Saturday, August 2, 2008

SKP, the Cartoonists

SKP stands for Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas (Philippine cartoonist association). Supposedly, I am SKP member but since the Kartun Asia Conference in March 2000 in Manila, nothing followed. I did not know what happened. Everybody seemed so silent or maybe our line was cut-off or I was out of the circulation. What happened, SKP? I hope we can meet again or converge to discuss plans. Anyway, during the conference, I met other national-based cartoonists like Tonton Young, Jun Aquino, Barry Jose, Rene Aranda (not in the photo), Nonoy Marcelo + (not in the photo), the late Boy Togonon + (not in the photo), Larry Alcala +, Norman Isaac (not in the photo), Roni Santiago and Joshua Cabrera.

The late Mr. Marcelo, the one who created the famous Ikabod, positively commented on my works during our first meeting at Corporate Inn (?) along T. Kalaw where I was billeted. I was overwhelmed to meet him knowing how he created a stir in the arena of political opinion as one of the hard-hitting cartoonists in the country during the Marcos Regime. I remember Mr. Marcelo as one of the cartoonists who did experimented heavily on his editorial cartoons presentation with Manila Chronicle (if memory serves me right) playing up or bordering on pure abstractionism. I missed to ask him why he did it.

Manong Larry as I fondly called him was also billeted in that same hotel and we discussed a lot in relation to our craft. Who does not know these great men? Every Pinoy knows them and their works. During the forum in the conference proper (just reminiscing), Manong Larry was one of those who were against to the use of computer in drawing cartoons. I am not sure if he changed his mind later but I know he was referring to the computer free-hand which he described then as having visual hardness.

While I already drew cartoons using computer free-hand during this time, I agreed with him that the free-hand drawings could hardly match up the elements of fluidity or versatility achieved through the manual sketching.
I only published my computer-generated cartoons for experimentation. Although there techniques to approximate the fluidity in the visuals, the process is painstaking or time-consuming. As of the moment, computer programs do have limitation when it comes to approximating various visual elements in traditional cartoons. Well, anyway, technology is catching up and the "issue" would be squarely addressed sooner or later. Meantime, I prefer to draw my daily issues through the flurry of my pentelbrush. How about digital? I only use it when I want diversion from the usual.