"Collab tayo," we often hear our artist friends say, almost like a kind of greeting when they happen to be in the same place at the same time.There's this immediate excitement to share ideas and work on something for the awesome fun of it, with the resulting collaboration -- from teaser pin-ups to collectible anthologies -- turning out to be pretty awesome too.
In the last couple of years, we've also seen the members of the local comics community come together for another kind of 'collab' -- raising funds for a cause.
Just a few years ago, Anvil Publishing released Renaissance: Ang Muling Pagsilang, a compendium of artwork meant to benefit the victims of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). The roster of artists who were part of this effort was, simply put, epic. Veterans Jun Lofamia, Rico Rival and the late Tony de Zuñiga joined international fan favorites and prime movers in the Phililppine comics scene in illustrating heroism the way we as a people understand it. Proceeds from the sale of the book as well as the auction of the original works of art were donated to the +Philippine Red Cross.
Then there were the various "sketch for a cause" sessions and art auctions organized to defray the medical expenses of ailing colleagues, the latest of whom was our friend Vergil Espinosa.
We have to say we were _floored_ by the response to the charity auction for Vergil and the victims of the Bohol quake at the +Komikon last Saturday. +Johnny Danganan provides the figures in his blog; but all totaled, the Pinoy Komiks Assemble auction yielded over PhP100K in funds. To quote Johnny, "Whohooh, grabeh talagah!"
Now just a week later, two more fundraisers are going to be held this time for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Again, the gathering will be epic and while we wish no more disasters will visit our country, we know these artists won't hesitate to once again join together and freely give of themselves to help others.
Our friend and fellow comics-geek, +Mark Rosario, said it best when he pointed out that Pinoy comic book artists, "like the superheroes that they love, are quick to respond and rescue whenever the need for it arises."
"So proud to be friends with these kind-hearted human beings!" he added, "God bless you all for your goodness."
We were not the only ones who responded with, "Amen." :-)