June 08, 2009

Gerry Alanguilan's Elmer Set

One fateful afternoon, I arrived home happy to see that the package from Gerry Alanguilan had arrived. I took a cutter and carefully opened the box.

I was pretty much impressed on how much care and diligence the package was wrapped. It was neatly bubble-wrapped so that no matter how rough the transit was, the contents would arrive safe and sound.

Out came the box. From the outside, the product was indeed a product of love. No mediocrity here and the craftsmanship on which it was made was very much palpable.

I was anxious to open the Elmer box set probably because I was afraid that my fingers would smudge the box and the pages of the graphic novel. I hate having oily fingerprints all over the surface but I wouldn't go into extremes like gloving my hands as if I was in the Vatican Library. What makes this set more special is the fact that only 20 of these exist and yes, it was Filipino made. Thank you Gerry and Ilyn for offering such a unique item.

June 07, 2009

Hannibal Ibarra

Hannibal Ibarra, one of the preeminent artists in the realm of Philippine fantasy art, has been drawing and doing watercolors for years now focusing on the "world of faeries". I have been awestruck by its honesty and fluidity that I was compelled to snatch a couple of his superb artworks through connections in the net. He may not be as celebrated as the watercolorist Toti Cerda but all his works exude that originality and artistic quality befitting of someone's bedroom wall. There's no allusions in his subjects, no convoluted symbolisms ala Charlie Co, no pretensions whatsoever. The lines are clean and clear and the colors muted yet sublime. I can't imagine why his works are not that popular with Filipinos considering his technical acumen, probably because of the scarcity of his works in the market. Thus, his works are precious to those who appreciate komiks as an artform and those who are into Philippine pop culture.

The following blurb describes where his influences come from:

A self-proclaimed "fantasy artist", Hannibal is a very private person and doesn't want to disclose much of himself except that his artistic influences are Giambattista Tiepolo and Botong Francisco, and that he is currently a background animation artist working closely with Steve Gan (another veteran and famous komiks artist of the 1970's) in the animation field. What we have known so far from observation and further talks with him is that he is an Alex NiƱo and Meglia fan, will do only fantasy type comics stories (especially when there are fairies of which he claims to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about), did some local komiks work wich he doesn't want to elaborate, probably out of frustration or embarassment or both, is into "New Age" thinking, and hopes to do artwork on stories for SIKLAB once his schedule frees him.