May 17, 2012

Triumph and Terror

Journal entry #42

Ah, journal, my foul weather friend. I know you only hear from me when I've got something to get off my chest, but I'm once again in need of your excellent "listening" skills. You see, I have a confession to make:

I’m terrified. 

Oh, sure, I’m also ecstatic, excited, and deliriously happy: “Kwentillion”, the young adult-centric comics+features magazine that Budjette Tan and I have been working on for over a year, is about to see the light of day. It’s given me a chance to work with creative, intelligent people: from Chester Ocampo, who found the time in his crazy schedule to make a bang-up cover; to Frantz Salvador, our layout artist who is as talented as he is patient; to Tarie Sabido, who is the most passionate advocate of Asian YA I’ve ever met. I’m proud of the magazine we’ve put together, after late nights of wrestling with layouts (my infatuation with two-page spreads comes with a heavy price it seems), arguing over minutiae (Is it okay to clump all the comics together?  Will boys be turned off by a splash of pink?), calculating print runs and deciding on paper quality, and all the other non-creative tasks that are essential to creation. We have reprints of four well-received independent comics, an excellent short story, and coverage of topics that range from YA Books, to Philippine magic, to fanfiction. There’s nothing quite like it on the shelves today, and just getting it on to the shelves is, I've been told, already something of a triumph, and if that single issue is all that comes out, we'll still have achieved something worthwhile.

[From "Skygypsies"by Timothy James M. Dimacali and John Raymond B. Bumanglag]

But I don't want to settle for that -- what I want is new komiks appearing like clockwork everywhere from the largest bookstore to the smallest magazine stand; what I want is a magazine that can serve as both a gateway drug for new readers and an incubator for new Filipino talent; what I want is to capture the hearts of fans so passionately devoted to Potter and Bella and Katniss, to Batman and Naruto and Scott Pilgrim; what I want is for my daughter to grow up reading about magical heroines who actually look like her; what I want…

[First two pages of our interview with Chester Ocampo, who is also doing the cover for Kwentillion #1]

It's been a while since I've wanted anything this badly. And there's nothing quite like the terror that comes from wanting something so very badly. From knowing that you've done all you can… and that now is the time to roll the dice, and hope that "all you can" will be good enough.

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