24 October 2017

Back in June I hinted at working on a project with three of the best names in the local comic scene:

Me and my short hair with Hulyen, Rian Gonzales, and Mika Bacani after our first meeting in Le Petit Soufflé in SM Megamall
Four months later, and look at them now:

HulyenMika Bacani, and Rian Gonzales holding their variant covers of BEYOND Vol. 2!
In a bid to celebrate creativity and innovation through modern technology, Apple Premium Reseller Beyond the Box compiled these artists’ original works in the second volume of BEYOND, a comic book compilation drawn entirely using the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro. You may remember the first volume that featured Mervin Malonzo, Harvey Tolibao, and my idol Manix Abrera last year.  It's amazing that Beyond the Box did it again this year, this time featuring female artists.

They were given three things: an Apple Pencil, an iPad Pro, and the keyword "beyond" and they ran with it fiercely and assuredly. Mastering their new tools and the tight deadline proved to be a challenge, but they did not disappoint!

I love that they were able to showcase their own take on the theme using their respective art styles.

In my five years in this industry, this is definitely one of the projects I am proudest to have been a part of!

Lending her signature humor to her take on the classic folktale Alamat ng Pinya, Hulyen shares that Beyond gave her a new experience, “Nabigyan ako ng Beyond ng chance mag-explore ng bagong medium sa pag-drawing. Ginamit ko yung Procreate app and na-enjoy ko 'yung experience nung nag-drawing ako with the Apple Pencil at iPad Pro kasi halos tulad lang din siya ng traditional na pag-drawing with pen and paper. (Beyond provided me the chance to explore a new medium. I used the Procreate app and I enjoyed the experience using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro because it’s almost the same as drawing with the pen and paper.)”
Describing her style as “visual problem solving”, Mika explored non-traditional comic formats with the help of the Adobe Photoshop Sketch app in her story It’s Fine. Her story depicts the emotional journey of a long-distance relationship. When asked about gender representation in the industry, Mika takes the side of neutrality. “I am not defying any gender biases and stereotypes. I’d like to consider our field as gender-neutral. As an artist, I’d like to focus on the challenges that revolve in my craft.”
On the other hand, Rian brings in an adventure about rekindling a forgotten passion with Candy Dreams. Using the Procreate app, she showed what her signature anime-slash- Lisa-Frank gouache style would look like if it were digital. “I like that I was able to draw directly on the screen using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, it makes the whole process easier,” says the young artist.
We launched their comic books at a special event at The Studio in Fully Booked BGC early this month, and it was so heartwarming to see their friends, readers, and fans support them and their new book! (I remember my own book launch that coincidentally happened exactly two years ago!)

Of course I got my copy signed by all three artists.

Congratulations, Hulyen, Mika, and Rian! Congratulations, Beyond the Box! Thank you for inspiring and empowering Filipinos to go beyond their limitations by exploring the possibilities of their creativity using the power of modern technology. I wish this series goes on to discover and collaborate with more comics creators!

Alex, Jean, Hannah, and yours truly of ARC PR!
Get your copies of Beyond Volumes 1 and 2 at select Fully Booked branches. Fully Booked is the exclusive distributor of Beyond comics series.

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