Special Guest: Elizabeth Chionglo


Elizabeth Chionglo

Name: Elizabeth T. Chionglo
Age: going on 60
Course & School: Fine Arts Major in Advertising, University of Santo Tomas
List of Works:

  • Nini Liit, 1981, People’s Journal, Tempo
  • Tres Chicks, 1983, Ptyk
  • Pipo, 1985, Manila Bulletin (Sunday)
  • Bobita, 1986, Manila Chronicle, Manila Standard
  • Madam Bola, 1987, Bongga
  • Loveknots, 1988, Phil. Daily Inquirer

1) When did you start making comics?
In 1976 for an inhouse newsletter of a government office.

Elizabeth's Artwork

2) How did you begin making comics as a profession?
After college, and after failing in all my job applications, i made some comic strips as my last resort. The newspaper editor suggested some changes and told me to come back. But i found a job and forgot all about the comics until two years later. I submitted my comics again just to find out what the editor of another publication thought of my work. After 3 weeks of follow-ups, my first comic strip nini liit appeared in people’s journal.

3) If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing now?
I’ll be a housewife.

4) Is it a big deal being a female artist?
I don’t know.

5) Any advice to female artists, or aspiring young artists?
Love and draw with passion while still young.

Special Guest: Aileen Casis


Aileen Casis

Name: Aileen P. Casis
Age: 28
Course & School: AB Mass Communication / Trinity University of Asia
List of Works:

  • Luvstruck; Potpourri comic strips (The Manila Bulletin comics section)
  • Scenes we’d like to see… (Mwahaha! humor magazine)
  • Con N’ Vic (Boink! comics)
  • Cartoon illustrations (Sports Digest magazine)

1) When did you start making comics?
I have a pretty wild imagination when I was a kid and I’ve always been interested in reading books w/ lots of pictures. I never really attempted on making comics when I was young, although I remember reading stacks of comic books and drawing Garfield cartoons as early as 6 or 7.

In 2002, Manila Bulletin editorial cartoonist Norman Isaac saw my drawing skills and gave me an article to sketch. When my first cartoon came out in the front page of the lifestyle section, I was ecstatic. Since then, I started drawing cartoons/comic illustrations to supplement articles for the lifestyle section.

I work mainly as a graphic/layout artist and I consider cartooning as a hobby. My interest in reading, being highly observant, and creating funny scenarios in my head perhaps got me into the cartoon world. The ability to draw was secondary.

Aileen's Artwork

2) How did you begin making comics as a profession?
In 2005, Manila Bulletin added a second page to its comic section. Cartoon editor Roni Santiago offered me a slot to do spot cartoons. I thought it was ok because I will only be contributing once a week, so I gave it a shot. My first comic panel was called ‘Luvstruck,’ where animate objects would fall in love with inanimate ones. I got tired of the whole concept so I created another comic strip called ‘Potpourri.’ It’s also a one-panel cartoon, w/o dialogues and w/ no main characters.

3) If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing now?
I’d probably be a gag writer or a curator.

4) Is it a big deal being a female artist?
Women cartoonists are not different from men in terms of creativity, sense of humor. Signe Wilkinson won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, also for Lynn Johnston, who was the first woman to win the Reuben Award. Women artists may be discriminated in terms of employment, but not in producing excellent materials.

5) Any advice to female cartoonists, or aspiring young artists?
Follow your humorous bent. Read a lot. Draw inspiration from other artists. Stand on your head for ideas and don’t let your ovaries be a hindrance in making prize-winning cartoons.

Komikon 2010 Guest Video (Manix Abrera)

Komikon Inc. in partnership with Astig TV proudly brings to you the following Special Komikon Videos! With interviews of the Komikon Organizers, and the Sulyap Batch 2010. Plus a special video interview with Komikon 2010 Guest Manix Abrera! These videos first appeared fresh and hot on the Astig TV website, the place for Astig TV Shows.

Manix Abrera Interview


(to follow)

Special Guest: Carlo Pagulayan

Carlo Pagulayan, Komikon 2010 Special GuestCarlo Pagulayan drew such comic characters like Elektra, Emma Frost, Superman, Hulk and the X-Men. He’s not a graduate of fine arts like everyone would assume. Carlo took a course in industrial engineering. “After graduation, I got a job as a Production Supervisor in a PCB plant.  It’s in shifts so, technically it’s partly a day job, and I spend some evening shifts drawing stuff.” Carlo then worked for Glasshouse Graphics since 2001. He describe how he started in comics as “Hard and lucky.  It took me 2 years from initial tryouts, and an additional 3 years before getting in through an agency; I sent out samples to Top Cow when I was in 2nd yr college.  It’s relatively easier now, since of course, you’ve come to know more people, and people have seen the artwork.  But it’s still definitely not a walk in the park.” Like others who broke into the US Comic scene, he too has received offers to work abroad. “There was, but turned it down since I was still drawing something else, so that made it even easier to say no.  I’d be hesitant to work abroad, as I really don’t like working away from home… of course there would offers that would be hard to say no to.  So it really depends on the situation.” We asked Carlo to describe the comic scene in the US right now. He says the US scene is nearly overwhelmed with “superbeings”… “I think publishers are going mad with how to keep them in check.  But remarkably they still do, and still maintain a good number of readers with their stories.”

We asked Carlo if he has tried to draw in different art styles. He answered “I did, before trying out and of course when I was in school drew cartoon comics for the school papers.  I drew a few anime here and there but not seriously.  And right now, I’m venturing into some sculpting, which at the moment is still centered in realism.” You can also see him during events with a huge camera. Does anyone need a photographer?

“I prefer drawing in pencil traditionally, I prefer painting digitally, just because I’m messy with my stuff as it is, and I think adding paint tubes and bottles would make it hell. I envy people that could paint with real paint.” His top 3 Filipino artists are Alex Nino, Alfredo Alcala and Leinil Yu. He loves how Alex Nino’s figures flow through a scene, and how his compositions always pull you in.  “His style way back, was just beyond the times”. He admires Alfredo Alcala’s mastery of rendering and says, “I just love dissecting his linework over and over.” Finally, Leinil’s “impact, his figures always give a sense of power, compositions plain beautiful.

Hulk Artwork by Carlo PagulayanThe local comic scene, he says, is still kept alive through the indie people, who aren’t afraid to create new stuff, stuff that most local publishers would’ve considered risky. Does he plan on making his own comic? “Yes I do…everybody in Comics does.

To end, Carlo shares, “There was a point that an artist always came up to me asking for critiques,  I then proceeded to ask him what he thinks of his results, and true enough he spotted his drawing errors, without me pointing it out.  It makes me appear like a jerk though, but my point is we artists know what we were hoping to achieve, and end up nearly every time unsatisfied with our work; because we very well know where we went wrong.  So my advice has always been, be your own worst critic.  And in that way you’ll also be less hurt if someone’s worse than you.”

Special Guest: Stephen Segovia

Stephen Segovia, Komikon 2010 Special GuestImagine yourself holding a copy of a Wolverine comicbook and discover that the artist was the same person who drew Tomas en Kulas of Funny Komiks.

Stephen Segovia tells us how he started out. “At first I started sending samples to the local publishers like Islas Filipinas (Funny Komiks) and GACI. At the tender age of 16, I got a job at Funny Komiks and been working with them for 6 years as a writer and artist. While doing some work for Funny Komiks, I also worked on a book called CAST by Jamie Bautista. I did 6 issues for that book.” He later met David Campiti from Glass House Graphics, who became his agent. “I got a job from Harris Comics and did a couple of series for Vampirella. I also worked with other big publishers such as Dynamite Entertainment and DC Comics.  After 5 years, I finished my contract with Glass house and now I am working solo and exclusive for Marvel comics.”

Segovia is best known for his Wolverine Series. His most favorite of all his works, he says, was Wolverine, Manifest Destiny. “I’ve really enjoyed doing that series and it’s an honor working with such a great writer like Jason Aaron.” When asked how different it was working locally and internationally, he answers, “The only difference working locally for comics and internationally is the fee. I admit that you can’t relay your expenses as a local comic artist. The fees are way too low BUT the good thing is that you enjoy working, draw what you want and also create your own story. You just have to work as many pages as possible in a day so you can earn more money. Regarding foreign work, the salary is way bigger than your local salary plus you have a chance to draw your favorite hero characters and earn so much for doing just a single page a day. The down part is you don’t have a social life. I usually spend more time on my drawing table for 16-18 hours a day. Doing a page a day on 11×17 art boards is a big deal so I have to discipline my self.”

Currently there are a lot of Filipino artists working for foreign publishers. How does Stephen think they stack up against the first generation of artists that went before them? “If I am going to compare it on the way they worked (step by step) and the resources, I should say that the new generation artist is much advanced than the first generation. Today we have Cintique, Wacom tablet and such things to speed up our work. I think we are just advanced regarding the step by step process and digital works but if I am going to compare it on the details and creative stuff, well no one can beat those classic artists. They are gods and they influence us all.”

Dark Wolverine Artwork by Stephen SegoviaBefore he broke into Marvel, he was a member of the independent comic group Ground Zero.  Stephen says he’d love to join a local group once again. “I am cool about working with the new group if they will accept me… I’m looking forward to produce indie books again but unfortunately the only thing I can contribute is some covers or pinups.” He continues to buy independent comics until today as his way of supporting the artists.  “They are bringing back the life of the local comic books. I salute them and I hope they will never get tired of creating great stuff! For Stephen, the greatest Filipino artist is…” I think all the Filipinos out there that keep on making great comic books, never stops drawing, keeps on dreaming and helping those beginner artist are the best Filipino illustrators today”.

A few of Stephen’s influences are Travis Charest (WildCATS, Metabarons) and our very own Leinil Yu (Ultimates, Superior). He’s always been a fan of Batman, saying “I am really dreaming of doing a Batman series… Since I was a kid, I love to draw Batman.” He also wishes to collaborate with Mark Millar (Ultimates) “His writings are masterpiece. It’s like watching a blockbuster movie. I would love to draw some of his writings even if it is just a one shot, I still love to do it. Regarding on creating my own title for foreign publishers, it’s not yet on my “Goal list” but also looking forward to do one in future.

Finally he shares, “I think I would really want to draw Tomas en Kulas again. I missed those crazy characters.” His advice to aspiring illustrators is to just keep on drawing, never stop believing yourself and have a faith in God almighty. To his fans, “Thank you for all the support! You guys are the reason why I am inspired to draw comics.”

Special Guest: Harvey Tolibao

Harvey TolibaoHarvey Montecillo Tolibao is a native of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. He went through a rough time as a child who struggled for art – literally. It’s a great story to hear from Harvey himself, what he went through to join numerous art contests. That was then.

Harvey is now known for his work on STARWARS: Knights of the Old Republic issue 12. He assisted artists like Carlo Pagulayan, Stephen Segovia, Lui Antonio and others. He worked for the studio Glasshouse Graphics for 5 years and finished his contract last December 2009.

Star Wars Color by Harvey TolibaoWhat can he say about David Campiti and Glasshouse Graphics? “David actually aims to help artists, but sometimes, because of the gossip and misinformation, the relationship between the agent and artist becomes not good. To the extent that would lead the artist to become a freelance rather than to have an agent. So what I learned when I was in GHG, fairness and honesty would lead a company to a very productive, more competitive, progressive studio.” He continues to say, “ Those guys are really great, very patient with us…I’m the type of person who always ask a lot, I’m very eager to learn and have a never ending search of knowledge. And all this curiosity make me realize that in the business you don’t only have to be a good artist or illustrator but you have to have discipline, you need to follow deadlines and be creative to survive in this industry.”

So how has he been since his career move to comics? “It turns out well that I help my family financially and send my brother and sister in good schools. It all turns great.” He says it’s every artist’s dream to work and be published internationally and quotes, “…having this kind of job would have a very big responsibility not only that you’re bringing your name but you’re representing the country. But totally it ROCKS.” When asked if he was offered to work abroad, he said, “Yeah, there are some. I would absolutely grab the opportunities if it would be a win-win situation.”

Psylocke Colored by Harvey TolibaoSince his break into comics, Harvey receives numerous fan mails. “I have a Deviant Art account and FB, and thru this I can keep in touch with them. I help some of those who ask for tips and tricks in illustrating. So these sites help a lot.” When fans ask for advice, he says, “LUCK IS WHEN OPPORTUNITY MEETS PREPARATION. So you need to keep doing the things you love most, you need to understand and believe on it, for someday this would bring you to a LIFE you can only dream of.”

Harvey loves drawing fantasy and sci-fi stories. He would love to work on “Lord of the Rings” type of artwork and said, “I might say Frank Frazetta characters.” But will Harvey ever do a local comic? “Yup. Actually,I already aired the title when we have the chance to guest in NU107 with Jiggy Cruz, Gerry, Arnold. The book is called PAYONGMAN, Hopefully next year the book would be out in the market.”

Hear more about Harvey Tolibao and other special guests this coming November 13, 2010 at the 6th Philippine Annual Komiks Convention (KOMIKON 2010) to be held at the Star Mall Trade Hall. Visit the Official Komikon Website and Komikon @ DeviantArt or join the Official Komikon Group in Facebook for updates on the event.

Special Guest: Abrera Father and Son

KOMIKON has featured a number of artists on its stage since 2005. We are excited to have as one of our special guests this coming November two generations of artists in one family! We bring you father and son cartoonists, Jess and Manix Abrera.

Jess and Manix AbreraJess Abrera is one of the pioneers of The Philippine Inquirer (PDI), working there for 24 years. He is the chief cartoonist and comics editor of The PDI where his comic strips A. Lipin & Pinoy Nga! are published. Making politically themed strips, we asked him if he ever received any threats. His answer was, “Yes, at hindi lang threats mga awards pa!”  True enough, Mr. Abrera received the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle for Pinoy Nga! He won Best Humor in Cartoons from the Catholic Mass Media Award (CMMA) and Best Editorial Cartoon in 2006, 2007 and 2008 entering him into CMMA’s Hall of Fame. He also received the grand prize for children’s book illustration in 1987 for the book Handyong from The Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY).

Sir Jess is really a funny character. When asked about when he started drawing, he answered “Noong caveman pa ako nagdrodrowing na ako sa mga caves. 70’s”. He said the first few comics he like were Walt Disney comics, local comics and…uhm…porno…comics.  Before he worked for the newspaper he did serious illustration of animals at the UP Natural History Department, was an advertising artist, a children’s book illustrator, and goes on to say “dance instructor, tailor, conductor ng bus, bugaw at marami pang iba. Ang kulit mo, ah!”.

Like his father, Manuel Abrera also graduated in the UP College of Fine Arts. Manix graduated with a major in Visual Communication last 2003 and is currently taking his Master’s degree in Fine Arts.  He was an artist for the university paper The Philippine Collegian his whole college life. He is currently famous for his comic strip Kikomachine that comes out daily in The Philippine Daily Inquirer. He has published 5 compilations of his strips and also a graphic novel entitled “12”. When asked how he felt when 2 of his works became finalists in the Neil Gaiman Graphic/Fiction Awards, he said “Nakakaiyak!!” Manix is also known as a musician. He now plays for the band Gorgoro. We asked Manix how he wants to be known: as an artist or a musician. He answered, “Mabait na bata na lang. hehehe”.

Manix started drawing when he was a kid, drawing mostly robots. Is he a fan of comics? “Sobra! hehe.” he says,“Naaalala kong mga sobrang nagustuhan ko talaga mula pagkabata hanggang ngayon ay Calvin and Hobbes ni Bill Watterson”. Watterson is one of his favorite artists saying his strips were simple yet deep.  But of course, his first favorite artist is his dad. “Tatay ko. Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanya.” Manix says his dad is a big influence on him being an artist.  Sir Jess says, “No, ang influence nya ay si Aga Muhlach”.  Was Manix pressured having his work published alongside his dad’s? He answered, “Sa simula syempre pressure hahaha, pero ngayon oks naman na”. How does Sir Jess feel that his son is also into comics? “I feel like a human being.

Sir Jess says that comics before were purely entertainment. “Ngayon may LAMAN at ang sikat yung artist hindi yung writer”. To end, we asked sir Jess what he could advise young cartoonists. He says,”Maglinis sila ng ilong”.  As for Manix, will he be in comics forever? He answered, “Hm, stick sa comics at band. Pero kung sakali mang mag-full time job ako bilang anuman, tuloy pa rin silang mga malapit talaga sa puso ko na ginagawa ko hehe”.

Now this is just an interview. Get to meet them in person and know more about them on November 13, 2010 at the 6th Philippine Annual Komiks Convention at the Starmall Trade hall along EDSA-Mandaluyong.