Wednesday, September 24, 2003


Writing a story with gravity does not necessarily mean having a heart-rendingly tragic story.

I am aware that there are those writers who would rather strip the skin from their inner thighs and eat it raw than write something other than the happy endings they cannot do without - as if to even consider anything else was an affront to their principles.

Gravity does not necessarily mean tears, trauma or darkness - all the seeming hallmarks of unhappy endings.

All gravity means is this: being able to write stories that speak truth, that echo life and what it is to be human. Gravity means creating characters that may suffer or laugh, win or lose, find true love or die in an accident - the important thing is that the characters "live" and "breathe", and that the story rings true.

A comedy can have gravity (like the best of Neil Simon's plays) just as valid as a tragedy or drama. Remember that at the start of things, comedy and tragedy were the basic forms of story. Laugh or cry, but laugh for a reason and cry for a release. And along the way, with either form, things like pride and hubris and family and love and friendship and loss and curses and traditions and adventure and war were written about, along with errant emotions, noble quests, fearsome monsters, magic and miracles.

For someone to think that when I describe a story as having gravity that all I mean is it is sad is quite superficial.

Gravity is important.

But for a story to have gravity, it must first be believed in, planned for, adhered to and written well - in such a way that the story is not about gravity for the sake of having gravity.

There are writers of every stripe, of course. In terms of style, agenda and levels of gravity, we are all different.

It is this variety of perspective that Vin and I want to capture in Project One Hundred - but always, always with an eye towards developing gravity of quality.

Why? Why make it "serious"?

Because apart from making comics that are our own (for whatever reason: because "I want to", because it's fun, because of money, because "I can", because "I love my character"), it is our collective responsibility to create stories with teeth, in the medium we love. Seriously.

We need to push grafiction as a means to tell stories about us and our experiences as people, as Filipinos, whether fictionalized or adapted from reality.

This medium is our own and we need to push the envelope, live on the edge of things, and dare to be more. Dare to be taken seriously.

And that requires rather specific gravity.


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