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iPad Pro And Local Comic Artists at Box Talks by Beyond The Box

Filipino Comics has come a long way from being thought of children's entertainment, to something even adults can enjoy. May it be on print or online, this loved storytelling medium has carried characters of all shapes and sizes the imagination can muster from fiction, non fiction and even current events. It truly is a form of art.
iPad Pro and Local Comic Artists at Box Talks by Beyond the Box
iPad Pro and Local Comic Artists at Box Talks by Beyond the Box

At a time where originality has become so rare, how do present storytellers manage to come up with some new and refreshing? Manix Abrera and Mervin Malonzo, two experts in the filipino comic book scene were invited to share their insights in Box Talks creative workshops hosted by Beyond the Box Philippines.

Mervin shares that he still finds inspiration in folklore—after all, he is known for writing and drawing the National Book Award-winning comic Tabi Po, a graphic novel about Filipino horror culture.

Take something familiar. Something people are intimately familiar with,” says Mervin. “Stay true to the character’s core. Once you establish that connection, break the character and make it your own.

Manix on the other hand uses engaging storytelling methods that taps the reader's mind for creativity. He explains further his fondness of the gutter—that blank space between frames which is where imagination takes place as the reader advances between scenes.

Avoid spoon-feeding the audience, advices Manix. Share the burden of storytelling.

By tactically leaving out information, the writer trusts the reader to be able to fill in the blanks themselves.

Manix’s success has a lot to do with his knack for finding creativity in the most unlikely places. He explains how Kikomachine, for example, makes use of even the most mundane scenarios from college life. “We’re all familiar with life in school, but we know it mostly through the point of view of a student. Have you ever thought about viewing it through the eyes of the teacher? The security guard? What about the POV of the frog on the dissection pan? Identify the most popular point of view in your story, then stay as far away from that as possible.”

Lastly, collaboration with other artists have helped each other by filling up each others short comings. 

Sometimes, the need to complement your partner forces you out of your creative comfort zone. It makes you come up with things that you otherwise would not have been able to even think of, he explains.

Both artists are no strangers to collaboration, having worked with plenty of other creatives throughout their careers.

This goes further than just pen and paper, as Manix for instance doodles with his iPad Pro whenever inspiration hits him. Digital art is also easier to share, so that means I can annoy my partners more often, he chuckles.

Recently, the two teamed up with international comic artist Harvey Tolibao to create BEYOND, a compilation of comics drawn entirely using the iPad Pro. The work was commissioned by Beyond the Box, which has long been in support of digital artists and the creative industry.
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