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Bad Comics Are Bad Comics

Okay, by now, y'all know about the controversy regarding the Manila Critics Circle, the National Book Awards, Carla Pacis, Tara Sering, Lille Bose, and all that, right? Well, if not, It's good to check out this blog entry by Ian. Here's the comment I posted on Ian's blog:

"Hey, Ian. Thanks for summing everything up nicely, and for all the interesting links RE: this topic. Am just now catching up on the uproar, the hubbub, the brouhaha. This seems to be the year for questioning the Manila Critics Circle's relevance and decision-making process, as the questionable verdicts aren't limited to the Young Adult category. I for one was aghast that they would award anything to Mango Comics' Darna, which was mediocre at best. That it should tie with Siglo just makes my brain want to commit hara-kiri, because WHAT STANDARDS ARE THEY USING?"

There was a 1000-character limit on the comments, but if there hadn't been, I would have added: "Of course, one can argue that Siglo has its own flaws, but its ambition, its scope, its willingness to reach for and achieve more than your run-of-the-mill slab of sequential lit -- these are undeniable. Meanwhile, Darna offers stilted writing, hackneyed superheroics and gratuitous T&A, which can hardly be deemed an accomplishment, much less award-worthy. Amidst the flurry of congratulations from the local comics mailing lists and weblogs, very few people have chosen to express concern -- at least in writing -- about the discrepancy in quality between the two supposed winners. Hey, we're Pinoys. We're like that. But if word of mouth is anything to go by, I'm far from the only person disturbed by this decision. I'm not looking to diss Mango Comics as a company -- I am very much looking forward to future releases from them, from talents such as Gerry Alanguilan and Arnold Arre (and besides, it seems that so many of my friends work for Mango these days) -- but hey, bad comics are bad comics. To pretend otherwise is to be stupid."

As Paolo wrote, "By what authority are the members of this body critics, by what literary critical output? The dismissiveness of these "critics" to children's books only shows how little they understand of the genre." I would contend that, based on their decision to honor and highlight work of the caliber of Mango's Darna, they're not fantastically knowledgable about comics, either.

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31 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger Adam 

    ang nakita ko lang naman na basehan diyan sa pagbigay nila ng NBA sa DARNA ng Mango ay ang pagiging "nasyonalista" at mabenta nito.

    tila isang token gesture ang pagbibigay ng parangal sa nasabing publikasyon, dahil malamang naisip ng mga kritiko na 'di pa sila nakakapagbigay ng opisyal na parangal para kay mars ravelo, na kinikilalang isang mahusay na debuho at manunulat, salamat sa kanyang mga kontribusyon sa kulturang popular dito sa pilipinas.

    kaya sila binigyan ng parangal. hindi sa kalidad ng kanilang ginawa, hindi sa naging epekto nito sa pangkalahatan ng pinoy komiks.

    ito ay pambayad-utang.

  2. Blogger Luis 

    So, Adam -- assuming your theory is correct, and this is some roundabout way of acknowledging Mars Ravelo's contribution to comics -- do you think it's right?

  3. Blogger indi 

    question, was mars ravelo merely derivative na chaka or did he add a new twist / offer anything new when he came up with his heroes? token local color ek ba yun? i wanna read his old stuff

    pero back to the issue of the new darna winning and the critics' (lack in) understanding the genres....hmmm parang metro manila film festival, webby awards, oscars at kung anek-anek na 'twavesty of gweat pwoportions' ba ang lahat ng ito?

  4. Blogger Adam 

    sabi ni luis ay "So, Adam -- assuming your theory is correct, and this is some roundabout way of acknowledging Mars Ravelo's contribution to comics -- do you think it's right?"

    ang sagot ko ay "siyempre, hindi, kasi ang karapat-dapat na basehan para sa pagbibigay ng parangal para sa isang akda (lalo na sa isang kilalang pagbibigay-[arangal, gaya ng NBA) ay ang kalidad ng akdang iyon mismo, at hindi ang pedigree nito, hindi ang mga pangalang nakakabit sa likod nito, hindi ang naturang pagpipilit na maging nasyonalista nito, kung ano man ang ibig sabihin nun para sa atin."

  5. Blogger Adam 

    sabi ni wrycell ay "question, was mars ravelo merely derivative na chaka or did he add a new twist / offer anything new when he came up with his heroes? token local color ek ba yun? i wanna read his old stuff"

    ang sabi ko ay "ako din, gusto kong basahin yung mga luma niyang mga gawa, pero di siya available for public consumption, di ko alam kung bakit. maganda siguro kung gawin available ng MANGO COMICS ang mga orihinal na DARNA ni mars ravelo, kung talagang gusto nilang gumawa ng "iba" sa eksena.

    "at base sa mga napanood ko, nabasa ko, narinig at napag-isipan, isang malaking pagkamulat ang malamang derivative din ang mga orihinal na mga gawa ni mars ravelo, mula sa DARNA, na masasabing rip-off ng amazonian mythos na nasa kontemporaryong anyo sa WONDER WOMAN ng DC COMICS, hanggang sa LASTIKMAN na masasabi ring rip-off ng PLASTIC MAN, na kinikilalang isa sa mga unang komiks na inilabas ng DC sa amerika.

    "isama pa ang mga ginawa niyang mga sirena, mga babaeng ahas ang buhok, at kung anu-ano pang mga tauhan at sitwasyon na makikitang nanggaling sa Kanluran.

    "gawa kasi ng pinoy, kaya kahit anung mangyari ay may local colour pa rin talaga, kahit derivative, kahit arguably unoriginal. kung chaka siya, o pilit, o mahusay, ay malamang nakadepende na sa tatanungin mo.

    "kung ako ang tatanungin ay, well, kailangang may panggalingan. ang pagaangkin ng mga elementong hiniram ay lalabas, at sana sa paglabas nito, sa paggamit ng mga elementong hiniram, ay maipapakita ng may-akda ang kanyang naturang galing sa piniling sining, kung ito ba'y magiging kakaiba, o magmimistulang orihinal.

    "kay mars ravelo, tingin ko'y mas mahusay siyang debuho, kesa manunulat."

  6. Blogger Adam 

    pahabol din tungkol sa pagbibigay ng parangal ng critics circle, sa tula naman.

    ang pagbigay nila ng parangal kay angelo suarez, para sa aklat na "Nymph Of MTV", na malamang ay may kahusayan naman, 'di naman siguro lahat ng bagay ay nadadala ng kapadrinuhan. pero kung ipapagtapat ko yung aklat na iyon kay allan popa at paulo manalo, ay, well...

    sabi ko nga nung isang araw, mukhang ang naging basehan nila sa pagbigay ng parangal sa "Nymph" ay "saving face".

    kasi, baka magmukha silang tanga kung 'di nila ito kilalanin bilang mahusay na aklat, kung ang mga kritiko sa Europa mismo ay nagkandaugaga sa nasabing aklat nung marso.

    opinyon ko lang naman. alam kong may mga kaibigan si angelo suarez na nagbabasa ng blog na ito, na di masisisi kung maiinsulto. sana ay di maapektuhan ng opinyong aking ipinamahagi ang inyong pagbibisita sa ELEPHANT STILL MISSING. maraming salamat po.

  7. Blogger Adam 

    isa pang pahabol: siguro, ang tamang parangal para kay mars ravelo ay National Artist, if anything.

    pero, hehe, malaki ang posibilidad na angkinin lang ito ng MANGO, ipamukhang sa kanila ang success, kasi, well, para sa akin, may pagka-buwitre ang ugali nila. kung mangyari ito, 'di ako magugulat.

  8. Anonymous Anonymous 

    I'm posting as 'Anonymous' simply because I don't want to have to register. But this is Zach, from Mango Comics. I think you've all made some valid points, and I even agree with a few.

    I'd just like to state, IMHO, that Mars Ravelo was no mere copycat (although somewhat derivative in the way most pop literature has managed to be). But besides his more popular Darna, etc., he also penned a number of compelling dramas serialized in comics. His writing had depth, and was mostly sad.

    Also, the accusation that Darna is a rip-off of the WW Amazonian mythos only shows to highlight one's ignorance. Darna is more akin to Shazam!/Capt. Marvel, if anything. There is no Paradise Island or its equivalent, no mission to the land of men, no Gods and Goddesses. The comparison is bikini-thin, at best.

    The comment that Mars Ravelo is a better artist than writer is also somewhat ridiculous. Specially coming from a person who has expressed the desire to read original material. One treads dangerous ground talking of things one knows little of.

    Finally, speaking of things one knows little of, to be labeled vultures who try to take credit for Mars Ravelo's creations or his success is unfair, to put it lightly. We have tried, on all occasions, to push Mars Ravelo's name on all material. This is more than can be said for many efforts (previous editions of Darna in low-grade comics, in movies, etc.).

    Furthermore, we have always tried to give the Ravelo heirs more than their fair share of control and reward. We negotiated with WSA, a wireless applications provider, on their behalf for Darna mobile phone content. We gave images from our comic book, and we lent them our lawyer to facilitate legalities. Our take? Zero. Not a single centavo.

    In the signing for the film & television rights with GMA, we insisted that the Ravelos be represented. They weren't signatories (the rights belong to Mango Comics' publisher Boboy Yonzon), and the President of GMA 7 even asked what they were doing there. But we insisted that they be there. It was the right thing to do.

    It is one thing to be opiniated. Quite another to be accusatory and grossly misinformed.

  9. Anonymous Anonymous 

    this is narda, oh wait *swallows mystical stone then yells*, this is darna. that's all.

  10. Anonymous Anonymous 

    adam, mayb u shld also read 'nymph of mtv' frst b4 makin a critque. its bad practce 2 commnt n a bdy of wrk dat u havnt read yet.. iv read it myslf, i thnk its pretty gud wrk. nt sure tho compard 2 'kami sa lahat' bcoz i havnt read it in ful yt, bt i prefr it certnly ovr 'jologrphy'.

  11. Anonymous Anonymous 

    this is *chews stone* ahmnamnamnam...cookie!

  12. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Some people just know everything, and that they should be the authority? It's a wonder that they haven't replied to this yet. I guess, it's hard to be proven wrong.

  13. Blogger Adam 

    hello? hello? mic test, mic test... may nakikinig pa ba? kung sakali lang...

    "adam, mayb u shld also read 'nymph of mtv' frst b4 makin a critque."

    a, yes, nabasa ko na naman siya (admittedly sparsely, about 75% of the whole book), at nabasa't narinig rin ang mga kumento ng mga tao tunkol sa libro, at, ewan ko, talagang hindi ko siya nakita bilang isang aklat na karapatdapat bigyan ng isang parangal na kasimbigat ng National Book Award. ewan ko lang, baka ako lang ito, pero tingin ko, ang isang aklat na kinakarne't binubulatlat ang paggamit ng kabataang pilipino ng wikang ingles sa kontemporaryong pilipinas (etc etc etc) ay higit na mas mabigat kesa sa isang aklat na puno ng kontemplasyon at pamamantasya tunkol sa mga babae, or in in the case of THE GAZE ni arvin mangohig, kapwa bakla.

    "its bad practce 2 commnt n a bdy of wrk dat u havnt read yet.."

    totoo ito, at aminado akong guilty sa kasalanang ito, pero, ewan ko, kailangan mo nga ba talagang maging bihasa sa isang bagay para makapagbigay ng opinyon dito? ano na ba ang nangyari sa READERS' RESPONSE? kailangan bang lahat tayo ay may CL units, o MP o CW majors, o nakapasok sa mga WORKSHOPS upang makaunawa ng isang akda, makapagkumpara at makapagbigay ng opinyon?

    ang pinanggagalingan ko kasi dito ay, hindi ako nagbibiterbiteran tunkol sa pagkakakuha ni Mr Suarez ng National Book Award, kasi, wala akong rason para magbiterbiteran. kasama ba ako sa mga nominees? hindi. nakasama ko ba siya sa workshop at nagkaangasan? hindi rin. nakasuntukan ko ba siya sa isang party? hindi rin, although alam ko'ng nangyari yun sa kanya, at natawa ako sa rason, pero hindi ako natuwa sa nangyari. naiinggit ba ako sa kanya? hindi rin, kasi iba ang pinanggagalingan ni Mr Suarez kumpara sa pinanggagalingan ko, in relation sa pagsusulat at panulaang pilipino.

    hindi ko personal na kakilala si Mr Suarez, although kakilala siya ng aking mga kaibigan mula sa palihang aking napasukan nung 2002 (hi vlad, rosmon, anna), at kakilala rin nila ang butihing "biyenan" ni Mr Suarez na si Ms Kwe, na kasabay din sa dalawang palihan ng iba ko pang mga kaibigan at kasama sa org (anna, carl, roy, chu, etc). nakasakay ito sa aking isipan kapag ang Nymph ay pinaguusapan, pero hindi ko ito ginagamit bilang rason para hindi magsalita (o magsulat) at ipamahagi ang aking mga opinyon tunkol sa nasabing libro.

    hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit meron tayong ganitong klaseng problema sa Eksena dito sa pilipinas. tila takot magbigay ng opinyon ang mga tao tunkol sa mga akda ng iba. kung magbibigay ka nga ng opinyon, kadalasa'y maganda ang sinasabi. at oras na may magbigay ng opinyon gaya nito, ay tila inaakusahan siya ng inggit, galit, o kung ano pa. hindi lang naman ang sarili ko ang ibinibigay kong halimbawa dito. nangyari din ito last year sa iilang mga tao sa ALAMAT MAILING LIST, nung unang lumabas ang DARNA, na sinabing 'di-kagandahan, na agad namang sinabihan ng magaling na Mr Zach Yonzon na si Arnold Arre lang ang may kakayahang magcritique ng kanilang libro, dahil siya'y isang National Book Awardee. to his credit, binawi naman agad ni Mr Yonzon ang kanyang sinabi, at natuwa naman ang maraming tao.

    so, hindi ako galit, di ako nagseselos o naiinggit. ako lamang ay natatawa sa nangyari, sa pagbibigay ng National Book Award sa librong Nymph Of MTV ni Mr Angelo Suarez, dahil base sa kanyang pagsusulat (at kung totoo ang mga tsismis tunkol sa kanyang reception sa mga nasabing awards), tingin ko'y kulang pa si Mr Suarez, ika nga'y hilaw pa, para sa isang parangal na katulad nito.

    "iv read it myslf, i thnk its pretty gud wrk. nt sure tho compard 2 'kami sa lahat' bcoz i havnt read it in ful yt, bt i prefr it certnly ovr 'jologrphy'."

    bakit?

  14. Blogger Adam 

    "Some people just know everything, and that they should be the authority? It's a wonder that they haven't replied to this yet. I guess, it's hard to be proven wrong."

    i haven't replied to this yet, as i have no ready internet access at home, being probably the only blogger in a thousand-mile radius who does not own a personal computer, been PC-less for three years now. i can only surf the web once a week, twice at the most, if i go out of my way and pay 25 pesos for an hour of web access in my nearest net joint, now currently a place called HACK YOU, found 2 minutes from my place in project four. money being very hard to come by, not to mention more pressing business like acquisition of food and drink and the damn leccy bill and more important whatnots being such a pain in the arse, the chance for net access grows narrower.

    now, stretching fingers, legs, eyelids, i answer.

    hello, mr yonzon!! mukhang nagkita na naman tayo dito sa net, sa lahat pa ng puwedeng pagkitaan, dito pa sa Elephant Still Missing!! hayup, ibang klase, at salamat sa iyong mga opinyon. hindi ako sarcastic dito, o nagpapakyut, talagang natutuwa ako sa iyong mga sagot sa iilang mga bagay-bagay tunkol sa DARNA, at sa National Book Award na nakuha nito.

    "I'd just like to state, IMHO, that Mars Ravelo was no mere copycat (although somewhat derivative in the way most pop literature has managed to be). But besides his more popular Darna, etc., he also penned a number of compelling dramas serialized in comics. His writing had depth, and was mostly sad."

    at

    "The comment that Mars Ravelo is a better artist than writer is also somewhat ridiculous. Specially coming from a person who has expressed the desire to read original material. One treads dangerous ground talking of things one knows little of."

    a, hindi ko kasi nasabi na nakapagbasa naman ako ng iilang kuwento ng DARNA na nanggaling sa mga mahuhusay na kamay ni Mars Ravelo (salamat sa isang mabuting kaibigang may mga kapatid na mahilig sa komiks), at ang impresyon na nakuha ko mula sa pagbasa ng mga ito ay, higit na mas mahusay talagang debuho si Mars Ravelo, kesa manunulat.

    at gusto ko pa ring mabasa ang iilan niyang mga orihinal na mga gawa, bukod sa DARNA at LASTIKMAN, na siya mismo ang gumawa.

    "Also, the accusation that Darna is a rip-off of the WW Amazonian mythos only shows to highlight one's ignorance. Darna is more akin to Shazam!/Capt. Marvel, if anything. There is no Paradise Island or its equivalent, no mission to the land of men, no Gods and Goddesses. The comparison is bikini-thin, at best."

    pero nandun pa rin siya, at yun pa rin ang nakikita ng maraming tao, kumpara sa iyong scholarly comparison ng Darna sa Shazam! (o Kimota!). at meron akong nakuhang impresyon na gagamitin niyong artemis/diana archetype si Darna, sa inyong ipinakita sa DARNA #1, sa pahina kung saan may mga 'di-kilalang babae sa 'di-kalayuang orisante, nung, if i remember correctly, isinubo ni Narda ang bato. naisip kong "wow, may pantheon siya ng mga diyosa, malamang ang mga nakaraang vessels ng bato, parang yung ritwal na pagbibigay ng kinatawan ng mga diyosa sa griego at romanong kultura (aminadong di lang naman dun) para sa kanilang mga digmaan at alitan at ritual sacrifices, etc etc etc".

    "Finally, speaking of things one knows little of, to be labeled vultures who try to take credit for Mars Ravelo's creations or his success is unfair, to put it lightly. We have tried, on all occasions, to push Mars Ravelo's name on all material. This is more than can be said for many efforts (previous editions of Darna in low-grade comics, in movies, etc.)."

    at

    "Furthermore, we have always tried to give the Ravelo heirs more than their fair share of control and reward. We negotiated with WSA, a wireless applications provider, on their behalf for Darna mobile phone content. We gave images from our comic book, and we lent them our lawyer to facilitate legalities. Our take? Zero. Not a single centavo."

    at

    "In the signing for the film & television rights with GMA, we insisted that the Ravelos be represented. They weren't signatories (the rights belong to Mango Comics' publisher Boboy Yonzon), and the President of GMA 7 even asked what they were doing there. But we insisted that they be there. It was the right thing to do."

    bilang sagot, nais ko sanang ilipat ang mga mata ng mga mambabasa sa mga salitang "THE RIGHTS BELONG TO MANGO COMICS' PUBLISHER BOBOY YONZON".

    wag niyo sanang isipin na porke naging malaking antagonist ako ng DARNA ay 'di ko kayo susuportahan. nung nabalitaan kong gagawin niyo ang LASTIKMAN kasama si Gerry Alanguilan at Arnold Arre, ay, siempre, medyo nasayangan ako dahil sa opinyong mas makabubuti sa lahat ng tao sa komiks (mambabasa at manggagawa) kung panay mga orhinal na mga gawa ang lalabas mula sa printing press, at ito ang aking binibigyan ng suporta.

    pero nung pinagisipan ko yung LASTIKMAN, at nalamang isusulat ito ni Mr Alanguilan sa wikang Filipino, ay natuwa ako, at medyo naging excited na mabasa ito, dahil iilan lang ang ating komiks na de-kalidad na lumabas sa wikang Filipino. maganda ang creative line-up, parehong mahuhusay sa kanilang piniling propesyon, at sabi nga ng iba, kailangan nila ng ganitong proyekto, work-for-hire, para magkaroon sila ng pera at oras para gumawa ng mga akdang sa kanila lamang, kumpara sa mga akdang pag-aari ng iba.

    so, oras na lumabas ito, ang LASTIKMAN nila Mr Alanguilan at Mr Arre, ay bibili ako ng kopya, at magbabasa, at asahan niyong magbibigay ng opinyon sa blog na ito.

    "It is one thing to be opiniated. Quite another to be accusatory and grossly misinformed."

    hindi nanggagaling sa wala ang aking mga opinyon tunkol sa mga bagay-bagay na pinaguusapan sa blog na ito, o kahit saan pa, at malamang ganun din ang kaso sa aking mga kasama sa blog na ito.

    ito ay pinagiisipan, pinagaaralan, kinukuwento sa iba bago isulat at ilimbag.

    salamat sa pakikinig, at sana'y hindi ito ang huling salita tunkol sa isyung ito.

  15. Blogger some sort of whatever 

    napansin ko lang, syempre mas kakampi kayo sila (o kayo) kina popa at manalo, kasi kaibigan (o kakilala, o mas malapit) nila sila.

    ganun pa rin.

  16. Blogger Zach Yonzon 

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. Blogger Zach Yonzon 

    t's taken me this long to comment because now I can't post anonymously and I had to reluctantly register. So here goes:

    ADAM WROTE: "nangyari din ito last year sa iilang mga tao sa ALAMAT MAILING LIST, nung unang lumabas ang DARNA, na sinabing 'di-kagandahan, na agad namang sinabihan ng magaling na Mr Zach Yonzon na si Arnold Arre lang ang may kakayahang magcritique ng kanilang libro, dahil siya'y isang National Book Awardee. to his credit, binawi naman agad ni Mr Yonzon ang kanyang sinabi, at natuwa naman ang maraming tao."

    Your sarcasm aside, that wasn't what I said AT ALL. At no point did I say that only Arnold Arre was allowed to comment. Admittedly, that was the common misinterpretation. I'll let what's buried stay buried at this point and leave it at that.

    ANONYMOUS WROTE: "Some people just know everything, and that they should be the authority? It's a wonder that they haven't replied to this yet. I guess, it's hard to be proven wrong."

    Just to be clear, I didn't post the comment above. If I post, I put my name, even when it's anonymous. Anyway, moving on:

    ADAM SAID: "hindi ko kasi nasabi na nakapagbasa naman ako ng iilang kuwento ng DARNA na nanggaling sa mga mahuhusay na kamay ni Mars Ravelo"

    No, Adam didn't. In fact, Adam even expressed a desire to read original material, thereby impyling that he hadn't read Ravelo's old work. In fact, if one would read his other work, such as Bondying, Flash Bomba, or Jack en Jill (if I'm not mistaken), Adam might reconsider the statement that Ravelo is a better artist than writer. I say this because I don't particularly fancy Mars Ravelo's comic art to begin with. Second, Mars Ravelo's other stories were heavy, verbose dramas that show his strength as a writer.

    ADAM WROTE: "isang malaking pagkamulat ang malamang derivative din ang mga orihinal na mga gawa ni mars ravelo, mula sa DARNA, na masasabing rip-off ng amazonian mythos na nasa kontemporaryong anyo sa WONDER WOMAN ng DC COMICS"

    I responded that the comparison was very flimsy...

    ADAM WROTE: "pero nandun pa rin siya, at yun pa rin ang nakikita ng maraming tao"

    Yes, but that doesn't necessarily make the observation correct. Furthermore, Adam goes one step further (and IMHO, crosses the line) by stating that Darna is a rip-off of Wonder Woman. Simply put, it isn't.

    ADAM WROTE: "bilang sagot, nais ko sanang ilipat ang mga mata ng mga mambabasa sa mga salitang "THE RIGHTS BELONG TO MANGO COMICS' PUBLISHER BOBOY YONZON".

    Your point being?

    The RIGHTS to the film DO belong to Boboy Yonzon, our publisher. That's a simple fact. I simply stated it. The film and television rights were bought under license until 20XX. Rights to particular properties under license change over time (Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros. license their character to various entities). At the time of this writing, the television rights to Darna belong to Boboy Yonzon. I wasn't (mis)approriating anything by noting that.

    That being the fact, the Ravelo family were not necessitated to attend the signing of the legal documents (they weren't specifically invited by GMA-7). But we insisted they be there, anyway. Simply because it's the right thing to do.

    So your point is?

    ADAM WROTE: "maganda ang creative line-up, parehong mahuhusay sa kanilang piniling propesyon, at sabi nga ng iba, kailangan nila ng ganitong proyekto, work-for-hire, para magkaroon sila ng pera at oras para gumawa ng mga akdang sa kanila lamang, kumpara sa mga akdang pag-aari ng iba."

    Again, gross misinformation.

    The creative team behind Lastikman are getting more money by doing other projects (Gerry and Ed earn dollars from projects with DC, Marvel, etc.; while Arnold and his wife/partner-in-crime Cynthia do graphic design.) than by doing Lastikman. This, I'm humbled to say, is a project they're doing because of their integrity as creators rather than their need for money.

    Furthermore, one would be surprised to learn that their contracts (except for Ed, who has not done concepts for this project) include a clause for ownership. Again, I caution that it would be wise to know what one is talking about before saying anything.

    ADAM WROTE: "ito ay pinagiisipan, pinagaaralan, kinukuwento sa iba bago isulat at ilimbag."

    Oo, pero mukhang kulang pa pag-iisip, sa pag-aaral, at mukhang 'di sapat ang pag-kwento sa iba. Dahil marami ka pa ring mali. Mabuti sana kung opinyon lamang. Pero ang matawag na "may pagka-buwitre ang ugali" ay ibang bagay. Maganda sana kung mabigyan ni Adam ito ng linaw.

  18. Blogger Adam 

    aha!!

    0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    ADAM SAID: "hindi ko kasi nasabi na nakapagbasa naman ako ng iilang kuwento ng DARNA na nanggaling sa mga mahuhusay na kamay ni Mars Ravelo"

    ZACH SAID: "No, Adam didn't. In fact, Adam even expressed a desire to read original material, thereby impyling that he hadn't read Ravelo's old work. In fact, if one would read his other work, such as Bondying, Flash Bomba, or Jack en Jill (if I'm not mistaken), Adam might reconsider the statement that Ravelo is a better artist than writer. I say this because I don't particularly fancy Mars Ravelo's comic art to begin with. Second, Mars Ravelo's other stories were heavy, verbose dramas that show his strength as a writer."

    ADAM ANSWERS: nakakatawang nakalimutan ang aking pahabol na

    "(salamat sa isang mabuting kaibigang may mga kapatid na mahilig sa komiks), at ang impresyon na nakuha ko mula sa pagbasa ng mga ito ay, higit na mas mahusay talagang debuho si Mars Ravelo, kesa manunulat. at gusto ko pa ring mabasa ang iilan niyang mga orihinal na mga gawa, bukod sa DARNA at LASTIKMAN, na siya mismo ang gumawa."

    implying that i HAVE read his DARNA stuff, and would like to read MORE of his OTHER STUFF.

    0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    ADAM WROTE: "pero nandun pa rin siya, at yun pa rin ang nakikita ng maraming tao"

    ZACH SAID: "Yes, but that doesn't necessarily make the observation correct. Furthermore, Adam goes one step further (and IMHO, crosses the line) by stating that Darna is a rip-off of Wonder Woman. Simply put, it isn't."

    ADAM ANSWERS: e 'di, ano pala siya? homage? saka wala namang inherently evil sa rip-offs, unless pakirandam mo ay nasisira ang iyong integrity bilang isang malikhaing tao sa paggamit ng mga ito. ako mismo ay nangririp-off ng iilang mga ideya mula sa iilang mga tao.

    0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    ADAM WROTE: "bilang sagot, nais ko sanang ilipat ang mga mata ng mga mambabasa sa mga salitang "THE RIGHTS BELONG TO MANGO COMICS' PUBLISHER BOBOY YONZON".

    ZACH SAID: "Your point being?

    "The RIGHTS to the film DO belong to Boboy Yonzon, our publisher. That's a simple fact. I simply stated it. The film and television rights were bought under license until 20XX. Rights to particular properties under license change over time (Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros. license their character to various entities). At the time of this writing, the television rights to Darna belong to Boboy Yonzon. I wasn't (mis)approriating anything by noting that."

    ADAM ANSWERS: my point being exactly what you just stated.

    nakakatawa din kasi na, sa pagkakaalam ko, ang copyright ay nageexpire every fifty years. Basta't ito'y inire-renew nung holder nung copyright, hindi ito mapupunta sa public domain. and for that matter, hindi ito mapupunta kahit kanino.

    case in point, 'yung problema nung 90s para sa copyright ni SUPERMAN.

    0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    ADAM WROTE: "maganda ang creative line-up, parehong mahuhusay sa kanilang piniling propesyon, at sabi nga ng iba, kailangan nila ng ganitong proyekto, work-for-hire, para magkaroon sila ng pera at oras para gumawa ng mga akdang sa kanila lamang, kumpara sa mga akdang pag-aari ng iba."

    ZACH SAID: "Again, gross misinformation.

    "The creative team behind Lastikman are getting more money by doing other projects (Gerry and Ed earn dollars from projects with DC, Marvel, etc.; while Arnold and his wife/partner-in-crime Cynthia do graphic design.) than by doing Lastikman.

    "Furthermore, one would be surprised to learn that their contracts (except for Ed, who has not done concepts for this project) include a clause for ownership. Again, I caution that it would be wise to know what one is talking about before saying anything."

    ADAM ANSWERS: ang "work-for-hire" ay compound phrase ng "kahit anung proyekto sa labas ng personal projects desk nung nasabing creative person", at last time i checked, ang mga proyekto nila Mr Alanguilan at Mr Arre para sa DC, Marvel, BMG, (Mango Comics) etc ay maipapailalim sa "work-for-hire", kumpara sa Komikero at Tala Studios/Quest Ventures na "personal projects" nung mga nasabing writers/artists.

    kaya, hindi siya "gross misinfo". napagkamalan mo lang ata na nung sinabi ko ang mga salitang "work-for-hire", Mango Comics lang ang tinutukoy ko.

    ZACH SAID: "This, I'm humbled to say, is a project they're doing because of their integrity as creators rather than their need for money"

    ADAM ANSWERS: ah, so wala silang bayad na makukuha? nor royalties? in fairness to the three people concerned with your project, okey nga talaga ang prospect na makapagtrabaho (at makapagambag) sa isang licensed and well-known project na katulad ng LASTIKMAN. malamang naging malaking bagay iyon sa kanilang pagpili ng proyekto. minsan lang dumating ang sa buhay ng mekaniko ang pagkakataon na makapagkumpuni ng makina ng isang klasikong sasakyan. ako mismo ay tatalon sa oportunidad na makapagtrabaho sa ganyang klaseng proyekto.

    pero siyempre, may bayad.

    0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

    ADAM WROTE: "ito ay pinagiisipan, pinagaaralan, kinukuwento sa iba bago isulat at ilimbag."

    ZACH SAID: "Oo, pero mukhang kulang pa pag-iisip, sa pag-aaral, at mukhang 'di sapat ang pag-kwento sa iba. Dahil marami ka pa ring mali. Mabuti sana kung opinyon lamang. Pero ang matawag na "may pagka-buwitre ang ugali" ay ibang bagay. Maganda sana kung mabigyan ni Adam ito ng linaw."

    ADAM ANSWERS: paano naging "ibang bagay", at hindi opinyon, ang pagsabi ng "may pagka-buwitre sa ugali"? maganda rin sana kung mabigyan ito ng linaw ni Mr Yonzon.

    at malinaw naman ata kung bakit ko nasabing mga "buwitre" kayo sa Mango Comics.

    base sa iyong mga reaksiyon sa mga sinasabi ng tao tunkol sa inyong mga proyekto, nakakalimutan mo ata na ang lahat ng bagay na inililimbag ng kahit sino ay automatically up for critique (kung print man o web, oral man o hindi), at hindi lahat ng bagay na maririnig mo mula sa mga tao ay magaganda, o na tatango lamang sila at sasabihing "tama ka". more often than not, lalabanan ka nila, sasabihing "mali ka", at ipapakita ang mga kakulangan ng iyong akda. lalo na kung ang iyong akda ay katulad ng DARNA, na masasabi nating "hindi perpekto", ie "maraming butas".

    at lalo na sa ating post-modernong pamumuhay at pamamaraan ng pagbabasa, sabi nga nila, THE AUTHOR IS DEAD.

  19. Blogger dirtypapa 

    o, krystala naman!

  20. Blogger Zach Yonzon 

    Nakakapagod na rin. Pero eto, huli na. Sana maintindihan mo rin:

    ADAM WROTE: "implying that i HAVE read his DARNA stuff, and would like to read MORE of his OTHER STUFF."

    Yes, I noted that. But the judgment that Ravelo's a better artist than writer is a judgment that needs re-evaluating when all you've been exposed to is Darna and Lastikman. It might do well to point out, in fact, that Ravelo never illustrated Lastikman nor Darna (if I recall correctly). He illustrated VARGA briefly, however. When Varga found new life as Darna, it was already under the masterful hands of Nestor Redondo.

    So to have read Darna would mean little as he never actually DREW Darna, as I recall. To actually state that Ravelo is a better artist than writer would mean that you've read VARGA, which you didn't indicate.

    ADAM WROTE: "e 'di, ano pala siya? homage? saka wala namang inherently evil sa rip-offs, unless pakirandam mo ay nasisira ang iyong integrity bilang isang malikhaing tao sa paggamit ng mga ito. ako mismo ay nangririp-off ng iilang mga ideya mula sa iilang mga tao."

    So let me just clarify this: in your vocabulary, 'rip-off' is a positive term? In my usage, it is often a negative term. There is a line between ripping off someone else's material and being inspired by them. But you apparently don't differentiate. So I suppose we'll end this particular argument here since, by your book, it's okay to rip off. You do it, after all.

    ADAM WROTE: "my point being exactly what you just stated.

    nakakatawa din kasi na, sa pagkakaalam ko, ang copyright ay nageexpire every fifty years. Basta't ito'y inire-renew nung holder nung copyright, hindi ito mapupunta sa public domain. and for that matter, hindi ito mapupunta kahit kanino.

    case in point, 'yung problema nung 90s para sa copyright ni SUPERMAN."

    Let me try to explain this in a way that even you can understand it. I hope this will help you speak with some enlightenment in your future exchanges:

    The OWNERSHIP of the character and all associated rights belong to the Ravelo children, as a matter of consanguinity to the creator. It is part of the estate of Mars Ravelo, which was passed on to his children after he (and later, his wife) died.

    Note that Philippine copyright laws are at its infancy, and is quite unlike ownership in the United States, which despite a more efficient legal system, still creates problems.

    The Ravelos can LICENSE the rights to their characters for a fee. Such as the rights to the Lastikman movie, which was bought by Vic Sotto in 2003 and in VIVA in 2004. The rights, in such cases, BELONG to whoever paid for them until whatever period. The Darna rights belonged to another entity for a long while before being bought by Boboy Yonzon in 2002. Before that, THAT entity had the film rights until it expired.

    Ownership of the character DOESN'T change. We weren't talking about ownership. We were discussing licenses and who had the RIGHTS to produce particular media featuring the character. At no point did I mention that Darna, the character, (or Lastikman, for that matter) belonged to anyone OTHER THAN the estate of Mars Ravelo. In fact, in ALL our communique, it is imperative that we stress "Mars Ravelo's Darna".

    ADAM WROTE: "ang "work-for-hire" ay compound phrase ng "kahit anung proyekto sa labas ng personal projects desk nung nasabing creative person", at last time i checked, ang mga proyekto nila Mr Alanguilan at Mr Arre para sa DC, Marvel, BMG, (Mango Comics) etc ay maipapailalim sa "work-for-hire", kumpara sa Komikero at Tala Studios/Quest Ventures na "personal projects" nung mga nasabing writers/artists.

    kaya, hindi siya "gross misinfo". napagkamalan mo lang ata na nung sinabi ko ang mga salitang "work-for-hire", Mango Comics lang ang tinutukoy ko."

    It may be belaboring the point to go over this one, but the project referred to in your paragraph was Lastikman, which is a Mango Comics project. In comics parlance, additionally, "work-for-hire" also implies that the 'workers' 'hired' do not get ownership or royalties from the project.

    Which is why I cautioned you to know more about what you're talking about before speaking (or writing). Gerry Alanguilan and Arnold Arre DO have an ownership clause in their contract with Mango Comics that will engender royalties in future projects or licenses. It's NOT simple work-for-hire. They co-OWN certain concepts in the Lastikman project.

    ADAM WROTE: "ah, so wala silang bayad na makukuha? nor royalties? in fairness to the three people concerned with your project, okey nga talaga ang prospect na makapagtrabaho (at makapagambag) sa isang licensed and well-known project na katulad ng LASTIKMAN. malamang naging malaking bagay iyon sa kanilang pagpili ng proyekto. minsan lang dumating ang sa buhay ng mekaniko ang pagkakataon na makapagkumpuni ng makina ng isang klasikong sasakyan. ako mismo ay tatalon sa oportunidad na makapagtrabaho sa ganyang klaseng proyekto.

    pero siyempre, may bayad."

    Did I say that? No. Not at all. Gerry, Arnold, and Edgar Tadeo are being compensated for their work. I mentioned it in the context of your statement that they needed this project to fund their own endeavors. All I pointed out was that, no, they don't. They earn good money WITHOUT this project. Which is why their agreement to do this project is humbling because these creators get better rates from the big boys (i.e. Marvel, DC, etc.; or in Arnold's case, graphic design work).

    ADAM WROTE: "paano naging "ibang bagay", at hindi opinyon, ang pagsabi ng "may pagka-buwitre sa ugali"? maganda rin sana kung mabigyan ito ng linaw ni Mr Yonzon."

    You are correct here. It's an opinion, and you're entitled to it, however accusatory it may be. Just as, for example, I would be entitled to say you're a 'total retard who talks about things he knows little about'. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, you're right.

    ADAM WROTE: "at malinaw naman ata kung bakit ko nasabing mga "buwitre" kayo sa Mango Comics.

    base sa iyong mga reaksiyon sa mga sinasabi ng tao tunkol sa inyong mga proyekto, nakakalimutan mo ata na ang lahat ng bagay na inililimbag ng kahit sino ay automatically up for critique (kung print man o web, oral man o hindi), at hindi lahat ng bagay na maririnig mo mula sa mga tao ay magaganda, o na tatango lamang sila at sasabihing "tama ka". more often than not, lalabanan ka nila, sasabihing "mali ka", at ipapakita ang mga kakulangan ng iyong akda. lalo na kung ang iyong akda ay katulad ng DARNA, na masasabi nating "hindi perpekto", ie "maraming butas".

    at lalo na sa ating post-modernong pamumuhay at pamamaraan ng pagbabasa, sabi nga nila, THE AUTHOR IS DEAD."

    I might point out that I haven't had negative reactions to people's comments to Darna (or our other projects) aside from the admittedly easily misinterpreted comment on the mailing list. We have, in fact, quite clearly after that, INVITED critique. We've welcomed it. I personally sent Ruel De Vera of Inquirer his copy of Darna, which he reviewed unfavorably. When I met Jamie Bautista one time, it was at Enconium, I think, I encouraged him to elucidate his inputs about Darna. He had excellent, and very valid, comments about the comic. I would even go as far as to say that many of his comments helped shape the script for the succeeding issues.

    I'd appreciate it if you could point out other reactions, as you seem to imply that we always react unfavorably to criticism. In this thread, for example, I found it necessary to respond because I felt there were views about Mars Ravelo that I had to help clarify. Furthermore, I felt that to be called 'buwitre' or vultures is an attack on us, specially since you wrote:

    "isa pang pahabol: siguro, ang tamang parangal para kay mars ravelo ay National Artist, if anything.

    pero, hehe, malaki ang posibilidad na angkinin lang ito ng MANGO, ipamukhang sa kanila ang success, kasi, well, para sa akin, may pagka-buwitre ang ugali nila. kung mangyari ito, 'di ako magugulat."

    Because, Adam, THIS is quite different from your explanation of "buwitre" in the preceding quote. In your riposte, you say that we're "buwitre" because we respond badly to negative criticism. I say, 1) as much as possible, we do not, despite the misinterpreted post on the mailing list last year (I tried to clarify this early on, but you seem to want to keep referring to what I thought was a dead issue); and 2) 'buwitre', or vultures, isn't exactly the correct term for someone who reacts negatively to criticism, is it?

    So I had re-quote you again. You mention that should Mars Ravelo become National Artist, we were likely to claim credit for it because we're like vultures.

    Is that a valid opinion?

    Frankly, I wouldn't know. You're certainly entitled to think whatever you will about Mango Comics. So I wouldn't know. And at this point, I don't care. I've illustrated again and again over the course of this thread how you would do well to learn more about the things you speak of.

    Thanks for your time, Adam. There shall be no responses forthcoming.

  21. Blogger Gerry Alanguilan 

    Wow! Meron palang ganitong discussion about Lastikman dito sa blog na ito! he.he. Natutuwa naman ako na may ganitong klaseng interest sa project na ito para pagusapa ng ganito.

    Nagcomment lang ako, may dala dalang karayom, para paputukin ang lobo ng misconceptions na nabanggit dito. Apparently, feeling ng ibang tao na kilalang kilala nila ako na alam nila ang pinakaniloloob ng puso at damdamin ko. BIGAT! he.he.

    Hindi ko ginagawa ang Lastikman dahil sa pera, at hindi ko ito ginagawa para ifund ang kung anu mang projects na meron ako. Ginagawa ko lang sya kasi...wala lang. Fan ako ni Lastikman e, at since nabigyan ako ng pagkakataong isulat sya, aba, sino ba ako para tumanggi? Derivative man or not, like it or not, Lastikman ay isa ng icon sa Philippine comics, like kung papano na icon na si Batman at Superman at Spiderman sa American comics.

    At bakit hindi ko naman gagawin ang isang project na ito? Ever since 1992, lahat na ng ginawa ko sa local comics ay lahat original creations ko. Siguro naman paminsan minsan, ok lang ako makirawraw sa creations ng iba. Kasi fun sya, diba?

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About us

Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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