MAG LAUNCHED AT 2004 TOYCON
June 27, 2004, the Preview Issue of SIKLAB magazine was launched
during the 3rd Phillippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention
(TOYCON) held at the SM Megamall 5th level, Megatradehall 3, Ortigas
Complex, EDSA, Mandaluyong City.
is an 88 page black and white anthology of original pinoy komiks
features in magazine size format (i.e., 8 ½ x 11) combined
with feature articles and essays on the pinoy komiks scene. Its
target audience is the pinoy komiks enthusiast aged 15 to 50,
and is independently published by Turning Point Publications.
Such a combination has never been tried before and is probably
the first of its kind in pinoy komiks publishing history. It may
therefore be properly dubbed as a “collectible” and
hence, its launch at the TOYCON.
AT THE SIKLAB STALL EXHIBIT
SIKLAB exhibit (stall no. 34) was enlivened by the presence of
its most valued contributors foremost of which is pinoy komiks
veteran and Palanca T.V. scriptwriting awardee, VINCENT BENJAMIN
KUA III. Vincent graciously signed copies at the SIKLAB stall,
had some photo sessions with his fans, and was glad to meet people
still fondly remember his komiks work. Of late, Vincent has been
doing some television work particularly with the ABS-CBN network.
Thanks again, Vincent, for honoring us with your presence. The
pleasure was all ours.
the way, check out Vincent’s “creator bios”
page on this site and view his 78 pieces of published sequential
art taken from the originals still in his possession. Downloading
time may take awhile because of the content’s volume but
we’re sure it’ll definitely be worth the wait. Trust
pinoy komiks veteran (and a prolific tagalog writer at that),
who joined in the fun was RANDY VALIENTE. Randy was particularly
ecstatic when he met Mrs. PILAR VELASQUEZ, widow of the late “Kenkoy”
creator and Father of Philippine Komiks, the late TONY VELASQUEZ.
Mrs. Velasquez was present at the TOYCON to personally receive
a posthumous award on behalf of her late husband which coincided
with the launch at the same event of an important publication,
a REPRINT actually, of what is possibly the first Filipino comicbook
published in 1934—Tony Velasquez’ “Album ng
Kabalbalan ni Kenkoy”. The work is a compilation of previously
published Kenkoy comic strips that originally appeared in LIWAYWAY
Magazine from 1929 to 1934. The award was presented by 2004 TOYCON
organizer VIC YAP.
engineered this brilliant coup? None other than pinoy komiks collector
and auctioneer extraordinaire, DENNIS VILLEGAS. Mind you, this
is the first 2004 reprinting of Mr. Velasquez’ work by Dennis’
“Rarekomiks, Inc.” with only 1,200 copies in print.
Another collectible. Aside from this, Dennis assured us that he
will continue to reprint more rare, out of print, and quality
pinoy komiks of the past.
to Randy: watch out for his artwork in the IMAGE comic coming
out sometime this November, 2004 titled: “RAVEN” written
by STACY HARRIS. Hitting the small and independent U.S. comics
publishers instead of going first with the big publishers like
DC and MARVEL, has indeed paid off. Way to go, Randy. Tsampiyon!
MORE SIKLAB CONTRIBUTORS AT THE TOYCON
at the Con was SIKLAB contributor, PATRICK BERKENKOTTER, whose
painted black and white artwork on the “Seasnake”
teaser/sneak preview, garnered favorable response from fans. Yes
folks, it was all done by hand and in black and white.
the Con, Patrick was at the stall likewise signing copies and
then taking a break checking out the action figure exhibit all
around. Took a while too but when he came back he became the proud
owner of a much sought after and rare “Alien” action
figure. And he got it at a bargain.
and Patrick by the way, are currently involved with a computer
game developer quartered in Makati City: “Ladyluck Digital
Entertainment”. They’re part of a team developing
this new rpg computer game titled: “WAR OF THE WORLDS”.
Check out the company’s website: www.warworlds.com and see
PARAISO, another SIKLAB contributor was also at the Con. Those
familiar with Buddy’s art style will notice that he has
tried a totally different approach in the preview issue’s
“Maranhig” horror komiks feature. Here, Buddy has
tried to adopt a more abstract, expressionistic style of art with
some intentionally unrefined linework in keeping with “Maranhig’s”
theme of left-wing advocacy. Nice experiment, Buddy. By the way,
aside from being a STAR WARS fan, Buddy is also a collector of
1970s giant anime’ robots. So at the Con, Buddy was dealing
these really rare robot toys of his.
at the exhibit and sorely missed were SIKLAB artists ROMY DON
and HANNIBAL. Romy left for Dubai last April, 2004 for some overseas
contract work and won’t be back for quite some time. Hannibal
on the other hand, had to attend to some domestic responsibilities
at the time. Oh well. Next time, guys.
from the creative people of SIKLAB, former komiks veterans now
animators, came over and hung around swapping stories and exchanged
pleasantries. Foremost of the bunch is JUN “Pineapple Man”
PENA. Jun actually, helped and managed the distribution of the
preview issue, having gained some prior experience on the matter
distributing a local music publication: “JM21” and
others. Then there’s EDWIN “Bangis” CASILAO.
(Boy, these animation guys sure have colorful aliases don’t
they?) Edwin also doubled as SIKLAB’s official photographer.
Edwin’s shots can be viewed at this site’s photo album
section. Edwin by the way, was also our resource person when he
convinced AIRA and KAREN, our promo girls for the exhibit, to
do our one time gig at the Con. Great work, Edwin. Now THAT’s
a hobby. Photography, I mean.
animators BJ CABRAL, EMAN PAELMO, ALVIN ESPARES, GILBERT OBAL,
and pinoy komiks artist EDISON BILLONES, also came over and hung
out at the SIKLAB stall. Some of these guys even brought along
their families and had a great time at the Con. Apologies to the
other artists who also dropped by unexpectedly but failed to get
mention here. Let’s do this again sometime, hear? After
all, we’re ALL in the same boat. A boat named TITANIC, that
we forget, aspiring cartoonist LICO RELOJ, was his usual jovial
self when he hung around the SIKLAB stall. And did you know that
this former ‘Muscle Fitness’ magazine model can bake
really great, crunchy, home-made chocolate chip cookies? Honest.
He’s the Gene Gonzales of the comics world. The culinary
community’s loss is certainly pinoy komiks’ gain.
*Burp * Yeah, that Lico is one funny guy. Have you seen him do
“The Tongue”? Trust us. Your stomach will roll with
laughter, but you’ll be wanting to bear your children with
someone else. Just kidding, Lico.
Anyway, more surprises came to the SIKLAB booth that day that
to just talk about it somehow lessens the impact. Why not see
for yourself at this site’s photo album section. You’ll
know what we mean. All said, it was the varied interactions with
people that made our day at the Con.
NEW GUYS ON BOARD
is honored to have with us veteran 1990s pinoy komiks artists
DODI SAN JOSE, RODEL NOORA, BING CANSINO, and cartoonist RICHARD
PETER DAVID. For more info on these guys, please check out their
individual “creator bios” page on this site and view
their past and present artworks. Glad to have you around, gentlemen.
next issue, DODI is working on “BALANG” a horror adventure
story written by LAWRENCE MIJARES. RODEL NOORA takes over as artist
for ‘DREAMSLAYER” replacing ROMY DON. BING CANSINO
is also hard at work on another SIKLAB komiks feature: “SUGO”,
also written by LAWRENCE MIJARES. On the other hand, RICHARD PETER
(aka RIP) is developing an alternative cartoon komiks feature
that he’s keeping mum about for the moment but promises
to give us a quick peek once it’s ready.
BASED PINOY KOMIKS STILL IN TROUBLE
reported in the SIKLAB Preview Issue, the only Pinoy komiks publisher
today of mass-oriented komiks valiantly trying to stay afloat
primarily through the old newstand or kiosk (banketa) distribution
system has been the Anerto Publishing Corporation's ABANTE line
at least seven “masa”-genre themed titles originally
put out, (i.e., Abante Horror, Abante Drama, Abante Action, Abante
Thriller, Abante Comedi, Abante Romance, etc.), all were taken
out of circulation since July, 2004 with the exception of only
one: the erotic and graphic sex oriented “XEREX XAVIERA”.
To make matters worse, the days of XEREX’ continued presence
in the banketa stalls are numbered.
a news item appearing in the PHILIPPINE STAR newspaper, dated,
September 29, 2004, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
(MMDA) in coordination with the Newspaper, Magazine and Comics
Dealers Association of the Philippines (NMCDAP) have started their
“Newspaper Rack Project”. The project’s aim
is threefold: eliminate the sale of printed pornographic or smut
materials in newsstand racks and kiosks all over Metro Manila,
replace the old “latag” system, and regulate the vending
and distribution of newspapers, magazines and komiks along the
whole stretch of EDSA.
the project, registered members of the NMCDAP comprised of dealers
and registered vendors, will be obligated to display for sale
only those newspapers, tabloids, magazines and komiks that in
their view, do not promote “pornography”. Guidelines
on this matter have been finalized by both the MMDA and NMCDAP.
is no secret that sales of Manila’s broadsheets or mainstream
newspapers have dwindled over the past years due in part to heavy
competition from sex-oriented magazines, tabloids and komiks (such
as XEREX XAVIERA), that notoriously take up much rack space in
the newstands and kiosks of Metro Manila. The MMDA and NMCDAP
hopes that their Newspaper Rack Project, will totally eliminate
competition from these “pornographic” or sex-oriented
publications by finally depriving them of rack space.
NMCDAP officers are the following: RAMON TAPALES, President, BOY
LUMAYNO, 1st Vice President, CARLITO CORRO, 2nd Vice President,
BABY ANGELES, 3rd Vice President, RODORA DE VERA, Secretary, ALEX
CELESTE, Treasurer, JHUN GAGABOAN, business manager, EDWARD AQUINO,
Public Relations Officer, and directors ESTHER CORRAL and ERNING
PINOY KOMIK AND TODAY’S PREVAILING MARKET SCENARIO
on sale in the Philippine retail trade market today are dominated
by American and Japanese comics that are either licensed properties
(i.e., Summit Publications’ “Witch”, Atlas Publications’
“Cartoon Network”, Psicom’s “Batman”
“Justice League”, “Superman”, “Looney
Tunes” and “Teen Titans”) and unlicensed imported
comics titles. The unlicensed imported comics from America and
Japan are regularly sold at FILBAR’s, Comicquest, Comic
Alley, Booksale, and other non-banketa establishments.
the other hand, original Filipino komiks titles found in the local
comics retail market are still scant. Hardly an industry. The
prominent and regular few being those comprised of Pol Medina’s
“Pugad Baboy” (a compilation of newspaper cartoon
strips), Mango Comics’ “Mwahaha” (a MAD inspired
humor satire magazine) and Darna (a revived and revamped classic
1950s superheroine) CCCom’s “Culture Crash”
and LC Questor Corporation's Questor Extreme Mangamania (two japanese
manga inspired publications). The traditional banketa-format tagalog
komiks published by Atlas Publications now appear only twice a
month with reduced circulation and fewer titles, is sold primarily
at all National Bookstore branches.
the seemingly unchanging adherence to conventional types of genres,
formats, and few innovative publishers venturing into the field,
one wonders what the future holds for the few pinoy komiks titles
currently being distributed in the local retail trade market.
To comprehend such consequences, one must glimpse the said market’s
an article report by Dennis D. Estopace appearing in the October
20, 2004 issue of “TODAY” Newspaper, entitled: “The
Future of Retail”, he cites an ACNielsen study on retail
and shopper trends finding that, shoppers within the Asia region
are continuing to shift their spending from traditional to modern
Greater Manila particularly, modern trade hit between 57 to 59
percent when compared to 2002 data. The newspaper report also
noted the observation of Tom Banguis, President of AB Communications,
a Philippine ad agency, stating that before, Filipinos generally
spent their Sundays going from one place to another like the market,
the church, restaurant, park and/or cinema. Nowadays, Filipinos
congregate and go to one place where all these attractions (and
then some) can be found: the shopping mall.
this observed shift in preference, it was further found that the
consumer base in the Philippines is expanding and becoming more
demanding or sophisticated, due in large part to the ongoing Globalization
S. Claudio, founder of the Toby’s Sports retail stores,
as well as vice chairman and past president of the Philippine
Retailers Association (PRA), was also cited as having observed
that the Philippine retail trade market is growing at a rate of
15 percent to 20 percent annually for the past three years, and
is still the biggest contributor to the Philippines’ gross
domestic product at 37% . Last year, total retail sales in shopping
malls hovered in the Php 1.8 billion mark and is expected to rise
to Php 2.5 billion in 2008.
just who are these new, expanding and sophisticated customers
that frequent the shopping malls all over the country? The report
quotes Mr. Claudio as saying: “We have a focus market of
15-35 year old customers. That’s why we need to apply new
technology because we didn’t stay with our focus market
who grew up in our 26 years of existence but who are now 50 years
newspaper report also forecast that small retail stores and businesses
will have to innovate themselves and their products if they are
to survive the ongoing shopping mall phenomenon. Mylene Abiva
Sison, Agora awards president, and chief executive of Felta Multi-Media
Inc., was quoted as justifying the scenario in this light: “Because
money is scarce, consumers would have a hard time parting with
it; hence, businessmen should not cut costs but reinvent themselves
or further innovate their products.”
this expanding retail market it was also observed that products
with strong consumer preference were those fueled by technology.
Specifically, technology that innovate the product. Even more
specifically, products that embody the attributes of all other
products. Tom Banguis elaborates: “What used to be separate
products have been connected in one or in one place." He
then cites as examples mobile phones that have cameras and PDA
features, and shampoos that also act as conditioners with hot-oil
further elaborated on the manner of expansion to be adopted by
small retail businesses in order to survive: “Likewise,
we would see more retail companies merging or locking into one
another—converging—because the big guys are striking
alliances.” Who are the big guys? None other than the shopping
malls which are ultimately one grand alliance of retail specialty
light of the prevailing market scenario, how then will the lowly
printed pinoy komik survive? How will it innovate? How will it
ally or fuse with another product (or business) in order to survive?
Will such an alliance or fusion be fueled by technology? What
kind of technology? Will it ever make such alliance or fusion
in the first place? Even more crucial, will the pinoy komiks of
today ever improve and innovate its content if it is to cater
to an expanding and sophisticated market of today’s discriminating
15 to 35 year old adults? Only time will tell and yet, time may
be running out.
the pinoy komiks being published today do not seriously re-examine
itself and its surroundings, it may someday just find itself as
a forgotten, if not ignored, quaint artifact of history displayed
unobtrusively in some obscure museum. The scary part of this is,
it may be on its way already.
THE NEXT SIKLAB ISSUE COMING OUT?
second SIKLAB preview issue was originally planned to come out
this November, 2004 but along the way, a terrific new idea came
to the fore quite suddenly and unexpectedly. The concept actually,
has been tried before especially in American comics, but whose
potential, we believe, has not been fully explored especially
in the Filipino komiks scene. At present, the idea has caught
the active members of SIKLAB on fire, especially its publisher
who is coordinating the whole thing since August of this year.
players are hard at work right now, plotting, scheming and laying
down the groundwork, as original plans were set aside in order
to give way to this new concept. It’s a gamble for sure
and everybody involved is on unchartered territory right now.
But despite some production drawbacks, the gang is deadset on
delivering an entirely new product.
of this writing, its too early to divulge the details of this
secret project until all production kinks have been ironed out..
Rest assured, everyone concerned will be pleasantly surprised
once the proper foundation has been laid. So, please watch this
site for developments. We’re almost there. The new face
of Filipino komiks will most definitely be worth the wait. But
we’re not leaving you empty-handed either. Here’s
something to whet your appetites…
COMING IN THE NEXT SIKLAB
with pinoy komiks legend HAL SANTIAGO, how he began as a comics
artist, his encounters and anecdotes about Nestor Leonidez, Nestor
Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Fernandez, Carlo Caparas, Tony Velasquez,
how he witnessed the last days of pinoy komiks at GASI,and his
insights on the fall of "traditional" pinoy komiks.
Also, present ATLAS Komiks editor, Ms. TERI BAGALSO, and 1980s-1990s
komiks writer NOEL STO. DOMINGO,recall the sweatshop komiks producing
days of the 1980s, the fall of pinoy "traditional" komiks
in the 1990s, and what to expect from the new management of ATLAS
Komiks. And of course, there's this...