The Next Generation
Last Saturday, I hied off to World Chicken along Katipunan to meet up with fellow grafictionists Elbert Or and Carl Vergara for a little Comics Workshop. The participants/organizers of the somewhat impromptu course in comic-making are all freshmen from Ateneo, about seven or so would-be komikeros and manga-kas maybe. I started off the workshop with some talk about the History of Local Comics- you know, from the debut of the first issue of Flashpoint to the time when comics legend Whilce Portacio came and saw the wellspring of talent brimming in Manila in the mid-90s, asking the many disparate comic crews and gangs to lay down their respective individual banners and go under the single name of Alamat Comics.
Funny thing was, all that history just flew over the young 'uns heads- judging from the Scooby Stares I got in return when asking them if they knew who Whilce Portacio was. It was only when I mentioned that he created Bishop and worked on the X-men that they suddenly went 'Aaaaah!'
Anyways, after my florid speech about challenging them to be creative, different and innovative, I gave over the floor to Carl, who immediately launched into a more sobering series of subjects which included publishing your comic, the prospects of self publishing and how to do comics professionally or semi-professionally even if you have no budget (which is usually likely). Afterwards, we had some questions and answers, and wrapped up the session with some rah-rah talk.
One or two kept notes, all were very attentive and interested, and it was fun to see such energetic youths wanting to tackle graphic storytelling even though they weren't Fine Arts students (I think they were in Business Management courses, for the most part). Certainly, El, Carl and I were one in wanting to impress our own enthusiasm and passion for doing comics to the next generation. While I still think I have quite a few more years of still doing comics, we need to plant the seeds whenever we can.
The sessions will most probably continue for the next several Saturdays, and I will most probably keep contributing as long as I am able. It will certainly help my own need to motivate myself, as I embark on my own comics projects after a long period of inactivity. Thankfully, it seems that I'll be quite busy in comics for the near future. Perhaps the youth and energy of the students is rubbing off on me. Heh.
Anyways, the quest to tell stories goes on. Back to the gutters then, peeps. Back into the gutters.