.

second was pilar velasques, wife of the late tony velasquez, the father of philippine komiks. was surprised to see this elderly grandmother reading her 5 pages speech without glasses, man that was some super vison you have there grandma. and even joke that it will take her up to dinner time to finish her speech, for a grandmother, she sure can deliver some punchline making the audience brust into laughter. she gave a quote before she started talking about her husband. "speeches are like babies, easy to conceive but hard to deliver" once more there was laughter. she introduced us to kenkoy, the first published komiks character. real name is francisco harabas, unknown to many on the title 'mga kabalbalan ni kenkoy" kenkoy popularized carabao english and was the brainchild of tony velasquez and ramos. even sosing batute wrote a poem of "pagpapakilala" titled "i introdyus yu kenkoy". other creations of velasquez were nanong pandak, ponyang halobaybay and many more who were well knonwn on the 50s-60s. and i closing, grandma pilar left us with another qoute, describing what her husband went through. " talent is not a monopoly of the highly elitist educated society."

3rd speaker was buboy yonzon, of mango comics.he spoke out how darna gold came to be and what is their purpose, answering some questions long asked by many in the process, marketing and why darna was modernize etc. etc.

4th was pablo gomez, famous comics writer, whose stories made a lot of stars. he established his own publication back then and most of his story were given life by fpj himself. he was the 5th member of the big four of the comic book industry back then.

next was, ofelia concepcion, former editor of atlas/writer. talk about her childhood experience with comics resulting into her becoming a writer. stating comics were the norm back then instead of computer and playstation nowadays.

then it was deo alvarez,general manager of atlas. he talked about the golden years of atlas and the releasing of the first pilipino komiks which contained stories of nanong pandak, lukas malakas, d1-13, kalabog, buhay all d' best, kolokoy, lagim (damn i love this charcter though i really don't know much about him), daluyong and makisig. this comics was shot to 120k copies in just 4 weeks upon relase. he even said that they are looking for a copy of filipino komiks issue #1. if you happen to have it, talk to them. he also talked about the delubyo ng komiks. he said the fall of the industry was caused by the explosion of mt pinatubo in 1990, claiming he lost 30% of their readership i the process. next was the war in mindanao cutting their readership for another 30%. and also the change in the reading habit of the filipino from 52% in 1990 down to around 24% i think in 2001. in response they launched a reading campaign on schools and in national bookstore. they are now holding scriptwriting seminar, free of charge. if you're interested just call terry bagalso at 912-9652. if you're lucky they might even hire you.

next was ate rita, she kept her speech short just pointing people to visit the mars ravelo exhibit to know
about her father in the next room.

and last to speak was mike v, about the darna fandom, being the first character to have her own fandom which can also be found in the internet.

while the talk was ongoing i was also able to chat with vincent kua about the state of the comic book industry and the relation of the publisher with the current creators, the aloofness of some creators to atlas, the competition with psicom and summit. we were soon joined by terry bagalso current editor of atlas comics. we talk about the current trend, the book they are releasing, some projects they have. the conversation was really an eye opener for me. they even talked about k2k, what went wrong with and other stuff.

while we were talking ther open forum began, some questions are quite hot mostly in realtion to modernization versus golden age, manga, quality, competition. mango did it their way beacuse they have their plans and atlas is doing it their way beacuse they cater to the masa in relation to the other companies.

soon it was merienda time and picture taking, mike was really bummed beacuase of the camera thing, but i just enjoyed our converssation there. also saw arnold arre and cynhtia. we enjoyed the merienda of turon and buko juice.

after awhile it was separate ways for everyone, me and mike proceeded to the mars ravelo exhibit and we stayed there for half an hour roaming around. and then we proceeded to the university mall to have some stuff xeroxed. then proceeded to ate rita's home while we ate dinner at hotstix in quezon ave. we also indulge ourselves in squidballs in up before we left.

this day was fun for me, though i didn't speak at the occasion, i at least talked to some of the atlas people and managed to show them some stuff i have and the feedback was quite positve. now if only i can visit their office and hope they will have something for me.

yun lang.