Special Guest: Tepai Pascual

Tepai's Artwork


Tepai Pascual

Name: Tepai Pascual
Age: 23
Course & School: Bachelor of Fine Arts Visual Communications, UP Diliman
List of Works:

  • Maktan 1521
  • MARK 9verse47
  • SULYAP: A Collection of Choice Independent Works 2010

1) When did you start making comics?
I started making comics when I was 4 or 5 years old. I doodle on every paper I can get my hands on. A Four-panel story based on mermaids and princesses– well, mainly because I was exposed to Disney that time. Later on, I was inspired by The Adventures of Tin-tin which me and my older sister used to read.

Then when I was in my 6th grade, I had this urge to tell long stories like the anime that I always see on TV. I ended up owning my first manga, which was a chinese version of Rurouni Kenshin A.K.A Samurai X. This opened a new door for me– the door in making my own manga.

I crafted a lot of stories and comics during my high school days. I made them and let my friends and classmates read it and asked them for comments and suggestions. If I’m not mistaken, I made a graphic novel about the knights of the round table but it gotten so long that I got tired of it. I still have it though. 😀

The journey continues when I made a graphic novel during college. It’s a slice of life type, with Pinoy sense of humor. It’s still in manga type. I haven’t really gotten it out of my system and I think I don’t want to. This was also the time that Maika Ezawa told me about her story about a blind man and there will be battles between angels and demons. The best part was, earth will be their arena! Yeah~ It stuck to me so bad that I was able to make character designs for the story. Maika loved it and we decided to make it into a graphic novel — eventually. Then thesis came. It was my fourth and last year of college and I promised that I will make a FINISHED graphic novel in full color. I challenged myself with this thesis. I wasn’t able to finish my comics for so long and I wanted something to call my “finished work”. So MAKTAN 1521 was born.

Tepai's Artwork

When I started working and have sufficient funds for my um… comics needs. I got serious with it and asked Maika [writer] to make the MARK 9verse47 comic series and came out at the first SUMMER KOMIKON as an indie comics under the name MEGANON Comics. Later on, DRAGFLY joined our team as an editor and became an all-female group. After a year, I released MAKTAN 1521 which later on featured in SULYAP anthology [it’s an honor, by the way, to be in this anthology with Ian, Macoy, Josel, Omeng, Mel and RH.] which was launched November 2011 by KOMIKON Inc. (View Tepai’s Video Interview for Sulyap)

2) How did you begin making comics as a profession?
It’s not really my profession. I’m actually working in the advertising industry and making comics is my way of an “outlet” so to speak. Making comics is my passion nonetheless, and to be frank, my job keeps my comics alive. Since I’m dealing with two different fields, I just make sure that what I learn from the other, I apply to the other and vice versa. It’s like a whole new school for me that’s why I take them both seriously.

3) If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing now?
I would be in the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI and studying the mind of the criminals. Yeah~ that or I’d be baking cakes, cookies, pastries in my own coffee shop– in Japan. Char~! 🙂

4) Is it a big deal being a female artist?
Women is power!!! Just kidding! XD For me gender isn’t an issue but if I think about it, men dominate this type of field. I don’t know why and I can’t justify it because I don’t know it’s statistics. Hahahaha! But there are some cases when they see my art, they automatically think that I’m a man. O_O And when they meet me in person, they would go– “Babae ka pala?! Asteeg!” hahahaha! That’s the time when you kinda have that “bragging rights” in your head but being male or female isn’t really what people wanted to see but the work of the artist. If it’s good, whether you’re a boy or a girl, it’s still good and that’s what matters.

5) Any advice to female cartoonists, or aspiring young artists?
For female artists, we know that it is still a paternal world out there but again, gender isn’t the issue. What’s important is we, as a good person, do our best on everything we do and never get tired of learning no matter how young or old we are.

For the aspiring artists, observe situations, gain knowledge and do the best. Practice. practice and practice. NEVER quit. If something holds you back, deal with it. If you think you’re not good enough, try harder. It’s never too late to be an artist.