And we’re back!!! Got quite a lineup for interviews with a horticulturist, a singer, another martial artist, and hopefully, a dancer (she doesn’t know it yet, he he). Incidentally, I’ve noticed that so far, I’ve got all girls. I did send a message to one guy and because he doesn’t seem to be the active kind of Facebook user, he hasn’t yet seen my message at all. For today’s hash, though, I am sharing excerpts from my initial interview with comic book artist (komikero) Andoyman.
Andoyman, Andy for those of us who know him personally, is the owner of Andoyman Komiks (obviously) and the creator of ANG SUMPA, a local detective story with some forensics stuff thrown in. He’s been doing some other stuff and he currently draws for Rappler, too. A lot has happened since this interview so I will do an update interview sometime soon (he also doesn’t know this yet, ha ha!!!). Meanwhile…
INTERVIEW WITH A KOMIKERO
Excerpts from the original interview:
J.Gi: “Andoyman”…Why Andoyman? Why not Andoy, or your nickname Andy?
Andoyman: Andoyman kasi ’yan yung itinawag sa akin nu’ng isa kong kaklase noong college noong humihingi siya ng favor sa akin. (“Andoyman was the name a classmate in college called me by whenever he asked for favors.”)
J.Gi: (So now we know he’s a pushover, but I won’t tell him that, at least not until I post this) How about your alter ego’s “caricature”? What’s with the farmer-look? And why the mask?
Andoyman: Farmer-look, ‘cause it’s simple, and my inspiration before was the picture in my first year high school Filipino book. There was a poem with it titled Takada ni Islaw Palitaw by Lamberto Antonio and that’s my favorite poem. Come to think of it, I just realized its significance. A farmer is hardworking and persevering in planting crops, patiently waiting for months for the harvest. Parang pagko-komiks lang. (“Just like making comics.”) So, for every drawing of panels, of characters, of places, of emotions, of the story on every page, it takes a lot of time, maybe days, weeks, months, years! That’s before you finally finish your comicbook, before you harvest.
As for the mask, I felt lazy drawing the face. Just three circles, voila! You’ve got a face – I mean a mask! At saka di ko lang trip magpakita nang mukha. (“And I’m just not keen on showing my face”)
J.Gi: Did you already know you were going to make comics when you were young?
Andoyman: Actually, no. My first dream was to become a doctor, then an architect, then an engineer. But all that time, I was already fantasizing about doing a comic novel.
J.Gi: When did you find out you wanted to really do this?
Andoyman: Several months after I graduated from college. The frustration of finding a job related to my course (degree) caused something to snap inside me. It made me cry and feel regret for not trusting the thing I loved to do with all my heart, the thing closest to my heart, and that was doing comics.
J.Gi: I just had to ask as it’s common knowledge that being an artist does not necessarily translate to getting a bigger salary. Di ba, there’s a term called “starving artist.” Do you believe that?
Andoyman: I believe all artists go through that stage…Sir Pol Medina, Jr. said (about that): Magpursigi lang kayo kasi magugutom kayo sa una, tiisin n’yo lang ‘yung gutom nang kaunti, at kung natiis n’yo ‘yun, ibig sabihin may passion kayo sa ginagawa ninyo. (“Keep on persevering though there will be hunger at first, bear with the hunger just a little bit more, and if you are able to bear it, that’s what passion for the craft is really all about.”) And I think every artist should remember what Sir Medina said.
J.Gi: You said you love to draw and tell stories. Which do you prefer more? and why?
Andoyman: Creating comics because I love both.
J.Gi: …you don’t mind doing collaborations with others writing the story instead of yourself?
Andoyman: Yes. For me, it’s exciting. I have actually done my first collaboration with my first idol in writing, Doc Ronibats. We did Palimos ng Kulangot (“Begging for Booger”) and was released and distributed for free during the Summer Komikon, then later posted online, on his website.
J.Gi: Kindred spirits having a mutual understanding…So which is harder, coming out with your own drawn story, or drawing somebody else’s ideas?
Andoyman: Drawing somebody else’s ideas, because they’re not my own in the first place. Somehow, I’d like that person to be pleased and satisfied with my interpretation of his words, of how I think he sees the story, and I want to give justice to his intentions and story.
J.Gi: Detective stories, mysteries…Can you tell us about this indie comics that you’ve been posting about for so long, you’re killing us with the suspense??? [Ed. We were talking about ANG SUMPA]
Andoyman: Ah, yes. It’s about the fictional President of the Philippines who is found dead in his private house with a few capsules of some sort of drug beside him. Everyone thinks he committed suicide. “But did he really commit suicide?” is the question in the mind of the protagonist, an NBI investigator as well as a childhood friend of the president. The mystery gets deeper and darker as he discovers secrets and conspiracies while one by one, his friends and people in power are dying, either through suicide or accidents.
J.Gi: What makes this different from the usual stuff you do?
Andoyman: Everything must be logical. The investigation, the crime, the events must be convincing then progressively suspenseful and exciting. This is not a one-shot comics, by the way. What makes it fun is it forces me to think hard and imagine what should happen next. That’s what I love about it, the thinking, the creativity that comes with the imagination. It is hard for a newbie like myself to do something like this, but I love everything about it. I love the challenge it brings.
J.Gi: Thanks for the interview and don’t forget me when you’re famous.
Andoyman: Who are you again?
J.Gi: Thanks, Andoyman!…I think.
Hope you liked these excerpts. Go ahead, click on the link above to see what else we talked about.In the spirit of transparency, and I have shared this several times already, I am the one editing the story of ANG SUMPA. And, BTW, all images copyrighted to him.
Published by J.Gi Federizo