Komura; Creator's Grant

In 2018, I won the first Komura; Creator’s Grant for a zine project I made with Ivan Reverente and Abi Dayacap (my wife). We called it Takatak Komiks—inspired by the sound ambulant street vendors made when selling cigarettes and candies.

June 2018, I saw an online call for zine proposals for a newly formed grant. I’m always on the lookout for things to fuel or fund some of the ideas that have been percolating in my head for years. I felt this was a great thing to get into. The barriers to entry were very few and I already had an idea that was in my head for over 10 years.

For years, my friend Ivan Reverente, my wife Abi, and I had been tossing around an idea for a packet of mini-comics. We’d never gotten around to doing it because real life always got in the way. I decided to go ahead and enter it as a proposal for the Komura; Creator’s Grant. If it got in, we’d get an extra push to do because of the money and the deadline. If not, well…no harm done.

Below are pages from the proposal I sent.




Here’s the final design and some of the mini-comics we included inside.

Never Forget

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I’ve been busy these past few months working on an upcoming children’s book entitled “Isang Harding Papel” set during the 1970s – the Martial Law years. Written by Augie Rivera and published by Adarna House. The book will be coming out soon.

As with all period stories, research is essential; not just textual research but visual as well. Protest pictures were relatively easy enough to find, as well as images of the infamous Metrocom that truncheoned protesters into submission; but the smaller things proved a bit problematic. For example, what did the National Highway known as EDSA look like before ugly gigantic billboards sprouted up and blotted out the sky? What did the old propaganda billboards of President Marcos and Imelda Marcos look like?

Tight timelines only allowed me internet research with Google image search providing the bulk of the reference pictures. Some sites were particularly useful to my research, though. The blog site The First Quarter Storm Library had a lot of protest images during the early 70s while the flickr site by Gorio72 had loads of bus images and advertisements from various decades in Philippine history.

I was also able to grab some reference pictures from the long out of print book “The History of the Burgis” by Mariel N. Francisco and Fe C. Arriola published in 1987. Here is a little glimpse inside the book.

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For more information about Martial Law and its victims, here’s a link to the Martial Law Memory Project initiated by online news portal, Interaksyon.

I have always been fascinated with this era in Philippine history and it amazes me that in just two decades after Ferdinand Marcos’ exit, people’s feelings about Martial Law are slowly changing from outrage to ambivalence, and for some even fondness. More stories have to be written, movies filmed, and pictures made about our past so that we won’t easily forget.

Lastly, another book that was useful in my research is a pictorial account of the EDSA Revolution – the bloodless revolt during February of 1986 that toppled the Marcos regime. I was only 7 at the time of the revolution but I had vague memories of seeing the coverage on TV and the fervor of those heady days spilling onto our school.

Here are some images from the book:

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Some Serious Chocolate Therapy

I recently contributed three illustrations for an article in the September 2013 issue of Tiger Tales Australia. The article talks about ceremonies conducted in Fremantle, Australia involving cacao and meditation that lead to mood improvement.

You can view the entire issue here.

Below are the VERY rough studies I submitted and the final pieces that made it into publication.

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