Twenty years ago, the only chance for you to show Marvel your work was for you to have it mailed to New York, or go to San Diego Comic-Con and actually line up,” Marvel penciller Leinil Yu says.
“But now you get to meet C.B. (Cebulski) right here in Manila. How cool is that? There’s no position in Marvel Comics higher than his and he gets to see your portfolio firsthand,” Yu adds.
Marvel reveals that there are a lot of Filipinos working as pencillers, inkers and colorists in their team. In fact, the Philippines ranks third among the comic giant’s pool of artists in terms of number, following the United States and Italy.
It may be a chance for pop culture fans to get together, but the Marvel Creative Day Out was first created to inspire Filipino artists to pursue a career at Marvel—emphasizing that Marvel Comics isn’t some unattainable company to work for.
With such a huge fan base and reliable pool of talent in the country, it’s no surprise that the mini Marvel comic con made a comeback last Jan. 10 at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. It’s a chance for budding artists to learn from Marvel’s best Filipino illustrators and even get some insight and critique on their works.
Marvel believes that inspiration is a cycle. It’s with interacting with their fans that the Marvel universe actually expands, adding in the talent and creativity it needs to produce more stories for thousands of its characters.
“The first time I knew it was possible to work for Marvel was when Whilce Portacio came home and talked about his work. I was in high school then, but to meet a Filipino who was at the top of the comic book industry, I just had the most important takeaway. I knew I didn’t have the talent then, but I came home knowing I had that same chance to work for Marvel like Whilce,” Yu shares.
And this is precisely why the Marvel Creative Day Out exists—to be able to continue their interactive tradition and mentorship.
“To draw for a living, having my own concept of the likes of Wolverine and Psylocke on the page is a dream come true,” Harvey Tolibao shares.
The two pencillers also got to explain the process of how comic books are created through collaboration. It actually takes six people to complete a single book: a writer, penciller, colorist, letterer and editor who can come from anywhere in the world. It’s also revealed that most of the work can be done digitally and sent through e-mail. “Meeting your deadline is bigger than being talented,” Yu tells the crowd.
“The most important thing an artist should be is to be dependable. People are waiting for you to finish your work, and missing a deadline means you’re taking time away from the process—their process,” the comic artist adds.
Not forgetting the most fun sketch-off segment of the Creative Day Out, the drawing challenge had a Filipino touch this time around. Game participants were asked to draw Spider-Man dancing tinikling, Black Panther shopping at a tiangge and Iron Man riding a jeepney.
Just like last year, many Marvel artworks were exhibited on campus halls. Super spotted newly minted Marvel editor in chief Cebulski taking his time looking at each one of them, with a paper and pencil in hand, noting down the names of those he sees potential in. A lot of the displayed illustrations were hyper-realistic, with every patient stroke adding depth and detail to their work.