Tuesday, September 09, 2003

manifesto

I spoke to a friend about my new dream, small and stunningly large at the same time.

It seems enormous but if we pull it off, then there will something that can continue, almost indefinitely, for as long as there are stories to tell, storytellers to tell them and, well, funding.

At the start of things, we need to self-publish. I need to be able to create something that I can use as proof of concept. But thereafter, for the thing to perpetuate, we need to seek some entity’s pockets – government, NGO, private organization, corporation, publishing house, university, whatever.

Ultimately, it is about expanding the notion of what comics (grafiction, sequential art, komiks, call it what you want) can do.

It is about imbuing the form with a sense of gravity, of place, of position – which does not run contrary to its spirit of freeform expression.

It is about creating a showcase of talent, for writing and artwork, for those for whom publishing (or self-publishing) is an absurd undertaking.

It is about encouraging others like us to create stories.

It is about aspiring to be toe-to-toe with the rest of Philippine literature.

It is about ceasing to cower in the dark corners, poisoned by the implications of inferiority, childishness and other simplistic vagaries.

It’s about expanding the responsibility of the grafictionists, challenging them to tell well-written stories. Stories that bite.

It’s about love and hope. Love for the form and the stories that can and should be told. Hope that by reading, other people will fall in love with the form, like we did.

And always, always, it is about the tale and its workings, whether serious or light, long or short, agenda-drive or politically-bereft.

In this day and age, what is the relevance of comics? What is a comics author? Are comics literature? Does it matter?

We exist in a specific time with its own context and reality. We need to make sense of things and provide answers that make sense – to us and to our readers.

Otherwise, those that come after us will look at the rubble of what we thought we had and sadly shake their heads at the opportunities their elders squandered.

So I'm dreaming and taking the first small steps.

We'll see.

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