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First things first, I did not write the article. My best friend who work also in the comics industry wrote this. I only post it here because this is also what I feel right now. Let's just keep an open mind on this... okay?


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.
  • Listening to: Beach Boys
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:icongothicathedral:
gothicathedral Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
kailan man hindi ako naging fan ng foriegn comics, kung hindi lang sa mga old pinoy masters, hindi ko kokolektahin mga comics na ito.

love or hate it, we should all support lokal komiks.
Reply
:iconsyeri:
syeri Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007
Gawa lang ng gawa ng Komiks!!!! wag titigil!!!! wag mawawalan ng pag-asa!!!! :w00t:
Reply
:icongioparedes:
gioparedes Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007
I agree.
Gawa lang ng gawa ng Komiks!!
Reply
:iconjohnbecaro:
johnbecaro Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
The best thing we could do for now is we start on our own and do not just rely on this so called "revival" or "industry" that keeps us always into pressure.

Learn from the mistakes of the past and do our best not to
make it happen again.

The Industry is US and will start again on us. Everything we do now will contribute a lot on the upcoming years to come.

Believe me, there is hope, it simply starts on us. It cannot just attainable right now but it will be.

With the awakening of the new generations of comics creators and enthusiasts, there is still a chance and a room for CHANGE.
Reply
:iconaelithe:
aelithe Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007  Professional Interface Designer
*sigh* unfortunately i can relate to this.

i've seen groups badmouth each other, i've worked for companies that treat their artists like sh*t, it's bad enough that sales aren't that high pero what makes it worse is the fact that yung mga so-called comic companies/artists mismo yung naninira sa isa't-isa kaya after working as a pro nawalan na rin ako ng gana sa local comics industry dahil sa politics and BS

i never saw something bad with culture crash comics tho, i trained under them and they're really a humble talented bunch, they're prolly the most respectable comic company that ever appeared here, nung nawala sila sadly no other group was able to get to their level, sayang talaga.

anyway, that's just my 2 cents
Reply
:iconnekid-monkey:
Nekid-Monkey Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007
If any monthly comic would've gotten the industry notice, it would've been theirs.
Reply
:iconjohnbecaro:
johnbecaro Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
hehehe..it all boils down to Attitude Problem I guess.
Reply
:iconminsan:
minsan Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007   Artist
huh? What attitude problem?
Reply
:iconjohnbecaro:
johnbecaro Featured By Owner May 1, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
:giggle:

~aelithe said
"i've seen groups badmouth each other, i've worked for companies that treat their artists like sh*t, it's bad enough that sales aren't that high pero what makes it worse is the fact that yung mga so-called comic companies/artists mismo yung naninira sa isa't-isa"

That means nasa attitude pa rin ng tao lahat. Wala yun sa malaki o maliit na kumpanya.kung merong masamang ugali at nang aapi ng kapwa, yun pa rin ang malaking factor.

To elaborate for example,
kahit malaki at kilala yung kompanya, masama naman ang ugali ng managers o owners nito, lagi itong mabagal umusad dahil yung workers nawawalan ng motivation sa pagtrabaho kaya papalit palit ng tao at nagiging dahilan rin ng pag kalugi nito.

I hope that helps.:giggle:
Reply
:iconminsan:
minsan Featured By Owner May 1, 2007   Artist
I thought you were refering to the atttitude of the company aelithe mentioned at the latter end of her reply.
Reply
:iconjohnbecaro:
johnbecaro Featured By Owner May 1, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Nope! CCom has a good reputation. Same with James Palabay and its crews.:D
Reply
:iconevergreenfajardo:
evergreenfajardo Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
dapat pinost mo sa salitang tagalog. para naman maintindihan namin... pasensya na ha.
Reply
:iconhuckbeine:
huckbeine Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
pasensya na ho, rant yan ng kaibigan ko eh...

titingnan ko ho, kung pwedeng nyang itranslate
Reply
:iconevergreenfajardo:
evergreenfajardo Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
ok lang ser......next time na lang
Reply
:iconrandyvaliente:
randyvaliente Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I link your article on my blog [link]
Reply
:iconhuckbeine:
huckbeine Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007
thank you
Reply
:iconminsan:
minsan Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007   Artist
Yes its all true!


Re-education, re-branding, and re-packaging of what is comics is key, specially since you are right, comics has been dead to majority of its former market for a good long while. The points you cite are all true, though it is all inter-connected, one action leads to another, it is all one vicious cycle.

Here’s the cycle…

Advertisers who would place ads on comics and help the book to earn are few and far between. Why? Because of the stigma of unreliable print schedules and sub par work you have mentioned, also print runs of comics nowadays don’t reach that high enough to be enticing for the ad placers.

Publishers are reluctant to support comics because its a gamble on their part so if ever they do make comicbooks they offer low rates, low print runs and sometimes impractical conditions on the artists and writers. Some if they do produce comics will wait out sales on the 1st issue to gauge if they will continue throwing out money or not, hence the early series demise or 1 issue wonders.

The Creatives are not compensated that well and most of them have families to support. So what do they do? They take on better paying stable day jobs and make creating comic books their sideline. Or if they choose to continue working within the industry they would go for quantity not quality, to earn more. Why? Because the rates don’t go up even if they amp up their illustrations and the time they use to do that could be used for something else they could earn from.

So what does this produce? This will produce the sub par product that is now selling on the newsstands. The same sub par product that is still selling for 85 to a 100 because of the high unit price from productions costs on a low print run of 2000 to 5000 copies and is lacking from advertisers who could pay to at least cushion half of the production expenses if not all.
Now the Consumers who are mostly students or young professional who have rarely disposable cash lying around see this product. Instead of buying the product most would just skim thru it or out right read it at a store. Do they feel compelled to buy it? Hell no! We have established right at the bat that it’s a sub par product. They’d rather read it for free and spend their money elsewhere.

Now I’m going to cut this short. There’s a lot more factors involved and sub par products also do sell mainly because of lack of competition. But the point of the problem is we are running around in circles. I did hope the congress a couple of months back would have given solutions but no. It felt more like a political gimik of sorts. If we don’t find solutions for this, the comic serials would be dead for a good long while. Perhaps the way to do comics now would be the Graphic Novels and the one shot anthologies, which has longer shelf life and is not constrained by a monthly, or bi-monthly schedule. At least this lessen the frustrations of the would be collectors who are burned by the late shipping or cancelled titles.

Jon
Reply
:iconnekid-monkey:
Nekid-Monkey Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007
That's absolutely true, people right now should just stop with the stupid monthly format that is never going to catch on unless they have the tenacity to make a good product on a monthly basis. Just think about it, a big fat graphic novel will inspire gain plenty of blurbs, while a monthly comic here will languish and ultimately die because there is just not enough money nor readers to support it.

It's big fat books, not all these pseudo magazine comic hybrids that will endear the medium to people.
Reply
:iconhuckbeine:
huckbeine Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
thanks for linking my friend's rant in your page.

unfortunately, after posting the rant on my page, the rant has been target also by some people that say the rant is too generic, and to angsty and too idealistic ang rant.

ang sagot ng kaibigan is "I am not suprised"
Reply
:iconminsan:
minsan Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007   Artist
Pinost ko din yung link at yung da mo sa page ko.
Reply
:iconrapidblade:
RapidBlade Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007  Professional General Artist
Well said!! Hope more people should read this and learn and accept, especially those people who think they're all high and mighty!!
Reply
:iconhuckbeine:
huckbeine Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2007
thanks for linking my friend's rant in your page.

unfortunately, after posting the rant on my page, the rant has been target also by some people that say the rant is too generic, and to angsty and too idealistic ang rant.

ang sagot ng kaibigan is "I am not suprised"

Jeez, I always keep telling her na gumawa na ng sariling deviant art nya.... ayaw ko kasi matamaan ng ligaw na bala ng pang-iinsulto
Reply
:iconrapidblade:
RapidBlade Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
No prob! Naniniwala naman kami sa kaibigan mo!
Reply
:icongammaknight:
gammaknight Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
All true! In fact what we need now more than ever are true comic readers. Most of the so called comic supporters are Comic writer/artists aspirants. We need more people who will read and enjoy comics, period.

I think we cannot solve this problem just like that. We need to re-educate people about komiks. What it is, including proper ethics and its entertainment value.

This message is too long, I am sorry. Can I post this entry to my blog? More people should know about your sincere sentiments.
Reply
:iconhuckbeine:
huckbeine Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007
sure... no problem.
Reply
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April 24, 2007
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