Monday, January 26, 2009

A cool time with the P.U.P. students

I got a text from someone named Joshua. I don’t usually reply text that I really don’t know who they are. But a few hours later, I got an email confirming that Josh is indeed a student of the said school and really is inviting me for an interview regarding the state of comics in the Philippines. And I also told by my co-BK(Bayan Knights) members, that they too were asked.

So, I talked to Robin and she thinks that we should do it. And so I replied to Josh to meet us at Power Books / coffee shop at SM Megamall after office. The day and time was set. I was playfully teasing myself that “Myke…you’re starting to be notice as a comicbook artist now - asteg!.”

Interview day arrived. I came earlier than Robin and since I always take the MRT going to Megamall, I usually enter the mall through Powerbooks. And I went to the place where I agreed to meet Josh. And to my big surprised, he was not alone! They we’re more than six there. Since it was my first interview, I did start to panic (seriously). So I start texting Robin and even called her to know where she was and I do really need her. She was smiling and so amused from what she sees in me, a very frighten guy.

She told me to relax and focus, and I followed her like a child. We went to where the kids are and started immediately. I was sweating hard even if the place was freaking cold. A few questions here and there and we’re good. I have relaxed to the whole thing interview thing. And yes, Robin was very supportive. She never let me trapped in one spot. Assisting me and even answering some questions too. After 20 minutes, co-BK member Jaybhoi (kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala) arrived and joined the mixed. It was fun. Jaybhoi, Robin and I really enjoyed being with these very promising kids. They too we’re so nice and very fun to be with.

Well, I just hope the answers we supplied to you guys are enough to help you on your thesis. We’ll pray for your success and again, thank you for interviewing us. Goodluck!

Here are the photos. And look how lucky Jaybhoi!(peace bro):

After drinking too much Ice Tea and having a great time talking with these guys!

(from L to R: Patrick Macayanan, Jamie Ann Serapio, Patrick John Tabaniag, "Me, Robin and the girl digs Jaybhoi", Niña Marie Yanzon, Lucille Mae Manlangit, Johsua Aaron Asence)

Follow up:
Last Thursday, Josh texted me again, asking us for another interview. Because the last part of the first interview that we made were not properly recorded. So, yes! We agreed to meet them last Friday at Starbucks, Megamall. Only Josh and Jamie came and it was much relaxed and fun (funnier too. I made a fan art for Jamie on the spot - peace Jay). As usual, we did enjoy the whole interview thing and the place too. Hope we had more time to talk to Josh and Jamie, but Robin and I really need to run (I have to cook for her family "Sinigang na Baboy" that night).

Robin's (longish) postscript: Yes, Myke was nervous on the way to the interview; but by the time it ended, only blunt force trauma could have stopped him from talking... and he really can't blame the iced tea for that, hehe.

The exchange of ideas went really well and Josh and his team were wonderfully engaging interviewers. I have no doubt they'll all meet with a considerable measure of success in their chosen field once they graduate :) and I'm personally looking forward to seeing their work in mass media.

They asked quite a number of thought-provoking questions, but what I'll remember most is the one Jamie posed. She said, "Straight answer lang po, pero sa tingin ninyo po ba naghihingalo na yung (local) comic book industry?"

I replied that while the industry is no longer one from which more than a select number of creators can earn a decent living, there are signs that it will at the very least continue to thrive. There are more comic book conventions now, for one thing; even the smaller comics-related conventions and conferences in schools help to create continued awareness of the industry and of the titles being currently produced. Independent creators also have more means now by which they can release their work, and online fora as well as social-networking communities go a long way in promoting these books.

Then I said that the creators' attitude toward their work, that of wanting to finish a book not for fame or fortune (although yes, yes, a bit of each would be nice) but simply because it matters to them is what ultimately will keep the industry alive.

That is something I believe with all the fiercely giddy love of my fan-girl heart, as I like to say :) ... which is why it annoyed me to no end when it was Myke's turn to answer and he said, without preamble, "Oo, naghihingalo na..."

Sungit talaga ni Claw. Kainis :p

I'll let him talk more about what he said if he wants to, but I'm happy to report that Jayboy vindicated me in the end by saying that while he thinks the industry isn't doing too well at present, he's still optimistic about recent developments. I recall hearing him say, "If someone wants the autograph of an unknown artist from Tacloban, we must be doing something good."

And that too is something I truly believe with all the love of my fan-girl heart :)

Jaybhoi Acosta
; Jamie Ann Serapio; Johsua Aaron Asence

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