Who are some of your favorite illustrators/artists?
(this is a late reply, but I’m making it long to compensate…?)
It changes all the time! There’s so much out there! When I first started drawing and making comics as a kid it was Bill Watterson, Giorgio Cavazzano and Masahiro Ando all the way - though I didn’t know their names back then. Later it was all about Alessandro Barbucci and Don Rosa (Don Rosa more for his storytelling, humor and mood than the art). Hayao Myazaki - and everything Ghibli - has been a big inspiration. When I started hanging on dA I was a fan of Makani, Loish, Ktshy and TracyJB (who still drives me crazy with her talent!). In more recent year’s I’ve been into Tekkonkinkreet (Black and White),Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akria, every movie ever made by Satoshi Kon, “Kerascoët“ - especially Beautiful Darkness, Nancy Peña, and Ron Cobbs sci-fi concepts (who’s like the only non animation/comics-person here). Bryan Lee O’Malleys Scott Pilgrim blew my mind, as did Patrick McEown’s Hair Shirt and Jillian (and Mariko) Tamaki’s - This one Summer. These days I find most of my favourite artists on Tumblr and some of them are my friends! <3 All of the people listed (in no order at all) below are amazing and deserves a follow:
Suddenly Turning Visible: The Collection at the Center (2009) By Patrick D. Flores
Catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Suddenly Turning Visible’ at the Cultural Center of the Philippines held from February to March 2009, in celebration of its 40th anniversary. The show features a selection of over a thousand artworks in the CCP collection.
Looking Back: Risk of Performance by Patrick D. Flores
The premise of the film Baler is pregnant: nationalism is bedeviled by radical romance between a half-Spanish Filipino soldier and a Filipina whose father takes part in the revolution against the empire. The narrative takes us to the siege of the church of Baler where the last Spanish army in the Philippines had taken their heroic stand. In the 1945 Spanish film LosUltimosdeFilipinas, the men are cast as folk heroes. In the Filipino film on the same subject, nearly everyone is a caricature, except the character essayed by Carlo Aquino.
He is the son of a rather shrill revolutionary who takes his vocation as a sacristan to heart. This devotion reaches a point of treason: he is willing to turn his back on his nation and family so that he could be true to his faith. While we may not consent to this personal and ideological decision, or while nationalist discourse pressures us to dismiss this choice as reactionary, he takes a stand and suffers the consequence. This makes his political mediation more textured and compelling, resisting the instrumentalist tendency of much post-colonial discourse to simplistically reduce the political to an advocacy for the nation.
At the core of the film is the tension between a search for love, honor, presence, and transcendence and the impossibility of its fulfillment in the face of the constraints of race, colonial politics, and the event itself of the siege, which motivates the plot. This situation is carved out by the contentious calling of patriotism: love for country and love that defies country, both of which are “revolutionary.” The film ends with the scene of the lovelorn Filipina with her child, hybrid progeny of the post-colonial “Filipino.” This is the germ of what could have been the complex cinema of Baler.
All told, the performance of Carlo Aquino is commensurate with this perturbation, fleshing out a persona that is of substance, a defiant Filipino who can neither be easily vilified as a traitor nor extolled as a hero. It is to the credit of the young actor that this liminal sentiment surfaces. His talents are ample and sharp and possess a sensitivity rare among his kind.
Please tell us about the most recent diverse book you published.
I recently published Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott. This novel is about Sam, a teen who’s in a depressed state due to the breakdown of his family. He’s pretty much getting by in life by being a slacker, always remaining under the radar so he can fade into the background. But then he’s paired in English class with the much feared Luis, a Latino who is said to be in a hardcore gang. Together the two team up in a poetry slam contest and emerge, after much introspection and hard work, as very capable, talented students. It’s a book about breaking boundaries and stereotypes, as well as friendship, tragedy, and the power of words.
What is one factor holding you back from publishing more diverse books?
Nothing is holding me back from publishing diverse books – it’s very much something that I feel passionate about doing. I don’t feel I see enough submissions about diverse characters just living in the world and experiencing life through strong storytelling. In other words, submissions where the story is the story and the characters just happen to be Latino or African American rather than their diversity driving the storyline. I tend to see more agenda-oriented books on the topic and these can be harder to position and market, and are often less appealing to young readers.