Tuesday, November 28, 2006

...and found?

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Years ago, inspired by the efforts of Marco Dimaano (Angel Ace, KIA), Carlo Vergara (One Night in Purgatory, ZsaZsa Zaturnnah) and Arnold Arre (Mythology Class, Trip to Tagaytay), I decided I wanted to write my comic book. I scrimped and saved money (which wasn't too hard then, during my salad days as an expat in Hong Kong) and wrote a 3-issue script. It was called "The Lost" and was about fictional characters who step off the pages and into reality.

Arnold Arre did the wonderful interior art, Carlo Vergara did the covers, Marco Dimaano did the back covers, and Nikki Alfar wrote the backup stories for each issue. (*Looking back now at that roster, I'm quite stunned that we got those three talented artists, each of whom went on to produce more amazing work). We came out with the first two issues - then I left Hong Kong, set my own company, had Sage and basically didn't have the cashflow to support publishing comics anymore.

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(art by Carlo Vergara)

For a long time, Lost#3 remained complete but unpublished I always told myself that someday I'd save enough money to print a trade paperback, collecting issues 1 & 2 plus the unpublished issue 3. But other more exciting creative opportunities presented themselves. One evening, the comics gang got talking (like we used to do) and in a short time we'd conceived of Siglo: Freedom (which was wonderful to do and went on to win the National Book Award for Best Comic - but's that's another story). A year or so later, we were working together on Siglo: Passion (which was a true test of determination - it wasn't easy - but also went on to win the National Book Award; but is also a different story).

In between the two Siglos, my personal interest in writing comic books was on the wane, eclipsed by my gradual road-to-Damascus realization that what I really wanted to write were stories of wonder and the fantastic, in prose. In other words, speculative fiction. Writing stories and developing the Philippine Spec Fic anthos devoured my time, and my life happily revolved around the literature I love to read and write.

Then recently, I heard that a local publisher was looking for a comic book property to publish. A friend texted me and urged me to submit "The Lost". I thought, "why not?" but I had a different idea for it. I spoke to Elbert Or and asked if he was interested in translating my scripts to Filipino. He said yes (And why Filipino? Why not?). My next step was to get in touch with Arnold Arre, and he too gave his blessings.

So this is where we are. A pitch for "The Lost" will be developed and we'll see what happens. If all goes well, there will be a collected edition of "The Lost" by Dean & Nikki Alfar and Arnold Arre sometime in 07 or 08. If not, well, there's always hope for a windfall and self-publishing.

But it's nice to imagine...

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(art by Elbert Or)

How I miss those days of sitting around, talking about -and then creating - comics...

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