Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Matt Fraction

Reading Stark Resilient and, together with Warren Ellis, Fraction is the futurist in comics today. Ellis affirmed his status of that in the Extremis storyline and with the same character (Iron Man, if you are still wondering) Fraction is proving that he is the worth the salt he's been paid.

Not everything he touches is gold. (eg. X-Men) But he has enough chutzpah to be ironic - having an arms system called Detroit Steel to save the Japanese's ass. Go read up on the motor industry of Detroit in the 1970s if you didn't get it.

Too bad no one did an indepth interview with him about all these when he was a guest of STGCC 2010. I'd love to ask him about his addiction...

Comics Xchange 1-2 Oct

Akan Datang.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Role of Arts Councils

Ordered a few books from Conundrum Press (www.conundrumpress.com) recently. It's a great place to get excellent Canadian graphic novels you CANNOT order from amazon.

- Gilded Lilies by Jillian Tamaki
- Inkstuds: interviews w Cartoonists by Robin McConnell
- Chimo by David Collier

One thing I noticed, all of them are supported by the Canadian Council for the Arts. Which means Canadians' taxes are put to good use, funding worthy graphic novels.

The same goes for the best thing I read this year, Paying For It by Chester Brown. Now if you have read that, you know how ballsy it is for the Canadians to put money behind this. Kudos to them.

Which brings me back to the role of arts councils and media development authorities at home. To be gatekeepers of social and moral values? I just want them to be professional and do their job - fund cranky, creative, fun projects instead of thinking of KPIs and bottom lines. (don't do the finance ministry's job for them!)

I'm reminded of Robert Mapplethorpe's The Perfect Moment exhibition of 1989, (mounted 3 months after his death) which sparked a debate in the US about public funding for controversy works. 22 years after reading about this incident in Time magazine, my take is for arts councils to do their job. Be the professionals you are supposed to be. Fund the worthy works (and not just because it's local but because it's good) and let society debate on its merits.

One shouldn't avoid debates. Because we can all learn a lot from it.

Friday, August 26, 2011


What a great Chinese title for Gone Case. But got to say it in Hokkien.
Best cover like those old EPB story books. Go grab it for $10.70 tops.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interview with Paul Levitz@STGCC 2011

A tired Paul Levitz

It was a very tired Paul Levitz who I met on the second and last day of STGCC 2011. It was 4.30 pm and another 3.5 hours to go before the event closes. Maybe it was jet lag or end of con fatigue. Or maybe it’s because he had another appointment after this (with a pretty lass no less), but Paul was visibly distracted.

But you can’t blame the man. Paul Levitz had and continues to have a long run in this business. He is a legend, especially if you are a DC Comics fan. He joined DC in 1973 as an assistant editor, went on to become the youngest DC editor ever. He was appointed Executive Vice-President & Publisher in 1989 and President & Publisher from 2002 to 2009. Currently, he is Contributing Editor, but more importantly, he has gone back to writing the series he is most well known and loved for, the Legion of Superheroes.

Still, the half an hour we had with Paul, his professionalism and passion for the medium comes through. The man walks the talk.

Q: How has life been like since you stepped down as DC President? Why did you resign?

A: The job scope has changed and it has given me the freedom to travel to places I find interesting like Singapore instead for traveling for work. There are always reasons why one stepped down. I’m happy to be back writing and teaching instead of being on the road all the time.

When one is in a transitional process, things happen in phases. So we’ll see what’s next.

Q: You are now the Contributing Editor. What is your role, do you get to intervene?

A: I do not have the magic powers to intervene. They (the DC management) are driving the bus. There are a lot of decisions to be made, whether they are good or bad decisions. No one makes the right decisions all the time. Hopefully you make more right ones than wrong ones. And hopefully you make more big decisions that are right than big ones that are wrong. All companies need the people who are working for them to be on their side. They don’t need a backseat driver. They need backseat cheerleaders.

Q: This is a question I have asked the rest because this is STGCC and you guys are in Singapore, Southeast Asia. Are getting artists from this region a form of outsourcing?

A: I joined DC in 1973. Even during then, comics publishers were already going overseas to get bargain foreign labour at discounted price. There were clear savings as Filipino artists were not getting the same page rate. Alfredo Alcala had to go to America in 1976 to get that kind of rate.

So what are talking about here? In the 1970s, we paid the Filipinos USD$17 to 19 a page. In America, artists were getting USD$60 a page. But if you were a Filipino artist working for a comics publisher in the Philippines, you were getting USD$3 to 4 a page. So all thought they were getting a good deal. All thought they were screwing each other.

Q: But with current economic downturn in America and the falling exchange rate for the USD, is it harder for your overseas artists?

A: For the creative people, the first challenge is getting creative work that pays. The exchange rate would be the least of their problems. It is to get work and keep busy.

Q: Someone described to me recently that the main difference between DC and Marvel is that Marvel sells Fear. The discrimination and hatred faced by the X-Men, recent series like Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege and Fear Itself! But DC sells Hope. The return of Hal Jordan, the Brightest Day series, and now the 52 reboot. What do you think of that?

A: (paused and smile) That sounds nice. I have not read Marvel for years now. Of course, I have read the classic stuff, but not anything in the last decade.

52 is ambitious, challenging and filled with excitement. It is a very interesting new take.

Q: How does it feel to be back writing the Legion? How have the fans responded?

A: It was fortuitous timing. I had gone back to writing. Geoff Johns had just done some Legion stories (Action Comics and Adventure Comics), but he had no time to continue with them. So the slot was available.

As you know, Legion fans are a very special bunch of people. They are please with the stories in general. I’m glad they are responding to my stories as a contemporary writer. In American baseball, there is the oldtimers’ game before the start of the big games. The old players would come out to field to throw the ball around. I’m happy that that is not the case for me. The fans have been very welcoming and generous. So it’s great to be back in the real game.

Q: But times have changed and even your writing and approach to these classic characters have changed. For example, Shadow Lass broke up with Mon-El (sent off to the Phantom Zone again) and is now literally sleeping with the enemy, Earth-Man.

A: When I first started writing in the mid 1970s, I was writing for 9 to 10 year olds. They were intelligent but the core audience for the books was kids. Now with direct sales, the audience is 16 to 35 year olds. This allows you to do different kinds of stories because of the maturity of the readership.

The 16 year old of 2011 is very different from the 16 year old of the 1970s. They are better educated, their ideas about sexuality has changed. There is the internet. So when all these started in the 1980s and when we did the Baxter edition of the Legion, I was able to write the story of the violent death of Karate Kid. Although the story was reprinted for the newsstand edition, the primary market was still the direct sales and in the comics shops.

Q: Any chance of you writing a Marvel series?

A: The odds are against it. There are some characters I’d like to handle in the past but that’s unlikely to happen given my years of association with DC. I’d rather focus on prose and fiction, and on medium that I have not worked on like historical non-fiction.

Q: Grant Morrison is rebooting Superman again for the umpteenth time. Which is your favourite version of Superman?

A: You don’t go past the comfort food of your childhood. For me, it’d always be Jerry Siegel, Leo Dorfman (The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue) and Ed Hamilton. Stuff which I read when I was 11 or 12 years old. Peter Graham once said that the “golden age of science fiction is 12.” All forms of popular culture carry different emotional weight. Is Neil Gaiman a better writer than Issac Asimov? I don’t think so as a professional writer myself. But Issac Asimov was great was when I was 12 years old and remains great.

Q: It’s just like for me, Superman is always drawn by Curt Swan.

A: That’s precisely it. Back in the days when I asked Curt Swan if he could draw my Legion story and when he said yes, it felt fabulous. I grew up reading his comics and now we were colleagues. He would ask me not to put too many Legion characters in one panel.

So people like Curt, Gene Colan. I would hand them my handwritten scripts! (Levitz’s Batman stories drawn by Gene Colan are recently reprinted in Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Volume 1)

Q: What do you think of the recent spate of superhero movies based on comic books?

A: If you asked me in 2002 after the first Spiderman movie just came out, I’d not have listed Iron Man as something that would have been made into a movie. But now you have things like Scott Pilgrim.

Comics are not designed to be perfect for films. You need adaptation as there is an intrinsic value in each medium for things to work. As I have been teaching in my writing class, you take a movie like The American President (1995) and compare it with The West Wing. Basically, you almost have the same cast including Martin Sheen and both are written by Aaron Sorkin. But it’s so different.

Q: Will you be writing a sequel to 75 Years of DC Comics?

A: Well, someone should write 100 Years of DC Comics when it is time. But it would not be my turn. I was born in 1956 and I would be nearly 80 by then!

And then it was over. We shook hands, I gave him a copy of Ray Toh’s new sketchbook and he was off for his next appointment.
Thanks to STGCC for arranging the interviews!

Interview with CB Cebulski@STGCC 2011

CB Cebulski talks fast. He is the Senior Vice-President for Creator & Content Development for Marvel Comics. I only had half an hour with him. But ‘enuff said!

Q: So this is your second trip to STGCC, having recruited Benjamin Ang from Singapore last year. But artists in Southeast Asia continue to stay in their homeland (Tan Eng Huat in Malaysia and Sonny Liew in Singapore) while working for Marvel, without having to resettle to America. Unlike artists like Alfredo Alcala and Alex Nino.

A: This is the globalization of Marvel Comics since the late 1980s. Before Alcala came to America in the 1970s, people were already sending in their resumes in envelopes and enclosing SASE. It was snail mail, then faxes.

Yes, the business changed with the internet. But 2 events happened before that.

One was the end of the Marvel Bullpen. Before, to work for Marvel, you need to be in the office. No more. The Bullpen is still there, but in spirit. It is digital now.
Second, the rise of conventions like San Diego. For the pre-internet generation in the 1990s, you have people like Joe Madureira waiting in line to show their portfolios.

That was how recruitment was done and it’s the same for international artists. You fly in from Brazil or your agents fly in for you. That was in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, the only conventions were in San Diego and Chicago. New York Con only happened the last 5 years, so most foreign artists have never been to NYC. San Diego was the place to get work. (even in the case of Sonny Liew who was introduced to the industry by Chris Claremont)

Today, the internet has revolutionized how communication is handled. The development of social networks, online galleries. Sites like Deviantart and Conceptart.org. Artists are able to display their work without having to leave home.

Q: How has that changed your work for you? Why are you still traveling?

A: At Marvel, I go out and I recruit. 95% of the artists are found online. I see the artwork, and if I like it, I will develop a line of communication. Let’s say I go to Croatia. There is a population of artists on the internet who are from there, so I go and talk to them.

I find the talent online, but I won’t hire until I see them face to face. With the internet, you don’t know what’s out there. There are a lot of scams and bullshit. So it’s to know their personality, their work ethics, are they able to meet deadlines. It helps me to do my job when I meet them face to face.

So I go to different cities, different conventions. I meet the artists, I meet the people who introduce me to other artists. I consider myself a good judge of character, to find out what kind of person you are, what kind of artist you are.

Q: What is the value proposition of hiring Southeast Asian artists? Why recruit overseas when there are still so many talented artists in America?

A: It is not just us going out to find international talent. They are coming to us because it is their dream to work for Marvel Comics, their dream to draw Spiderman. This happens as the Marvel brand grows globally. (see interview with Ardian Syaf – he doesn’t speak much English but he wants to draw Batman)

This is nothing new. In the 1960s, Stan Lee recruited from Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was South America. In the 2000s, it was Asia. And for these artists like Whilce Portacio, he doesn’t want to be just a Marvel artist, no matter how successful. He wants to mentor other artists from his home country, the Philippines. He wants to give back to his country.

The international market has opened up. Our eyes are opened up to the fact that Marvel’s influence is everywhere. Asia is far away from us, but it is worth our while to meet the people. The level of talent in Asia is high. It is beneficial to us. By recruiting overseas, it promotes the brand globally and increases our talent pool.

Q: Is there a difference in what you pay Southeast Asian artists and what you pay American artists?
(last year, I spoke to an Asian artist at STGCC who revealed that there was still a page rate difference)

A: Not now, not in this day and age. This is not outsourcing to get cheaper rates. Our artists, no matter where they are, are paid industry standard rates. Maybe that was the case 6, 7 years ago, but not now.

There is not much difference in cost for us to pay the Asian artists a lower rate. The only cost difference in the past is the Fedex cost, but with scanning and email, that’s no longer an issue. The only fear about Fedex in the past is the pages getting lost.

There is this famous story of a 22-page John Busema Conan story (for Savage Sword of Conan) that was sent to a Filipino studio to be inked. 1 week passed, then 2 weeks and the third week. The editor Ralph Macchio called the inker to ask if the pages had arrived. The inker said yes. Ralph asked so when can we get it back. The inker replied he hasn’t started on it yet. Ralph asked why not and the answer was “it’s too beautiful!” Ralph said you know I have to fire you, right? The inker said just fire me!

So Ralph had to call John to explain the situation and asked if he could draw those pages again. John said yes, but you got to pay me. And he did. Within a week, he delivered those pages, drawing them from memory and it looked the same. John Busema is a genius.

So getting the pages lost or destroyed when sending them via Fedex, that’s the only cost factor that would have led to a lower page rate for artists in Southeast Asia. But not anymore.

Q: I spoke to some Southeast Asian artists at the con earlier. The feeling is that with the economic downturn (Japan, Europe and America), projects are shrinking or disappearing. With the low exchange rate for USD (as compared to the strong Singapore dollar), artists who are being paid in USD are seeing their earnings reduced.

A: I’m not a bullshitter, so I won’t lie. The US economy is a concern for publishing. The movies and games are doing okay. Comics sales have been stagnating for a long time. Every now and then you get a hit. Then things go back to normal. It’s hard to put a finger at it. Some blame video games, piracy, illegal downloads, parents. It’s a combination of different factors.

But with the current downturn, sales are not suffering yet. We are not in the doldrums, we are not canceling titles yet. But we are seriously looking at what works and what doesn’t. Maybe there is a need to look at the paper quality we are using, the length of stories or what we can do to increase advertising.

The same thing happened to Marvel after the bankruptcy. There was belt tightening. It’s about being smart about what we do with our talent and money.

At Marvel, it’s always about the characters. Content is king. The stories, the art. In the past, we might have gotten a bit greedy in putting out yet another Deadpool book, another Wolverine title. The fans are sick of it. So it’s really listening to what the fans want. It could be something offbeat like Strange Tales.

So it’s the bottom line and the monthly sales, that’s how the industry judges. Not everything is determined by the direct market sales through the comics shops. We need to see the bigger picture of mainstream sales of graphic novels in the bookshops.

Let me give you an example. One of our worst selling books in the direct market is Marvel Adventures. But in terms of subscriptions, it is one of the highest, especially among family with kids. It is also doing very well at Walmart and Target. On the internet, fans poke fun of us for putting out such a book. But it attracts new readers, those in the 5 to 7 year old range. So the book is profitable.

Sonny Liew's pages for his take of Spidey in Marvel Adventures

So often we have fallen victim and listen too much to the noise on the internet. This character is popular, you should put out his own title. But does it sell?

So getting back to your question, we rode out of the economic crunch very well, the mortgage and housing crises. Usually these things hit the entertainment industry a bit later. Yes, people have to make choices. Between paying the rent and buying food, do they need that Marvel comic book? So we have to be smart in what we put out and how we present our titles.

Q: 2 years on since the announcement of Disney buying Marvel at the Toronto Comics Con and almost a year since the signing of the deal on December 31 2010, what is the fallout?

A: None. The relationship is working out so well that it is wonderful. What has happened is that Disney has taken the Marvel brand and brought our products into the Disney store. On the other hand, we are doing their Pixar books and also provided the variant covers for Tron.

We were Disney fans before we were Marvel fans. It’s mutual respect that we have for each other. We are not seeing Spiderman in Disneyland or a sanitized Wolverine. Disney is opened to suggestions. Operations-wise, Avengers and Iron Man 3 will be distributed by Disney, taking the rights back from Paramount.

Q: How come there are fewer writers recruited overseas as compared to artists?

A: They are different, it’s like comparing apples with oranges. Art is a universal language. We can send you the script and you can draw it. But for stories, you need to be able to write fluently. We have hired foreign writers before from Italy, Portugal. They either grew up in the United States or studied there. So the command of the English language is important.

So far, not many have come to us. I know Gerry Alanguilan from the Philippines writes his own stuff. But for writers, we don’t read submissions. We require them to send in published works. We have published samples from Spain and Japan before. They were written in their native language but a translation was provided.

It is not so much cultural as writers can learn about New York City from films, TV. But having said that, we do not just want writers who are influenced by Marvel comics. We want unique stories. We want you to bring a piece of yourselves to the Marvel characters you are writing. Greg Pak is a case in point. He’s from Korea and he writes the Hulk. Marjorie Liu divides her time between Idaho and Beijing and she is providing a different sensibility to the Black Widow.

Stan Lee always says Marvel is the window to world outside. So we want our Asian writers to bring their world to the Marvel universe and to expand it on a global level.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cosplayers@STGCC 2011

Press Play!

Catwoman w Morgan Chua. Lucky bastard!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Ardian Syaf@STGCC 2011

Indon artist Ardian Syaf has come a long way since drawing out of a box at the last STGCC. Last December, he wasn’t a guest of the convention and he came on his own. But sharp-eyed fans knew gold when they spotted him sketching at the side. They recognized that this was the upcoming artist of Batman Blackest Night, Brightest Day and Birds of Prey.

Ardian didn’t have a table and had to ‘squat’ with some local artists, who extended that ‘kampong’ Southeast Asian solidarity. The pages he brought for sale flew and he took orders for sketches. (see Hawkgirl)

Ardian started his career in 2007 doing Dresden Files for Dabelbrothers Publishing. That lasted for 11 issues. His first project with Dabelbrothers titled Take It To Chance written by novelist Catherine Murphy actually came out after that. After signing to the Spanish agency, Utopia Studio, Ardian became a fill-in artist for Marvel. He draw 2 issues of Nightcrawler and later Captain Britain & MI 13. In 2009, he signed exclusively to DC.

He has yet to visit the United States, but has been invited. Now he is waiting for the recommendation letter to get his visa. He is part of the Southeast Asian contingent who are helping us to imagine New York City in the comic books filtered through their own imagined reality of the Big Apple.

I met Aridan at STGCC 2011, now an official guest of the con.

Q: What is your value proposition for DC or Marvel? What does Ardian Syaf have to offer in terms of a different style?

A: (pause then smile) Maybe my art reminds people of Andy Kurbert. He was exclusive to Marvel then. Perhaps that is what interested DC. They say we are not looking for another Jim Lee because they already have one Jim Lee. But the fact is that they are looking for another Jim Lee. Or the next Scott Lobdell. It’s basically what the fans want.

Q: Do people in Indonesia know your work?

A; DC Comics are not for children these days. They are meant for grown-ups, so children in Indonesia do not read DC Comics. Also there are no more reprints of DC or Marvel comics in Indonesia. Now there are only reprints of manga.

In the early days, my neighbours thought I was unemployed! I lived in Tulung Agung, a small town in East Java. They thought I was a bum.
(amazing how the world has shrunken and become more of the same – Ardian is able to email his work to America from a small sleepy town in East Java. US pop culture has permeated everywhere. Cultural imperialism!)

Q: Is there a pay difference between artists in Southeast Asia and artists in America?

A: No, it depends on the deal made for you by your agency. But if you are a top artist, you get the top artist’s rate.

Q: Will you be drawing for Marvel soon?

A: My contract with DC is ending in September 2011, but I will be renewing it. There are opportunities with the 52 reboot. I will be drawing Batgirl. (see sketch)

Q: But which Marvel character would you want to draw if you get the chance?

A: Wolverine! I love Wolverine.

Q: What personal projects would you want to do?

A: I would want to work on an Indonesian project with a friend. Tomb Raider meets magic combining with the superstitious beliefs of Indonesia. Friends keep asking me to do my own story. One day.

Thanks to Novianto Hernawan, who was the translator for the interview.

(this issue of Birds of Prey is drawn by Ardian but the cover is by Stanley Lau of IFS)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


If you are going down today, go check out Tita and CAB at G37 along the Artists' Alley. Excellent Indon stuff. More on them later.

Tita with Kenny of Kino

Interview with Carlo Pagulayan@STGCC 2011

Thanks to the good folks at STGCC, I was able to interview Filipino comics artist Carlo Pagulayan together with Leong Wern Iu who writes for sgcollect.com/forum. You can read his take of the session there.

Carlo is no stranger to STGCC, having visited the con last December to support other Filipino artists who were guests like Lenil Yu and Harvey Tolibao. This year, it was his turn to be the convention guest.

Carlo is most famous for drawing Planet Hulk.

Q: The amazing thing about technology today is that it has indeed shrunk the world by letting Southeast Asian artists to draw for DC or Marvel without having to leave their homeland. Unlike Alfredo Alcala who left the Philippines for USA in the 1970s and never to return (for fear of not being allowed back into USA if he were to do so), artists like you, Harvey and Lenil could still be based in your home country.

How did your journey start – from the Philippines to Planet Hulk?

A: You start by attending conventions and exposing yourself. There was a Top Cow talent search in the Philippines in the late 1990s. I sent in samples, but they lost it! I was not selected.

I was still in college then, so drawing comics was not a priority. (Carlo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering)

In 2000, I signed to an agency (Glass House Graphics, who also represented Harvey, Stephen Segovia, Jason Paz and Jeffrey Huet), who sent samples of my work to Joe Quesada of Marvel. It was a long process, there were words of encouragement as Marvel saw improvement in my art. But there was no work. At that time, I was working as a supervisor at a semiconductor factory.

911 happened and everyone was affected. I watched TV everyday about news of the attack. Dark Horse did a benefit book and I contributed. Although I was under contract for representation with the agency, I was allowed to draw this 3-page story for Dark Horse as we weren’t paid. I had no money to help the victims then and this was my way of helping.

That story got me in the running for Dark Horse’s KISS comic book. I could have been a KISS artist, but Gene Simmons was the one reviewing my pages and I had a problem with likeness – my drawings were just not KISS-y enough. They don’t look like the band.

So it was a New Year’s Eve and I had to hand in a KISS drawing. Instead of lighting firecrackers, I was hard at work. I took a break by reading Elektra and end up doing a drawing of Elektra. My agent sent it to Quesada and luck would have it, Marvel was looking for a new Elektra artist as the original artist Chuck Austin was moving over to writing.

So that was how I ended up working with Greg Rucka for Elektra. After that, I did fill-ins and one shots for comics like Master of the Universe, Emma Frost, Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four and even an inventory issue of Superman, which has not been published yet. But during that period, I drew one of my favourite stories in X-Men Unlimited – Shadowcat helping troubled kids. That assignment was challenging because of the storytelling.

Marvel Adventures editor, Mark Paniccia, who was also the Hulk editor, got me onboard Planet Hulk.

That was the turning point in my career.

This has become a very long answer. So yes, attend conventions. I have attended those in the Philippines and now the con in Singapore. In 2006, I was invited to attend a con in France for a week.

No, I have not been to USA yet. But we intend to next year, the few of us like Harvey and Stephen.

(since 2010, Carlo has been represented by 3-Wishes, who also represent, Stephen, Jason Paz, Philip Tan and Jay Anacleto)

Q: Sounds like there is quite a comics community in the Philippines. (prime example: there was even an issue of Silver Surfer earlier this year which had interiors by Harvey and Stephen and covers by Carlo)

A: We used to hang out in a mall in Manila. It was bowling alley, but now it is a toy store, so we can’t hang out there anymore. Now we meet at the food courts.

It is a close knitted community. We were disappointed with the mainstream industry, which closed down in the early 1990s. There are no major comic titles in the Philippines now, unlike when we had Alcala’s Voltar.

But you know what we envy most about people with day jobs? It’s that you get to interact with other people. So now with Google+, every night at about 10 pm till the wee hours, all of us will be video conferencing. Me, Stephen, Lenil, some Malaysian comic artists and even Singaporeans.

Q: It seems there are certain pairings for Filipino artists and inkers to work together on the same book. Like Lenil is inked by Gerry Alanguilan in the Ultimates line and Mark Millar books. In your case, you are inked by Jeffrey Huet for Planet Hulk, and Michael Jason Paz (an excellent artist in his own right) and Noah Salonga for Agents of Atlas. Are these arranged by the editors or you guys suggest them to the editors?

A: I live 2 hours away from the capitol, so it makes sense to work with people in the Philippines. We do suggest to the editors but it all depends on the scheduling. Usually it is my choice. But if it can’t work out, the editors will propose someone else.

Q: That's a great way to pass on jobs to fellow Filipinos. What is your favourite character?

A: Spiderman. But it will be difficult to draw a Spiderman comic because of all the background scenes of New York City. The good thing about Planet Hulk is that there are no design laws or principles!

Q: Which character would you like to work on next?

A: I have been drawing a lot of male characters, so I’d like to work on X23. (see sketch)

Q: What’s next?

A: I'll be doing more covers for Marvel, but it’s not announced yet, so I shouldn’t talk about it now. But I have been drawing more covers recently because I had to take a break 2 years ago. I had Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).

Q: So what else should we check out?

A: Jay Tablante and his cosplay shoots of Elektra, Scarlet Witch, Emma Frost, Psylocke and X23. Sollen Heussaff and Barbie Forteza as X23! And my own blog, http://octographics.net/caloyblog/ .

Carlo drawing my own X23!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tan Eng Huat's Silver Surfer

Since the man is in town for STGCC and to launch his first portfolio at GnB, here's a tidbit about Eng Huat. He has done something that not even the great Jack Kirby had done - to give the Silver Surfer ears! Go check out his rendition of the cosmic crusader in Marvel Comics. Or grab those Surfer pages he has brought down to sell.

The silent reboot revolution. The ears have spoken.

Kai (IFS), Lefty, Slaium and Eng Huat (Gilamon)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upcoming Events

Quite a few things happening this weekend and the next few weeks.

Of course, we all know STGCC 2011 is on this Sat and Sun at Suntec City. No comics shops are involved this year. Not even GnB, who helped to bring in Brian Bolland and David Lloyd in the past. They will not be having a booth at STGCC. Instead, they are organizing their own Members Appreciation Night tomorrow at 5.30 pm. Guests are the Gilamon gang who will be launching their new Major Zombie comic there and also the sale of Tan Eng Huat's portfolio and original art. GnB is also helping to arrange the Gilamon appearance at Kinoukuniya on Saturday.

Gilamon will be at STGCC but they will be at the Planerds/Harris booth. Most local artists are not purchasing their own booth at the Artists' Alley, citing cost reasons. Most will be squatting at Planerds. The exception is Sonny Liew who will be launching his Malinky collection at STGCC. But if you miss him this weekend, there is another Malinky signing at Planerds on 27 Aug.

So competition, fragmentation or variety? Watch out for Comics Xchange, a 2-day event, which is supported by GnB among others and will include the 24Hour Comics Day 2011.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sightings of local artists at STGCC at Planerds Booth

20 and 21 August at Suntec City.

1:00 Ken Foo and JC Wong
2:00 Kelvin Chan, Drewscape, and Troy Chin
3:00 Shawn Siow and Shawn Yap
4:00 Chea Sin Ann, Zhen Ye, and Jon Chan
5:00 Sonny Liew
6:00 Gilamon Studios

1:00 Collateral Damage Studios
2:00 Collateral Damage Studios
3:00 Koh Hong Teng and Dave Chua
4:00 Jerry Hinds plus three younglings
5:00 JDC Amane plus two younglings
6:00 ACAS Digital Workshop

There might be Morgan Chua too.

SDCC Exclusives at Planerds

This weekend.

Blazing Sword Voltron Action Figure
Swamp Thing w/ Un-Men Action Figure $75.00
Green Lantern: Carol Ferris Barbie $87.50
Mez-Itz Green Lantern and Sinestro 2-Pack
Kotobukiya Stormtrooper 2-Pack $225.00
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Minimates $50.00
Thor Stormbreaker Minimates $50.00
Star Wars: Republic Commando AF Set $125.00
Doctor Who Tardis Bobble Head $50.00
Marvel vs. Capcom Minimates $50.00
DCU vs. MotU: Supergirl vs. She-Ra AF Set $100.00
DCU vs. MotU: Green Lantern vs. Zodac AF Set $100.00
DC Direct Flashpoint Zoom Action Figure $55.00
GI Joe/Transformers: Starscream w/ Cobra Commander $150.00
Indiana Jones Lost Wave Action Figure Collection $175.00
Star Wars Vintage Revenge of the Jedi AF Collection $350.00
Marvel Universe 16 inch Special Edition Sentinel AF $150.00
GI Joe: Zarana AF (regular version) $40.00
GI Joe: Zarana AF (Cold Slither variant) $60.00
My Little Pony 2011 Special Edition Pony $40.00
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Ultimate Optimus Prime $215.00
Transformers: Prime Optimus Prime Figure $55.00
Nerf N-Strike Transformers Barricade RV-10 Blaster $70.00
Marvel Mini Muggs: The Avengers 5-Pack $100.00
Marvel Mini Muggs: Spider-Man w/ Soft Mask $45.00
Marvel Legends Thor Action Figure w/ Exclusive Poster $70.00

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Planerds Bestsellers for July 2011

Planerds Bestsellers for July 2011

1. Fables v15: Rose Red TP

2. Marvel Avengers Character Encyclopedia HC

3. X-Men: Age of X HC

4. Captain America: The Death of Captain America v1 TP

5. Blackest Night TP

6. Blackest Night: Green Lantern TP

7. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #2: 1969 TP

8. Doctor Who: The TARDIS Handbook HC

9. Deadpool: Dead Head Redemption TP

10. Walking Dead v14: No Way Out TP

Morgan's new book

Morgan Chua's new book is out. A look at the life and times of Kwa Geok Choo. Available at Books Actually and Wardah Books at 58 Bussorah Road.