January 18, 2017.
Lately, I’m trying to find my own distinct and “own drawing style” and “voice” so that whenever a reader reads my comic (without seeing the credits of the comic first), they would instantly think this was made by this guy. I don’t think so highly of myself though, I just want to have my own style whenever I’m making my own comics and originality comes into place.
Some of my major influences generally when making comics are as follows: Adrian Tomine, Dan Clowes, R. Crumb, Hernandez Bros. just to name a few, that’s for alternative comics (comic book artists and writers). I think it’s really rare to find an alternative comic which is written and drawn by two different people. It’s highly likely that most alternative comics are always made by one person, the writer and artist is the same person. When it comes to mainstream comics like Marvel and DC, I am a fan of Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil yu, Whilce Portacio, Frank Quitely, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and a bit more with the likes of them. I’m really not that of a snubby hipster who only reads indie or alternative comics. There’s always room for me for indie/alternative and mainstream comics. For comics locally, when I was a lot younger, during my elementary days, I used to buy Filipino comics like Pilipino Funny Komiks, Aliwan, Bata Batuta, Pambata Magazine and stuff like that.
My default drawing style is semi-realistic (as best as I could) and you can see this on some of my work like Stacheman, Hibangers, Bad Hair Days. And then whenever I intend to make my comics look cartoony, my major influences are cartoons like We Bare Bears, Adventure Time, Clarence, Gravity Falls and cartoons like I just mentioned. Some of the comics I’ve made with that drawing style are: After School, Kira and the Canines, Mang Gayber and Tabon Kid (which is greatly inspired by R. Crumb’s drawing style and it was actually a short 2D animation, I just converted it to comics form).
Regarding my writing, I already mentioned some of the comic book writers that I am a fan of. I read books from time to time but what I read mostly are comics, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, blogs, webcomics and all sorts of things that a person could read on the internet. Nowadays, technology can easily be in our hands and kids who grew up in the early 2000s can just use the internet to google something and find information on the internet. They don’t need libraries anymore. During my elementary school years, I’d always hang out on our library after school hours and read Dr. Seuss books, Choose Your Own Adventure pocketbooks, Asterix and Obelix, Adventure’s of Tintin comics and books like that. I would borrow them on our school library and bring them home to read them again so that my library card gets stamped by the librarian and make my library card full of stamps. The same goes when I stepped my foot in high school and college but the libraries didn’t have other recreational books like when I was still in my elementary except for textbooks. If you’d think about all the artists and writers that I just mentioned since I was a kid (my major influences on how I write and how I draw) and throughout the years I’ve spent in this world (I am now 34 years old, by the way), I think I can say that my own style of illustrating and writing is just an amalgamation of all of the artists and writers who’ve influenced me in one way or another with their own work. I guess that is also a big part of how I write today. I am really going to try my best to have my own distinct style on the following comics I’m going to make after, “Ice Cube”, coming in February 2017. Perhaps if there’s one thing that gives my work its own “trademark”, it is the silliness that I inject into my comics most of the time.