“Combatron” fans rejoiced at the announcement of Berlin Manalaysay’s desire to give the comic the ending it deserved. With just a few months to go before the final chapter is released, INQUIRER.net spoke with the author himself to find out what to expect.
“Combatron” abruptly ended its “Funny Komiks” run in Dec. 15, 1997 after being in the publication since 1990. Manalaysay confirmed that the FK comic ending was not his work.
“I didn’t do the FK ending. I would not have ended it that way,” Manalaysay revealed.
The author said the new ending, which is scheduled to come out on December 2018, would give out more details on what really happened to Combatron. Manalaysay also said it would explain why the story took more than a decade to reach its conclusion.
“It’s closure for me and for all who read and loved the story,” he said.
On a more practical note, Manalaysay also candidly admitted that “Combatron” abruptly ended its run because he entered the world of advertising. Eight years after being a creative director for an ad company, he started his own agency and has been its executive creative director for the past five years.
While Manalaysay enjoyed the world of advertising, he still feels fond about his time working on “Combatron” for FK.
“I’m a people person so its the people that I worked with [whom I miss]. The editors, the artists. They all supported me with the story and the character. The pay was not that high so you know that these are people doing what they love,” explained Manalaysay.
As for the new comic, Manalaysay said readers can expect fully colored pages with a familiar look but improved art work. Some of the influences which he drew inspiration from include video games like “DoTA”, “God of War” and “Persona”.
“The art is better ‘coz before, I only drew the line art and FK colors it. So its not really the colors I want that appears in the comics,” he said. “Now, I’m doing the coloring digitally. So it’s the way I want it to look! Better art direction too. I’m making every page a poster.”
Manalaysay also acknowledged the improvements in the local comics industry. Apart from being impressed with better print quality, he praised the stories the authors come up with.
When asked about his opinion on other comics and the current comics scene, Manalaysay did not hold back from sharing his insights as well. For example, what does he think about comics different from “Combatron”, say for example the raunchy “Kubori Kikiam” of “Culture Crash Comics”?
“The art is very nice! It’s smart to deviate from superheroes to g*** comedy. I like g***. Its funny and I like Benjo just because,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manalaysay still heads his company as he manages to find time for his “Combatron” passion project. He claimed it was one of the perks of being the boss.
But as much as he loves “Combatron”, the comic may be the last one from Berlin Manalaysay. For aspiring authors and artists, he has some advice.
“If you have a story to tell… share it! There will be haters. But focus on the ones that love it. Do that and your creation will take flight and be loved. Love begets love!” said Manalaysay.
“Draw it! Tell it! Get it out there! Someone will love it. However weird or crazy or g*** or even bastos (lewd),” he added. “There is a reader that you will entertain and influence and most of all, to inspire and make a difference in someone’s life.”
Catch the ending of the “Combatron” saga in full-color print this December. JB