Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Other Indios Bravos

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me to accompany her to a garage sale. Turned out, it wasn’t the usual garage sale with all sorts of stuff put on display on the lawn or garage. When we got there, we were met by another friend and by the couple that owned the house. They served us tea and freshly baked scones with butter and jam. They told us that they were leaving for the U.S. and wanted to sell everything in the house: all the furniture, the paintings, and an entire library upstairs. (I ended up buying just one book: a collection of Dorothy Parker’s works.)

They pointed to one of the chairs and said it used to be in a café called Indios Bravos.

Indios Bravos used to be found in Malate. It became a gathering place for actors and poets and painters and all sorts of artists. There was supposedly a round table where only the privileged ones could sit. To be accepted in that “inner circle”, one had to perform and be judged worthy of sitting down at the table. According to legend, one even went as far as reciting poetry in the nude. There was even a time when they spent a whole afternoon riding the jeepneys around Manila, jotting down the vandalism found on the seats and roof of the jeepney, stringing them together to form one long user-generated poem (before there was just a term as “user-generated”).

Sounded like fun times.

Thanks to Gerry for opening Indios Bravos 2.0.

There is no “special round table” here.

I don’t think we’ll get to see any nude-poetry-readings happening in here (unless Gerry tells us to do so).

Everyone is welcome!

I think it’s great that the web has allowed artists and writers to gather and meet, to discuss and debate, to share ideas and create new ones.

So, please have a seat, look around, the guys have already posted some interesting entries about the different projects they’ve worked on. And please bookmark and click the RSS feed for this site, so you can come back and discover more about the past, present and future of our little corner of Philippine comics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

January 2002

This was taken on my birthday in 2002 at our old house here in San Pablo before I moved out. A few of my friends came over. I remember working on issue #2 of High Roads. The other thing I remember clearly was Ner Pedrina's hand getting caught in a closing van door. Sorry man.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crowded City

Above is a crowded street of Manhattan in New York. This is something I'm currently working on right now. It's not really a project, just a submission.

For every artist, we all have weaknesses when drawing something. We sometime find a way to get out of it. I used to do shortcuts but that's not an excuse. For an artist, everything is a challenge. If you have difficulties of drawing things, you need to get a reference...Google it when you're online; get a magazine or newspapers and make some clippings of pictures you might use next time you draw.

My drawing above was obviously had a reference. But I didn't copy the exact detail of the picture I used. I only used how the crowd is placed on the side of the street.

Using a reference doesn't mean you can't draw backgrounds or human figure or animals. It's a challenge. Once you don't use references anymore and get same result of the drawing, that means you've achieved what you can't draw before. :)

Quick Tips for Breaking In Abroad

A lot of Filipinos are finding the opportunity to work in comics abroad. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you get there.

*DC hasn't accepted submissions in the mail for a long time. And now, according to CB Cebulski, Marvel's talent liason, Marvel will stop doing so as well. That leaves fewer options for Philippine based talent to find work abroad. But it's still possible.

*You can go to an agent, like David Campiti, to represent you. You can find out about this here: http://glasshousegraphics.com

*If you don't want to go to an agent, you can try doing it yourself, which is difficult, but not impossible.

*Follow Marvel's talent liason CB Cebulski at Twitter. He has lots of tips for people wanting to break in. Click here.

*Set up a blog or a site which makes it easy for editors to look at your work. CB Ceblulski has said that he would much rather look at artwork in blogs. So set up a web presence. But DON'T make a site where you would require visitors to click several times just to see your art. Take note that he has also expressed hesitation to browse Deviant Art sites. So don't send him links to that.

*Show at least 4-5 pages of storytelling, not pinups. Editors need to see that you can tell a story with your drawings.

*Background is important. Don't think of it as drawing "people". Think of it as drawing "environments". Make it believable that these people fit perfectly in the environment they are standing in.

*Try to avoid wanting to break in directly at Marvel at DC your first time at the bat. Your first professional work is bound to be amateurish and clumsy. Do you want to expose that to the audience of two of the biggest comics companies in the world? Start small. Submit to smaller companies. Learn the ropes. Sharpen your skills and develop your professionalism with these companies first. And if you are good, Marvel or DC would be bound to notice you and grab you. By then, you would be good enough, and professional enough, and your art would have developed well enough for the big time.

I've seen talented artists crash and burn when they got to work at Marvel for the first time. They had difficulty handling the deadlines and the work. And they soon fell out of favor. Some of them are no longer working now. But some started again with smaller companies and are slowly carving good reputations for themselves as good artists.

*Contribute for comics anthologies. There's plenty of open calls for submissions out there. Contribute even if it doesn't pay. A lot of these anthologies don't pay anyway. I've worked on many anthologies and yet I've never been paid for a single one. It's all about exposure. Your published work will act as your submission. It's the best kind of submission you can have.

*While it's all right to do pro bono work for anthologies, try not to do it for full issues or entire series. Check up on your collaborators online to see if they're reputable, if they have a history of either bad or respectable behavior. If these people don't have a credit to their name or if they say "we're going to use this to pitch", then be careful. Most of those don't end well.

*Make it easy for editors to get in touch with you. Check email often so you'll know right away if an editor is trying to get in touch. We're in the Philippines. They're going to be concerned that it would be tough to reach you and not hire you. Make it seem like you're only next door by responding right away.

*Don't leave your editor hanging. If you're having problems dealing with a deadline, TELL THEM, and not disappear and ignore messages. It's hard, but just swallow it and do it. Don't give any stupid excuses.

*If you can, self publish a comic book and send copies to editors. Once again, a published comic book is one of the best submissions you can have.

*Be self reliant. Solve your problems and not bother your editor with things you can solve on your own.

*Don't be an ass. Be friendly.

*Don't be a pest. Be patient. Swallow your pride. Don't argue.

*Do your best fucking work every time. The submission process never truly ends, even if you're already working. You have to prove yourself every time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome To The Indios Bravos Blog

Amazingly, I was actually serious about the subtitle "The Ultimate Chicken Story" when I first came up with the idea. I had been doing these "Stupid Chicken Stories" when I was doing Crest Hut Butt Shop. They were short, over the top stories about chickens that I've experienced in the past. Elmer was supposedly the Ultimate Stupid Chicken Story.

In many ways, it ended up that way.