Monday, June 29, 2009

Things why Bayan Knights is exciting for me.

In the past few months, we have been struggling on creating and distributing Bayan Knights comic book. And with in those time, we have received many criticism that would depress the most excited comic book creator. I am writing this for the sake of re-energizing the spirit that have bonded us together in the first place. So I will list down the things why BK is still very exciting for me.

1.) My character “Kalayaan” is there. My very own creation, is appearing on another comics other than its own title. To me, this is exciting because I am able to see the beautiful rendition of Kalayaan by none other than Gilbert Monsanto him self. I get the chance to see my character in the hands of a true professional.

2.) Almost 50+ original Pinoy character is there (and counting). To other readers, introducing many character in one book is very confusing. But for me, it is a treat. We have a chance to discover many new and never seen before Pinoy character on a pages of a comics. I always bring a copy of BK issue with me every time. It is fun for me look at each and everyone characters appearing there. I will say to my self, “I wonder who this guy is and what power he has. This one looks cool and that one too.” :D

Without BK, there will be a very slim chances that these characters will see the light of day. If we are going to be realistic. This characters will just fade away into oblivion. And the sad thing is that no one will even know (or care) that they exist and just fade away. Except of their creators of course.

3.)It is a collaboration of many artist. The main goal of Bayan Knights embodies what a country, organization or group should be. And that is helping each other to achieve a single goal. Pulling each and everyone resources to make the group more stable. Because of this group, I was able to meet a very talented colorist like Omi Remalante, Jr. who was very helpful on coloring the covers of Kalayaan. Since I really sucks on coloring, he was a heaven sent to me, through BK.

4.) For me BK is exciting. Because it gives me hope. A shining light in the mids of darkness. A hope that there is still a chance that the ailing local comics industry needs. And hopes someday that it will be revive once again. I also hope that this small comics will inspire future comics creator to do their own titles. A hope that Bayan Knights book will spawn multiple comics title. Each one of those characters that started as an extra in this book will shine and produce its own title.

For others, they may say that I am just dreaming. But without dreams, what is the purpose of doing what we do? What is the purpose of a business man to engage on a investment or business venture, if he does no dream of becoming rich? What is the purpose a righteous man doing the good things that is written in the holy book, if he does not dream of going to heaven? What is the purpose of an athlete to train hard everyday, if he does not dream of winning an Olympic gold?

Sino ba namang independent comics creator dyan ang hindi nangarap na maging main stream?

I hope that anyone who would read this will join us and support us on our little journey. Bayan Knights is very exciting for me, and I hope that it will be exciting for you too.

15 comments:

Jayson said...

More power to Bayan Knights!!!
Makakapangyarihan kayong lahat!!!
You all got my support.
Sana labas na agad ang BK3... hindi na ko makapaghintay...

Randy Albert said...

Dahil sa Bayan Knights bumalik ang hilig ko sa Philippine Comics! Salamat sa mga kagaya ninyo Sir!

With out Bayan Knights siguro Marvel and DC lang ginagawa kung toys kasawa! :P

Kayo po Gilbert Monsanto, Gio Paredes, et al...Ang mga tunay na Bayan Knights!!!

Gio Paredes said...

@Jayson
Hayaan mo at makakarating kay Sarge na nag aantay ka na ng BK3.

@Randy
Salamat din sa mga gaya nyo na nakaka taba ng puso. Nakakapag patuloy kami dahil sa gaya nyo. :-)

Ben 10 said...

"Sino ba namang independent comics creator dyan ang hindi nangarap na maging main stream?"

Well, this might be a surprise to you but true blue independent creators would rather have their own creations stand out on their own merit rather than be pulled into the limelight by joining a BANDWAGON.

The problem with targeting the mainstream is that you are vulnerable to uso. For the moment you get your work under the spotlight then it gets forgotten pag iba na ang uso.

Pag tunay na indie ang creation mo, wala kang paki sa spotlight, habol mo gumawa ng work that tells a good story regardless of whether sumikat siya sa mainstream or hinde. Hindi priority ang pagpasok sa mainstream ng tunay na indie comics.

Maybe other creators should consider this thought when deciding how to market their own characters and stories.

Gio Paredes said...

"Well, this might be a surprise to you but true blue independent creators would rather have their own creations stand out on their own merit rather than be pulled into the limelight by joining a BANDWAGON."

Marahil nga merong mga taong kuntento na sa mababang sales and smaller audience. Pero naniniwala pa rin ako na deep in their heart na pa minsan minsan ay nangangarap sila na maging wide spread ang comics nila.

"The problem with targeting the mainstream is that you are vulnerable to uso. For the moment you get your work under the spotlight then it gets forgotten pag iba na ang uso."

Tama ka dyan, kaya as a creator. That is the challenge for us. We must continue to reinvent our selves. At hindi maging kuntento sa "pwede na yan, ok na yan". At ganun naman talaga ang lahat ng bagay. Every thing has its time. Kapag na uso ang comics mo today (halimbawa), hindi naman ibig sabihin noon ay pang habang buhay nang uso iyon. If you reach my age ay malalaman mo iyon. Katulad ng mga sayaw at kanta. Pa ulit ulit lang yan. Pa balik balik ang uso. So pagiging uso or pagiging laos should not be a hindrance for going mainstream

"Pag tunay na indie ang creation mo, wala kang paki sa spotlight, habol mo gumawa ng work that tells a good story regardless of whether sumikat siya sa mainstream or hinde. Hindi priority ang pagpasok sa mainstream ng tunay na indie comics.

Maybe other creators should consider this thought when deciding how to market their own characters and stories."

Tama ka ulit dyan. Ang concentration dapat ng pag gawa ng comics ay ang producto mismo. Ang Story, ang art at pati na rin ang quality na paper ng comics. Sa mga bago, wag muna isipin ang pag main stream o pag sikat. Hindi dapat ito ang isipin. Ang priority ay masiyahan ang mga readers at makagawa ng isang obra.

Pero isipin din natin kung matagal ka ng nag co-comics at 10-20 pa rin ang audience mo. Kung middle age guy ka na, mga 40 or 50 years old ka na. Hindi mo rin masasabi. Mag iisip isip ka rin. Aba 50 anyos na ako, 30 years na ako nag i-indie indiehan, pero 30 tao pa lang ang audience mo. People does not know that my comics exist. Mag iisip ka rin na sana naman na mas marami ng konti ang makabasa ng gawa ko.

Hazel Manzano said...

Gio - You have a good point with your comment. Of course, all creators aim for a larger audience. kalokohan yung 10-20 years ka na nagcocomics tapos 20 lang ang tao na audience mo at kuntento ka na. Malaking kagaguhan yun. Ang hirap gumawa ng comics tapos hindi alam ng mga tao na nageexist ang gawa mo. Mabuti pang wag ka na lang gumawa. It will just zap out all your passion.

Tama ka, deep inside nila, gusto rin nila makilala ang gawa nila. kaya ka nga gumagawa ng indie e, para may freedom of speech. Kung baga parang Phil. Free Press that everyone can read. Parang Inquirer newspaper - indie publushing yan! Pero ang laki ng audience.

monsanto said...

Sino ba naman ang nagsabi na pag kinuha ng Bayan Knights ang isang Independent title ay nababawasan na ang merit nila? Sa totoo lang, Ang Sacred Mountain ay Independent din. Maliit lang din kami.

Isipin mo ang IMAGE comics. Sa tingin mo ba hindi sila Independent comics? Mas malaki lang sila sa iba kaya akala mo mainstream na sila.

Same deal sa Bayan Knights, nagsasama lang kami to support each other. Ang merit ng bawat title ay sa kanila pa rin. Kalayaan can definitely stand on its own. Mas mapapansin lang ngayon dahil makikita na siya sa iba pang lugar. And vice versa, lahat ng kilala si Kalayaan, titignan din ang Bayan Knights.

Sa huli gusto natin na mas maraming readers, at gagawin natin ang lahat para makuha iyon. Basta sa magandang pamamaraan.

Ben 10 said...

Let me put this into perspective...

An indie comic book usually deviates from the norm.

Mainstream comics follow a proven formula. Joining a BANDWAGON means trying to follow a proven formula. Usually a contemporary format.

My definition of indie does not equte to small press publishing.
It's more of a format question. Going against the norm. In Art and Story.

When Vertigo's Sandman first came out, it broke all the rules and broke new ground both with storytelling and art. Even now you cannot define it as mainstream just because it has a huge following.

What Sandman actually has is a huge CULT FOLLOWING--a set of readers with their own culture, reading sensibilities and personal quirks.

As an indie creator, what you want to find your own NICHE, and build your own CULT FOLLOWING-- a set of readers who enjoy the stories only you can make AND who will be loyal and devoted to your work as opposed to mainstream readers who drop a book if they don't like changes in the art and story direction.

Indie comics as a NICHE format and market rather than just as a small press with a Mainstream Format wanting to hit big numbers.

If the CULT FOLLOWING numbers only 20 dudes, but if they are devoted to your work and will pay any price to grab a piece of your stuff...I think that's way cooler than becoming the next Captain Barbell--or insert your Mainstream Hero here.

Original IMAGE comics was a publisher of Mainstream Format comics. Currently, IMAGE has titles for Mainstream superhero fare as well as stranger and more experimental books. It is NOT a purely independent comics as Monsanto stresses--because you have to look at the format of the books they release.

Anyway, I'm not picking a fight with anyone. Just presenting a view about what it means to label your book--an indie comic book.

I'm really happy Gio agrees with most of my points and if we differ in opinion about getting the numbers for your book, then consider this--a book is only as good as the story it tells. Your readership will depend on the kind of stories you tell. Format is everything.

Gio Paredes said...

Hello again Ben,

Salamat sa pag dalaw uli dito.
Thanks for that point of view.
Now I get what you mean when you said indie comics.

You meant was a different genre or deviating from the norm.

Up to now kasi medyo blurr pa rin ng konte ang definition ng indie comics. Others will say what you just said na "deviates from the norm". Yung iba naman ay nag babase sa numbers ng copies sold. Meron namang iba yung sinabi ni Hazel na comic strip na indie pero wide spread naman dahil nasa newspaper.At duon din yata pumapasok ang image comics na sinasabi ni ser Gilbert na malaking company na sila pero independent pa rin.

monsanto said...

Hindi naman SUPERHERO books ang norm sa local market ng komiks sa pinas eh. Ang pinakapopular sa pinas ay ang mga love stories, horror at comedy. By saying this as a fact. Hindi kami mainstream di ba?

Ang sinasabi ko lang, tumutulong kami, para makita ang iba pang titles na tulad namin, nationwide.

Hindi naman namin napapakialaman kung ano ang nilalaman ng stories sa book nila eh. So kung ano ang nasimulan nila as a TRUE BLUE indie book. Ganun pa rin sila.

So ano ngayon ang punto mo Ben? Na pag sumama sila sa Bayan Knights, napasama na sila?

Ang indie comics ay isang pamamaraan kung makakagawa ka ng gusto mong ipamahagi sa madla ang gawa mo sa isang controlled budget.

Alam mo ba na madami ngayon na gumagawa sa marvel at sa iba pang malalaking publications na nagmula sa maliit na indie title? Magaling sila kaya sila naelevate. At yun ang totoo.

Ben 10 said...

Again to put things into perspective...

Format is everything. Your books are only as good as the stories you tell. Your readership will depend on the kind of stories you tell.

There's nothing morally or artistically wrong with being part of a mainstream or BANDWAGON if you're gunning for mass market appeal and if that FORMAT is what you're good at creating.

At this point in time, a superhero format, especially one that is composed of color spandex characters is as mainstream as you can get. Especially if you mine the usual stories--save the world, fight crime, rescue the damsel in distress. For the past five years, local horror, romance, and drama comics became extinct so there is no mainsteam books of this sort anymore. Nawala sa uso. One of the problems of doing mainstream.

My definition of indie is that of alternative and experimental(at that time) stories like Sandman that generate their own CULT FOLLOWING.

Bayan Knights is the flagship book of mainstream Filipino super-hero ideas. If you choose to be a part of the movement then you carry all the baggage that the FORMAT brings. As a mainstream book you strive for mass market appeal.

If you do alternative stories, you also carry your own baggage and you cater to a more focused readership. Weird Stories for example.
Maybe readers will dig your stories, maybe not.

Yes, creators cross over between formats as much as they want AND pursue successful careers whether doing a mainstream superhero book or a strange genre like the Vertigo books. Nothing wrong with having a successful career in either FORMATS. Robert Kirkman started as an indie dude before doing Youngblood and Image United. Adrian Sibar did Batgirl before doing Bang! Tango. Filipino artists are all over the map doing everything from sci-fi(starwars, warhammer), mainstream superhero (both Marvel and DC and Image), and even horror.

It's just strange why an obviously mainstream FORMAT publisher is so allergic to being classified what it really is. A mass market Filipino-superhero, shared-universe book.

You're being an independent publisher holds true only as far as the limited amount of copies you can put out, but FORMAT wise--You guys are as mainstream as you can get with superheroes. Why insist otherwise?

Gio Paredes said...

So tama pala talaga ang nasa isip ko na iniisip mo. :D

We are independent as far as the number of copies sold. But we are mainstream as far as format is concern. Ahh okay. No arguement with me there. Note taken.

Pero from time to time, I will do my best to deviate from the norm, in terms of story telling is concern. I want to make my comics as unique as possible as it can be. Yung katamtamang unique lang naman. Ayoko naman yung tipong to the extream na.

--
Babalikan ko lang ng konti yung sinabi mo a while ago.

"As an indie creator, what you want to find your own NICHE, and build your own CULT FOLLOWING-- a set of readers who enjoy the stories only you can make AND who will be loyal and devoted to your work."

Alam mo tama ka dyan. Kasi napansin ko na yung mga lumalapit sa akin na tao sa event, nag e-email etc. Ay halos parehas ang way of thinking. Kung baga, pare parehas ang taste nila. It is a "CULT OF FOLLOWERS" nga talaga na tulad ng sabi mo. Sometimes na imagine ko nga na iba iba yung mukha na lumalapit sa akin pero iisa lang ang boses nila. And that is a good thing. I realy want to maintain the existing and find more of them. Making a fan based of my own. And hopefuly sana ay dumami nga sila in the future.

Ben 10 said...

Developing your own niche should be the FIRST priority of any WORTHY indie comic book artist. You have to prove na kaya mo tumayo sa sariling paa.

The fact na na sustain mo for 7 issues ang Kalayaan is remarkable enough for any small press publisher of creator-owned material, regardless of FORMAT.

Maybe it allows you more leeway in experimenting by joining a SHARED UNIVERSE that has similar FORMAT specs as your own. Mas madaling ma integrate yung character mo duon sa shared universe since similar ang specs.

However, if you have the skill to create your OWN expansive universe and populate it with your own UNIQUE characters, why not pursue the indie path on your own? Mas may control ka pa sa output, story and art. Walang compromises. Or even try to release a 2nd title or a 3rd title!! On your own, to prove that you are creative enough to handle the challenges. All your characters gain focus at hindi lang cameo appearances tulad ng shared universe. No need to wait for your character to get showcased under a shared universe system because you can shoot them all out of a rocket and make them explode for all of your readers.

Good for you that you have built a close-knit fan base already. Share your wild ideas with them and go crazy with the the FORMAT that you are most comfortable and skilled at .
Thanks for being open to my ideas, Dude. Go build your OWN universe!!

Dora The Explorer said...

Ben 10,

Release a 2nd or 3rd title?.. You make it sound so easy. If you are a frequent visitor of this blog, you would know that Mr. Paredes is a busy guy who has a day job and a family to attend to that releasing Kalayaan alone every 4 months can really be very challenging.

Reading your posts, I cant help but wonder. You seem to know the perfect formula for a perfect indie comics that could gain a "cult following", as you keep on stressing.

Have you already released your own comics?

If so, then what title it is?

We'd love to be part of your cult :)

Gio Paredes said...

@Ben10
Thanks for your insight.

The urge of joining the Bayan Knights for me and my character is just to strong for me to pass on. Napaka ganda kasi para sa akin to join people that I respect and admire. And my character to interact with other Pinoy superhero character that I love. The idea of having a crossover with Gener Pedrinas Sandugo was already very exhilarating for me. Just imagine of multiplying that feeling around 40 to 50 times. Talagang nakaka excite para sa akin.

Actually, marami naman talaga akong nakatagong characters and story that I have created.I am going to introduce them one by one in the Kalayaan title. Pa unti-unti ko silang pakikilala para hindi naman mabigla ang mga readers. Nag start na ako dyan kay Cyfer. A Mechanic/Robotics genius that is also a computer hacker. Durig college time ko pa sya character pero ngayon ko lang pinakilala after 12 years. Gusto ko kasi munang mag concentrate sa isang title so that I have focus. Marami na kasi akong story na nakalatag na for Kalayaan. And I want to continue the series and develop the character more.

Kinakatakot ko kasi eh pag sabay saby ko silang inilabas ay puro number 1 lang sila lahat at hindi na masundan.

@Dora the Explorer
"Mr. Paredes"? Masyado ka namang formal :D
Gio na lang tawag mo sa akin, oks na iyon. :-)

Maraming maraming salamat sa post at concern mo.

Tama ka at talaga namang napakahirap mag multi tasking talaga. Thank you very much that you understand my present situation. Publishing an issue seams to become more and more challenging for me in all aspect that you might imagine.

Pero, I am investing on a little something right now. And I hope in about 4 to 5 years from now, it will make me a little bit financially stable. By that time, I hope to hire an artist one by one to create a new title. Marami rin kasi akong na create na stories of different characters. But I decided not to show it yet for many reasons. Isa rin kasi sa long time dream ko is to have my full blown publishing company that creates multiple titles. And I will invest on it on a long term basis. I hope that this will all come true in the future, if GOD is willing.