Friday, August 15, 2008

Comic Publishing in the Philippines

The World Encyclopedia of Comics
Chelsea House Publisher 790 Pages

Comic Publishing in the Philippines

For several decades Ace Publications has been the dominant comic book company in the Philippines. It is controlled by Ramon Roces, the owner of Roces Publications and the most successful publisher in the field.

On June 14, 1947, the first issue of Pilipino Komiks appeared in the Philippines, a country that has the most avid comic book readers in the world. Many of the comic publications were geared toward the masses,' they catered to the tastes and demands of the adult population, as well as those of the younger generation.

Pilipino Komiks became such a tremendous hit that other comics were brought out in the 1950's. Hiwaga. Espesyal Komiks. Tagalog Klasiks. Kenkoy Komiks and Educational Klasiks were added to the roster.

The guiding force behind the success of Ace Publications was Tony Velasquez, the most popular cartoonist in the Island. He wrote and illustrated Kenkoy, the most famous cartoon character in the history of Philippine comics. Velasquez also had worked for Halakhak. the first comic book to be published in the country.

Also working for the Roces Publications were comic book pioneers Francisco Reyes (the illustrator of Kulafu. the Filipino jungle hero), Carlos Francisco (the foremost muralist in the country) and Francisco V. Coching (the most imitated and admired writer-artist in the medium). Other early participants were Jesse Santos (of DI 13 fame). Larry Alcala (creator of Kalabog en Bosyo. the funniest duo to appear in komix), Noly Panaligan (one of

the finest komik technicians), Fred Carillo. Teny Henson. Ruben Yandoc and Elpidio Torres.

The writers who joined the fold ware Clodualdo del Mundo, Mars Ravelo, Gregorio Coching, Pablo Gomez, Virgilio Redondo and Damy Velasquez. And some of the more well-known cartoonists were Deo Gonzales, Zabala Santos, Malang Santos and Menny Martin. Among the list of top artists who became internationally known are Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, Tony Zuniga and Alex Nino.

Many of the classics of the Philippine graphic-novel appeared in the pages of the comics that carried the Ace insignia. Among them are Satur, Lapu-Lapu. EI Indio, Barbaro, Dumagit, Maldita, Pulot-Gata, Waldas, Gigolo, Buhawi, Darna, Diwani, Ukala, Ifugao, Infanta Judith, Yamato, Warspite, Mikasa, Kabibe, Guerrero, Kurdapya, Monica, Pandora, Hokus-Pokus, Buntot­ Page, Payaso, Brix Virgo, and a host of others.

Numerous other artists and writers have contributed their talents through the years to Ace. Among them are Federico Javinal, Alcantara, Jess Jodloman, P. Z. Marcelo, Rico Rival, Nestor Leonidez, Tuning Ocampo, Jim Fernandez, Tony Caravana, Rene Rosales, Manuel Carillo, Cirio H. Santiago, Rico Bello Omagap and Jaime Vidal.


Hero said...

Hi Steve,
I chanced upon your blog via link from another site and I am deeply touched by your captioned description on my father, NOLY PANALIGAN (one of the finest komik technicians). He may not have been that popular an artist during his time (even with his short lived stint with DC and Warren Publications in the US) but we now know how much he is revered by his fellow men of art.

Thank you for remembering "Manong Noly".

Bayani Panaligan

Anonymous said...

my father also contributed to Ace... his name, Rolly Buenafe. his work, "Bertang Palakol"... also, Abe Ocampo, Emil Rodriguez, Nardo Cruz, Bes Pascual, Ben S. Maniclang, Tanchee Mendoza, Fer Tinodera, Rudy Florese, Buddy Gernale, Rudy Ner Siongco.... along with these guyz, they were almost the who's who in Ace Publications during those days...

thanks for giving tribute to their little contributions... and as an addendum, i have read some of those graphic stories you have enumerated....

RicharD Buenafe

bobbybaut(Artist/Cartoonist/Painter) said...

It was good to hear that Francisco Reyes,the creator of "KULAFU" the filipino Jungleman and one of the Pioneers at Ace Publication,upon Retirement he concentrated mostly doing Advertising works for PMC/Procter and Gamble products in his Studio=Office at Mandaluyong City,Tio Kiko was an Uncle of my wife Jean and in fact I was given some of his Illustrations and Paintings by Joey one of his sons,done in his Art's Lifetime.Thanks Tio Kiko,from where you will always be remembered!

regine palmaria said...

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